A selection of Prototype works, curated by Lauren Carroll Harris.
Place-making works that chime with the echoes with history, illuminate cultural traditions, and unfold against the backdrop of the Anthropocene. Landscapes – often politically charged through the effects of extraction, colonialism and industry – are explored as a function of time lost, time taken away, and time inherited. Linear ideas of progress and development become complicated; modernity and ancientness converge. Mountains and lakes are traversed as artists find evidence of long-ranging geological and cultural change; Earth-sized dilemmas play out within discrete ecosystems.
Brown Lake (Samantha Lang) 2021 (14:55 mins) Is the landscape dreaming? A journey from the clouds to the aquifer in Brown Lake (Bumierra, North Stradbroke Island, Queensland). Through askew, low-angle framing, we see a radical reimagining of the landscape – too often represented by artists as an inanimate object – as a watchful, knowing protagonist, an ecosystem that breathes and moves and lives.
A new and different sun (Jodie Whalen) 2021 (05:48 mins) A sublime, abstract vision of renaissance clouds in Darug Country (western Sydney) invites reflections on love and grief, as Sydney artist Jodie Whalen apprehends light, slices the sky and brings celestial objects closer to Earth.
Rare Earth (Robert McDougall) 2021 (31:36 mins) Part essay film, part artist’s documentary, Robert McDougall looks at the imperatives of exploration and extraction in a journey to the industrial frontier zone of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, a vast hellscape where ‘rare earth’ minerals are mined with impunity to fuel global capital’s hunger for gadgets, devices and eco-consumerism.
Merapi (Malena Szlam) 2021 (08:05 mins) The drama, vitality and potential violence of Mount Merapi – one of the planet’s most active and deadly volcanoes, which, in Javanese tradition, houses the spirits of ancient ancestors – shudders and pulsates in Chilean artist-filmmaker Malena Szlam’s 16mm film.
Picnic Places (Robert Nugent) 2020 (06:35 mins) In this hybrid, scripted documentary, Canberran artist-filmmaker Robert Nugent imagines the discovery of strange architectural forms called “outback roadside picnic stands” by a mystified archaeologist, after some unnamed disaster renders the projects of colonialism and capitalism redundant in Oceania.
Scenes for Solace (Leyla Stevens) 2020 (08:28 mins) A primer for sleep, a selection of atmospheric cuts from Australian-Balinese artist Leyla Stevens’s personal and family archive, and a reflection on passage, flight and timekeeping produced in lockdown in 2020. Shot between Jogjakarta (Java), Semarang (Java), Bali and Gadigal Land/Sydney.