Mike Heynes

Mike Heynes - Ghost Town A dystopian travel diary. A point of view tour through a recently deserted city. The ghost town is an artificial ruin, an anti place constructed using other modeler’s rejects. Titled in lower case, it is not a specific town. This work represents a new direction, a move away from the grotesque, towards the uncanny, a conscious shift from an interest in character, to an exploration of place. These mass produced model buildings are empty, suggesting that this is a post consumer world and that capitalism has failed. (From Circuit)

On Air: Mike Heynes - Ghost Town

Mike Heynes In 1906 German psychiatrist Ernst Jentsch first described the uncanny “as something one does not know one’s way about in”. Installed as a single channel video projection, the intended effect is disorienting, an endless looping journey where all the streets start to look the same. From Filmarchive.org.nz: "In Mike Heynes' ghost town we are led through an empty city by a point of view camera, we are confused by the scale, and - with the suspension of disbelief - we are again confused by the lack of cultural references, the lack of people, gardens, signs of life and consumer society. Is this a town that has been devastated by economic downturn? With a ubiquitous uncapitalised name, and buildings made out of kitset models purchased off Trade Me and Ebay, ghost town is anonymous. The film loops and the buildings are rearranged off-screen to give us a sense of deja vu. What should be familiar, isn't." Read on... -> Curators Choice - Circuit: Goodnight Kiwi

Artist Statement

My practice involves an ongoing exploration of consumer culture, realized through the use of mass produced plastic toys and kitset models. I work with video, installation and diorama. My projects often examine aspects of the movie industry- genre studies that sometimes include the development of related branding and merchandising - screenprinted t-shirts, vinyl graphics and single edition action figures. My animation is a simulacra, the materials revealing processes of construction. Toys are an obnoxious medium providing limited articulation for stop-motion and their faces don't change without help from Photoshop. My videos offer a dodgy expose of movie magic”, designed to undermine the authority of big Hollywood (and Wellywood) studios. When I first started making videos I was most inspired by the D.I.Y spirit of Punk and didn’t really look at other animators, I got more ideas from the attitude of early Flying Nun music videos. Music has always been an important part of my work, beyond a soundtrack for animation. (From Circuit)


-> Homepage of Mike Heynes: mikeheynes.com

Curators' Special

Part of the curatorial selection of Circuit