Image: Julie Gough, Traveller, 2013, still from digital video

25-Apr-2013 - 26-May-2013

The Lost World (part 1)

Julie Gough

LOCATION: CONTEMPORARY ART TASMANIA GALLERY

The intention of The Lost World (part 1) is to demonstrate the cultural vortex experienced by the artist as she inhabits past and present simultaneously. Testing her obsession with the diary of the corrupt lay missionary George Augustus Robinson, Gough works to make her way out of the text and into the present by undertaking a series of ‘tasks of encounter’ while moving through Tasmanian time and space. The resulting filmic episodes make up this exhibition.

The Lost World (part 1), 2013, discloses an initial attempt by Gough and her brother to reach an important destination while thwarted by a roadside troll, gates, fences, herbicides and an anticipated return time.

“I’m thinking of Oblivion, 2013, as the title... hardcore – it’s about being stuck in a place, not of this world, and not in a 'real' place, while immersed in Friendly Mission*. Friendly Mission doesn't allow for a future, just despair”. (Julie Gough) [*Friendly Mission: The Tasmanian Journals and Papers of George Augustus Robinson, edited by N.J.B. Plomley]

Observance, 2012, is about trespass. It is a meditation about history, memory and ancestry set amidst the ongoing globalisation of my ancestral coastlands. The film is my frustrated response in trying to get back to the essence of things, while being constantly interrupted by groups of intruding eco-tourists. Taking up the region for their continuous walks they remind and re-enact the original invasion of our Country. Witnessing their arrival, avoiding contact, I feel a multi generational anxiety of knowing what happens next in the parallel world of that same place not so long ago.” Julie Gough

Seeking out other times and carrying a cultural tool-kit to equip her journey, in Traveller, 2013, Julie Gough heads to a hotspot for unresolved colonial encounter between Aboriginal Tasmanians and colonists on the North West coast. Walking to Highfield House, she seeks insight into the past while haunting the path of Edward Curr, the notorious agent for the Van Diemen’s Land Company.

Haunted, 2013, comprised bluestone spalls and an electronic directional needle, offered the promise of the wayfinder –  as both a cairn and a compass. The work operated as a spectre of the past as well as being witness to the artist’s disoriented quest to understand place across time in Tasmania.

A partner exhibition, The Lost World (part 2) was shown simultaneously at the Cambridge Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology, UK, in an exchange with the CAST projection space, in October 2013.

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