My first exhibition for 2014, About time, opens tomorrow 15 February at the Adelaide Arcade, as part of the Adelaide Fringe Festival. Here's some of what it's about.
This series comprises various typologies: ‘wall’, ‘tree’, ‘rubble’, and ‘spiritual place’, among others. They were taken in 2013 on the New Caledonian islands of Ouvéa, Mouli, Maré and Île des Pins, which are mostly inhabited by indigenous Kanak.
France annexed New Caledonia in 1853. 100 years later the first political party to involve Kanaks appeared. After New Caledonian Congressional elections in May 2014, its Territorial Congress will be free to call a referendum on independence.
About time is ostensibly a meditation on permanency and ephemera. In Fayaoué ii, the fishing poles appear pre-industrial, while the concrete boat ramp in Fayaoué iii is contemporary. Side-by-side, however, the subjects suggest that time has passed and progress been made—fixed fishing poles rely on fish finding them, whereas a ramp launches fishers to find fish—yet each exist contemporaneously just kilometres apart.
There is more here, though, than mere things. The image, Ouro, depicts a derelict colonial structure of brick, stone and mortar enclosed by equally derelict woodland. Its analogue, Baie de Niri, is of an inhabited Kanak ‘case’ (hut) made of saplings and thatch, surrounded by a lush tropical garden and forest. What do these images have to say about New Caledonia’s past, present and future?...
Though there is a stillness, if not tranquility, to each image, About time is in sum an allusion to the inevitability and complexity of change. What this collection evokes in terms of New Caledonia's past, present and future is for viewers to interpret.
In creating About time, I thank Atkins Technicolor for its exceptional processing and printing, Ms Kate Burns for her handsome catalogue design, and Mr Arnaud Benassy for his expert translations. I also owe a debt of gratitude to Ms Sidonie Henbest for her much-valued advice with all my work.
Thanks for reading. Please feel free to comment...