Sandman

by Piccinini, Patricia

2002

Duration
4
Exhibition
Figuring Landscapes

Through the image of an amphibian girl, Piccinini calls for us to love all our creations, even the ‘undesired outcomes’ of technological advances. Invoking the Aboriginal commitment to ancestors as well as to future generations, Piccinini equates such a duty of care with the care of country.

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A tempestuous ocean, a girl adrift: there is a sense of terror. Is she fighting for her life or casting out for home? She goes under and there is, at first, a feeling of panic. But in subsequent underwater shots, a Madonna-like serenity prevails and she seems at home in her watery environment.What look like scars on her neck could just as easily be ves-tigial gills. In this work, Piccinini continues her explorations into the possibilities of un-canny forms of evolutionary developments. Australians’ identification with swimming and with the sea is an unavoidable connec-tion to this almost surreal short film. Pat Hoffie An inheritor of the cyberfeminist tradition exemplified by Donna Haraway and Sadie Plant, Piccinini creates simulated landscapes and bands of what Haraway has described as ‘unsettling but oddly familiar critters’. If the issue of physical territory remains vexed in the light of outstanding Aboriginal land claims, Piccinini’s computer-generated worlds with their digitally mutated progeny offer the non-Aboriginal artist a guilt-free, decolonised place of nature.Through the amphibian girl in Sandman, Piccinini calls for us to love all our creations, even the ‘undesired outcomes’ of tech-nological advances. Invoking the Aborig-inal commitment to ancestors as well as to future gen-erations, Piccinini equates such a duty of care with the care of country. Catherine Elwes

Videos

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