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crosseXions: Gash

posted on 2018-05-01, 00:00 authored by Meredith Randell
'crosseXions: Gash' is an audio-visual artwork about self-harming fallen tree roots in the ancient Bunya mountains forest landscape in QLD. The anthropomorphic sinuous forms are suggestive of human body parts, limbs, pythons, genitalia, nubbins, muscles and digestive body parts – internal and external. The disturbing audio-visual signifiers are of human birth breathing and moaning, synchronised with motion design of digestion, rubbing, writhing, pulsing, gulping and sucking. Its perversity results from these co-existing binaries but also from the combination of the magnified anthropomorphic sinuous root and vine forms, our gaze passing over this landscape as if it were a life-size waterfall of exposed roots pulsing, quivering and twitching - surrounded by disturbing gulping maws embedded in the landscape. This scar story of compulsions breaks free of the Sisyphean kairological loop. Commissioned by funding body Arts Queensland, this cinematic landscape was successfully exhibited online and in physical gallery spaces in Sydney and Brisbane. Artworks created for 'The Fen' creative practice research project all implement perverse and abject strategies resulting in the simultaneous abject emotional reaction of attraction and repulsion – which is necessary to create “the place where meaning collapses” [93]. These artworks are beautiful, hybrid monstrosities that seduce, beguile and disturb. These landscapes represent my experience of forests - vast in scale and detail, the same forms captured from different angles and perspectives - all shown at once - all connected. Through the addition of sound and motion these landscapes come alive and embody the typically hidden respiratory, digestive and reproductive botanical compulsive consumptions in these places - with an emphasis on being simultaneously sensual and repulsive. From the body of work produced for 'The Fen' project, 'The Furnace' is one of six artworks that are deemed to be successful because they have all been finalists in prestigious national art awards judged by peers or have been commissioned by public funding bodies. It is not possible to effectively gauge the reaction of audiences in this article and thus measures relate to peer recognition and geographic reach. All of the artworks use similar abject audio-visual strategies to create the “the place where meaning collapses” (Kristeva 1982, 2). These artworks are not factual representations of these natural areas but instead present new myths of these landscapes. All of the visual elements have been manipulated to satisfy the aspirations of the project. The distorted visual space aspirations of multi-perspective, compositional interiority with high detail in both the foreground and background, and the exclusion of a horizon line are all fulfilled in this cinematic artwork. Repetitive, compulsive, consumptive motion is synchronised to disturbing audio and the co-existing opposing binaries presented in 'The Fen' artworks include human and non-human, subject and object, plant and animal, culture and nature, possession and dispossession, life and death, strange and familiar, real and surreal, union and separation, and soothing and threatening. The artwork’s perversity results from the co-existence of these binaries but also from the combination of the anthropomorphic sinuous tree forms with human audio. All of these artworks are based on a kairological Sisyphean loop except for 'GASH' (Randell 2016). Reach: Touring exhibition – 2016 Metro-Arts, Cross Arts Projects and Alaska Projects, 2016 Arts meets Science Exhibition, 2016 Busybrick Happening


Category 2 - Other Public Sector Grants Category



Randell, M.

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Uploaded to Vimeo by the artist.

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  • Visual art work

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