b. 1979, Melbourne,
directed over 20 short films, seven feature length films and numerous
installations, Amiel Courtin- Wilson’s work has exhibited in many venues
including the Whitney Museum, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam,
National Gallery of Victoria, MONA, Yale, GOMA, the Gallery of New South Wales
age 19, Courtin-Wilson’s debut feature documentary, CHASING BUDDHA premiered at
the Sundance Film Festival in 2000.
collaborating with Opera Australia and Chunky Move Contemporary Dance Company,
Courtin-Wilson formed the production entity Flood Projects in 2008.
subsequent feature documentary BASTARDY won the Best Documentary Jury Prize at
the 2009 Film Critics Circle of Australia Awards (FCCA), and was released to
short film CICADA premiered at the Cannes Film Festival
part of Directors’ Fortnight in 2009 and won a slew of awards internationally.
public installations under the moniker of OXO OVO were published in the
worldwide survey of street art “The Art of Rebellion” (Gingko Press, 2003). His
first solo exhibition of drawings was at Utopian Slumps Gallery in Melbourne in
2012, Courtin-Wilson collaborated with the Black Lung Theatre Company on DOKU
RAI which premiered at the Darwin and Adelaide Arts Festivals.
next solo exhibition of drawing, photography and video work THE AMERICAN
EXPERIMENT featured at the Gertrude Contemporary Art Space in 2015.
dramatic feature film debut HAIL premiered in competition at the Venice Film
Festival, (Orizzonti, 2011), winning many awards internationally and was named
Best Australian Film of 2012.
Amiel with actor Daniel P. Jones (HAIL)
co-directed feature film RUIN won the Special Jury Prize
the Orizzonti Competition of the Venice Film Festival in 2013.
was also commissioned to create CARSON - a short film for the 70th Anniversary
of the Venice Film Festival as part of the Future Reloaded program, alongside
directors such as Bernardo Bertolucci and Claire Denis.
2014, he exhibited a video work entitled THE DEATH OF A KING at the Museum of
Contemporary Art (MCA) in Sydney as part of a Yoko Ono retrospective.
2016, Courtin-Wilson created THE SILENT EYE, a feature-length performance film
collaboration with Cecil Taylor and Min Tanaka, commissioned by the Whitney
Museum which premiered at Cecil Taylor: Open Plan.
2016, he won the National Portrait Gallery Award for Digital Portraiture with
the video installation CHARLES, shot in Norman, Oklahoma.
in 2016, Courtin-Wilson exhibited BREAKING WAVES, a fifty minute, two-channel
work about composer Percy Grainger for the Ian Potter Museum, as well two new
video works at MUMA as part of the exhibition UNDER THE WIRE, featuring Bill
Morrison and Rick Charnoski.
also recently joined BADFAITH - a VR collective that includes video artists
Shaun Gladwell and Daniel Crooks. Their first collaborative VR work EXQUISITE
CORPSE premiered at the Melbourne International Film Festival in 2018.
was awarded the Byron Kennedy Award at the 4th AACTA (Australian
Academy of Cinema and Television Arts) Awards in Australia in 2015, in recognition of
his commitment to innovation
Australian cinema over the last two decades.
The Melbourne Cinematheque
screened the second full retrospective of the artist’s films in 2018.
concurrently developing several large scale installations (TRACES, BODY MUSIC),
in addition to being in post-production on his latest feature film THE
OVERVIEW: Amiel Courtin-Wilson
is an acclaimed, multi-disciplinary artist and filmmaker whose practice pursues
the breakdown between creator and subject through an expansion of the
possibilities of documentary portraiture. Centring on immersive, long-term
collaborations with individuals including musicians, performers, poets and ex-
inmates, Courtin-Wilson works across film, video, sound art, installation,
theatre and performance.
gaze is firmly wedded to the process of his subjects’ struggle to self-actualise
on their own terms. It charts the means by which the individual carves a space
for themselves through acts of defiance and reclamation, forging a shared
aesthetic space that stands in radical opposition to socio-historical
works (‘Chasing Buddha’, ‘Bastardy’, ‘Hail’, ‘Ruin’) find Courtin-Wilson
deeply engrossed in his subjects’ lives, sometimes living with them for months
or years at a time. Through this, a fluid, radical space is opened that
introduces questions of the chaotic, the accidental and the surprising into
nominal traditions of documentary/art practice. These portraits of iconoclasts
and outliers render highly intimate moments on a perpetual cycle of personal
change, charting a subjectivity that bleeds into the sublime as a continual
state of transfiguration.
works from 2014 onwards (‘The Death of a King’, ‘Charles’) have sought to
re-frame the ontological fabric of documentary portraiture itself through the
visionary, extra-realist and para-cinematic formal gestures drawn from
Materialism and the lyrical avant-garde. Constantly evolving the language of
the observational, these new works propose a concept of “tactile time”, a
quality whose elasticity conflates inner with outer boundaries of the limit
these concerns have increasingly taken centre stage in Courtin-Wilson’s work, a
language beyond linear screen-based image media has evolved, with increased
experimentation in site-specific, installation and multi-channel projection
presentations (‘Breaking Waves’, ‘Under The
incorporating performance, architecture and sound art elements.
as a collection of individuated projects, Amiel Courtin-Wilson’s body of work
also functions as a serialised ‘cosmology’ - a living, breathing corpus of
impressions, experiences, sensations, and memories.
a picture emerges of urgent compassion, a restless exploration of embodied
experience through radical portraiture, crystallising Courtin-Wilson as one of
the most prolific, innovative and critically acclaimed Australian artists and
filmmakers of his generation.
