This Is Before We Disappear From View was created for the walled space of the coal bunker on Cockatoo Island. It exists significantly in the realm of the imaginary. The artists use vocal sounds they recorded from over 100 individual voices, which, brought together as a kind of choir of poltergeists, rise and rise, in never-ending escalations. A single voice is also heard in measured, staccato bursts. Robotic, synthesized and genderless, it delivers instructions, admonishments and encouragements – dogma. It is both overlord and oracle.
This is the artists’ response to Australia’s policy of mandatory detention of asylum seekers, a policy that presents us all with challenges both personal, political and institutional. Their work is a fiction that provides a mirror on histories of containment from historic houses of discipline with their attendant philosophies, through to the current policy by the Australian Government.
19th Biennale of Sydney: You Imagine What You Desire
21 March to 9 June 2014
Curator: Juliana Engberg
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