Ebb and flow (2006)

For three and a half minutes Josh, age 10, is a rock star. Fuelled by boyish hero-worship, Josh air-guitars to a song of his own choosing in a performance that gently flows back and forth between boy and rock hero; between bravado and self-consciousness; between originality and imitation. Framed by cheap pink curtains and staged like an Idol talent quest, Josh performs along with the music – not as a musician, but as a performer in a rite of passage.

The song that Josh chose – Pretty Vegas by INXS – was co-written and sung by JD Fortune. Fortune was the winner of the 2005 Rock Star: INXS competition, a reality TV series in which 15 contestants competed to become the ‘new’ Michael Hutchence. In this, JD Fortune’s performance of Pretty Vegas offers itself up as a mirror to Josh’s simple gesture, with Fortune himself shifting between contestant and rock hero, between originality and imitation.

Performer Josh Willams
Video camera and editing Sandy Gibbs