THE SILENT EYE
works are not strictly documentary in nature or form, but rather carefully
contrived portraits of trauma and survival. Straddling a space somewhere
real and unimaginable, his work is characterised by its combination of highly
authored realist narratives with imagery that is raw, fragile, violent,
impressionistic — and oftentimes staggeringly beautiful.
Emma Crimmings, Gertrude Contemporary
artistic vision that is astonishingly rich – seemingly unfathomable.
- Nick Feik Editor, The
gifted artist of singular vision and ingenuity.
- Erik Jensen Editor, Saturday
artist whose work is defined by creative risk taking and governed by an
insatiable appetite to push boundaries, Amiel Courtin-Wilson is one of the
hardest working, courageous, and prolific filmmaker / artists of his generation in
- Katrina Sedgwick CEO,
Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI)
is one of the most distinctive and interesting Australian filmmakers and in my
capacity as Senior Curator at the MCA I have followed his work for many years.
- Natasha Bullock
Senior Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art (Sydney)
expansive, exhilarating practice is unfailingly courageous, riveting, and
visceral in its impact. His humanistic, character-centric works reinvent the
relationship between anthropology and cinema, taking his audience on
meditative, trance-like journeys into unseen and alien aspects of our
environments, and ourselves.
- Ulanda Blair Curator
Moving Image M+ Museum (Hong Kong)
THE SILENT EYE
CORPSE', VR work co-writer / co-director / co-editor Production Collective:
BADFAITH Producer: Leo Faber
Melbourne International Film Festival 2016
SILENT EYE', single channel video installation, writer / director / producer /
editor Starring Cecil Taylor & Min Tanaka Curators: Jay Sanders, Lawrence
Commissioned by the
Whitney Museum - WORLD PREMIERE 2016 WINNER BEST EXPERIMENTAL FILM Harlem
International Film Festival 2018
Rotterdam International Film Festival 2017
Official Selection Melbourne
International Film Festival 2017
Cork International Film Festival 2017
Antenna International Film Festival 2017
Official Selection St
Tropez International Film Festival 2017
Dark MOFO Festival, MONA 2017 NGV Screening “MOMA at NGV” Exhibition 2018
Australian Gallery of NSW Screening 2018
NERVE METER', single channel video installation, writer / director / producer
Commissioned by the Adelaide International Film Festival Official Selection
9:16 Film Festival 2015
/ ASIALINK AUSTRALIAN VIDEO ART TOURING THROUGHOUT ASIA
SINGLE SCREEN PROJECTION “PASH” 2004-2005.
BY ALEXIE GLASS
TAG, PASH, THE
EFFECTS OF FIRE
AUSTRALIAN CENTRE FOR THE MOVING IMAGE
CHANNEL VIDEO INSTALLATIONS 2004 AUSTRALIAN CULTURE NOW (PUBLIC IMAGING
INTERVIEW ISSUE' Australian Film Television and Radio School First Printing
‘UTOPIAN SLUMPS: THE COLLINGWOOD YEARS‘
publication documenting exhibitions and events that took place during Melbourne
Gallery Utopian Slumps from 2007 to 2009. Publisher: Utopian Slumps 224 pages,
25 x 17.5 x 2.5cm, colour, hard cover cloth bound
of 2000 First printing 2011
‘TEN YEARS OF THINGS THAT DIDN’T KILL US’
story anthology First Printing, 2008 Paroxysm Press
‘THE ART OF REBELLION’
survey of street art including Melbourne “OXO OVO” aerosol installations. First
Printing 2003 Gingko Press Inc (Germany)
LECTURES / WORKSHOPS
ETHNOGRAPHY LAB PHD STUDENT SCREENING AND LECTURE ABOUT HYBRID FILMMAKING
at National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) Chunky Move Presents panel discussion
Australian Artists working in New York (2018)
MUSEUM Panel discussion with Min Tanaka about collaborating with Cecil Taylor
HOPKINS UNIVERSITY (BALTIMORE) Industry Mentor for the Saul Zaentz Innovation
UNIVERSITY Film Presentation of HAIL (2016)
CONGRESS (Gertrude Contemporary Art Space) Curated by Joel Stern & Other
GALLERY OF VICTORIA Special Guest Artist Lecture “Portraiture and Documentary”
(University of California, Los Angeles) ‘Art as Moral Action’ invited by
Professor Peter Sellars (2000)
(Australian Film Television & Radio School) ‘DIRECTING & PRODUCING
DOCUMENTARY & DRAMA SEMINARS’ (2000, 2011, 2012, 2013)
GALLERY OF VICTORIA Special Guest Artist Lecture “Portraiture and Documentary”
FILM FESTIVAL industry lecture series “From Shorts to Features” (2011)
(Australian International Documentary Conference) “The Next Wave” (2003) “The
Visual Language of Documentary” (2006) “This is not a documentary” 2017
CHAMBER ORCHESTRA PROGRAM
IN THE COMPANY OF ARVO PART” ESSAY (2019)
SATURDAY PAPER FEATURE ARTICLE CHRISTIAN MARCLAY'S “THE CLOCK” (2019)
MONTHLY MAGAZINE FEATURE ARTICLE “Cecil Taylor” (2015)
ONLINE (PHOTO ESSAY: MODESTO CALIFORNIA, 2015)
CHILDREN “Influences and seminal cinema memories” (2012)
MAGAZINE “Jack Charles: A Diary” (2005, 2007)
SIGNS “OXO OVO Graffiti profile” (2003)
MAGAZINE “Director’s impressions” (2003)
MAGAZINE “Margaret Mead Documentary Festival Profile” (2002)
CONTEMPORARY ART (SYDNEY)
GUEST FILM CURATOR For the Contemporary Film Program (MAY 2016)
AACTA BYRON KENNEDY
for a body of work in Australian film that has continually pushed boundaries
with innovative form and stories.