Anne Zahalka "Hotel Suite"
Artist in Residence 9 April - 30 April 2008
Exhibition of work produced during Residency 1 July - 2 September 2008
Anne Zahalka was the second artist of Sofitel Melbourne's Artist in Residence program organised by Global Art Projects.
"Hotel Suite", an exciting new body of work was produced during Zahalka's Artist in Residence at Sofitel Melbourne on Collins during April 2008. While at the Sofitel she observed at first-hand life in this major five star hotel and became fascinated with the classifications given to different types of guests; the business traveller, the holiday maker and so forth. As she studied the flow of visitors in and out of the hotel, Zahalka could only imagine what went on behind closed doors. She decided to explore the psychological space of the hotel room through the emotional states of selected guests.
This work of Zahalka was shown at Sofitel Melbourne from 1 July - 2 September 2008 and formed one of the Project Rooms for Art Fair Melbourne 2008.
Sydney based Anne Zahalka is one of Australia's most respected artists. She has exhibited her photographic work extensively in Australia, Europe, USA and Asia since the early 1980s when her work first came to prominence. Last year she won the National Photographic Prize and was a winner of the Leopold Godowsky Photography Award, Boston in 2005. Most recently she has shown Leisureland at the Australian Embassy Washington and the Fotomuseum in Den Haag (2007), Supernatural Artificial (2004) at the Metropolitan Museum of Photography in Tokyo (and touring) and Photographica Australis (2003), which toured through Asia. A major survey of Zahalka's work, Hall of Mirrors: Anne Zahalka Portraits 1987-2007, was organised by the Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne and travelled to the National Portrait Gallery, Canberra.
Zahalka has maintained an interested in leisure-time activities as an intrinsic element of Australia culture and past-time, moving from the self-conscious stage-setting of her work from the late 80s to virtually pure documentation in spectacular scale and colour. Her brilliantly colourful work explores the nature of images and image-making, questioning issues related to authenticity - particularly when she borrows material from the canon of art history - and the place of photography in today's world and its relationship to the real world.