THE FEN is a dark exploration of Australian landscape myths.
Audio visual motion assemblages inhabiting a space.
THE FEN experience has been described - 'If David Cronenberg's movie 'The Brood' had a baby with Hans Heysen.' (please see app.griffith.edu.au/news/?p=24898)
The aim of this project is to create a ‘story space’ that cultivates and challenges enduring dominant myths about the Australian landscape through perverse and abject audio-visual strategies and ‘postproduction art’ practices. The dominant cinematic myths of Australian landscape underpinning this project relate to non-indigenous Australians’ largely unconsummated desire to understand and unite with an intolerant and sometimes vengeful landscape.
This project draws on Australian writer Ross Gibson’s theories on dominant cinematic Australian landscape myths and an aspect of Bulgarian psychoanalyst Julia Kristeva’s theory of abjection from her book The Powers of Horror (1982) to challenge these myths. Metaphorically, abjection describes anything that is cast-off or excluded from the dominant societal norms, and can include people, objects, spaces, motion and stories. Cast-offs represent the binary opposite of what is accepted by the dominant societal norms, such as right and wrong, life and death, or “human and non-human” (Barbara Creed, The Monstrous-Feminine 1993, 8).
This project sought to challenge and update dominant societal norms by creating a physical lived story space based on Finnish architect Juhani Pallasmaa’s (2006) concept of the lived cinematic image as lived space. This physical lived story space located in a gallery consists of audio-visual artworks that present an abject interpretation of trees inhabiting under-represented swamp and native forest landscapes located in Moreton Bay (Teerk Roo Ra/Peel Island/Cornubia) and Byron Bay.