Strange Land Vol. 1
Strange Land Vol. 1
Featuring Sari TM Kivinen & Liam Benson
Original Soundtrack by Debra Petrovitch
3-Channel or Single Channel HD 1280p Video Installation with Sound, 2010, Total Duration: 53 minutes Edition of 3 leather bound boxed editions.
11 x C-Type Photographs, Flex paper on aluminium, 70cm x 56 cm, 2010. Edition of 6.
Strange Land Vol. 1 is a multi-channel video installation that relives the histories of a haunted landscape through the retelling of historic narratives and Australian cinema. These stories, mediated through performative video works, were shot on location in the remote mining ghost town of Glen Davis on the periphery of the Blue Mountains escarpment, formerly the location of the cult Australian film The Chain Reaction (1980). Douglas recreates scenes inspired by the film which traverse the road going in and out of the mine site. As we trace the landscape, impressions of the film’s characters and the former inhabitants of the town are both brought to life.
Researched from first-hand accounts of the town including an interview with a local historian who resided in the town as a girl, the work highlights the lived experiences of the town as a site of working class struggle, and explores them from the perspective of class, gender and culture. Moreover, it examines the inherent social problems that arise in isolated communities and reveals the dark side of a traumatized land.
First Exhibited at Penrith Regional Gallery & Lewers Bequest in 2010.
Strange Land Vol 1 — Fragments & Stills was first exhibited at Chalk Horse, NSW in 2010.
Strange Land Vol 1 — The Miner is also available in the DVD anthology of Australian Video Art in 2012: DELUXE dLux Edition #1.
Video and Photographic works held in private collections.
John A. Douglas: performer, HD video camera, analogue still cameras, video editing, soundtrack arrangements and sound design, drums and percussion, performance direction, props and costume, research.
Melanie Ryan: HD video camera, stills photography, production management, make up, performance coach, costume, continuity and stylist.
Debra Petrovitch: original soundtrack composition and improvisation, keyboards, electric guitar, synth, loops, sound design, recording engineer.
Sari T.M. Kivinen: performer, hair stylist and make up, costume, research.
Liam Benson: performer, hair stylist and make up, research.
Matt Cuneo: sound engineering and recording, location recording, drums.
Special thanks to the Glen Davis historian Leonie Knapman and the people of Glen Davis NSW.
The artist would like to acknowledge and pay respect to the Wiradjuri peoples who are traditional custodians of the Wiradjuri Nation.
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.