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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

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Our only concern is the void, 2013

by Nik Lee

Winner, Macquarie Digital Portraiture Award 2013
Single-channel HD digital video

Our only concern is the void, 2013 by Nik Lee
Video: 12 minutes

Jean-Paul Sartre’s existentialist theories informed youth culture in postwar France. The unique social and political conditions of the time afforded teenagers the opportunity to explore and reflect on existence. In this digital portrait I explore contemporary youth culture through the performance by eighteen-year-old actor Henry Strong of a complex passage from Sartre’s novel Nausea. The loops of thought in the text and Henry’s struggle to interpret and perform them call into question the roles we play in life. Me as the interviewer, Henry as the actor, Sartre as the writer and you as the audience cannot escape our roles and consequently this informs our existence.

Related information

Our only concern is the void, 2013 video: 12 minutes
Our only concern is the void, 2013 video: 12 minutes
Our only concern is the void, 2013 video: 12 minutes
Our only concern is the void, 2013 video: 12 minutes

Macquarie Digital Portraiture Award 2013

Previous exhibition, 2013

The Macquarie Digital Portraiture Award is an annual event intended to extend traditional notions of portraiture and reflects the National Portrait Gallery's commitment to fostering emerging artists with an interest in contemporary technology.

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.