WHERE THE CROW FLIES BACKWARDS
6 July – 1 August 2017
Where the Crow Flies Backwards comes from a collection of the artist’s early video works focusing on representations of Australian landscape in moving image art.
The artist’s camera approaches the end of it’s life as it struggles to reproduce the digital image. As if hinting at the death of the image and the breaking down of the representational process, Mackenzie moves us through a textured and tonal rendering of an Australian landscape. Beneath the signals of radio and repeater towers on the Southern Highlands of NSW, the peculiar and uncanny Australian colloquialism, ‘where the crow flies backwards’, takes on other meanings as it ponders questions of cultural history and identity, absence and otherness in a country whose cultural history and presence is one of the oldest in existence. Along with the Artist’s fascination with Crows and their many cultural and symbolic readings, the work shares Bachelard’s feeling that “time is experienced not as a linear continuum but rhythmically, in durations (durées) of more or less intensity and activity as mind, body, people and society interact.” *
* Simon Sadler, The Situationist City, MIT Press, 1998, p.98
David Mackenzie is a Melbourne based video artists and filmmaker. His screen based work explores the shifting boundaries between art and documentary. Mackenzie adopts a photographic intimacy in his video work to explore complex relationships between people and their environment. His work tracks the social, political and cultural landscape of these relationships. Before moving to Melbourne, Mackenzie lived and worked for many years in the Northern Territory on a range of collaborative community based media projects as well as ongoing projects in Indonesia. He is a founding member of several creative media groups including Miyarrka Media from Gapuwiyak and theweathergroup_U, a Sydney based artist collective.
David is a 2010 MFA graduated from UNSW (COFA), his video and documentary work has been exhibited widely both at home and abroad.
In-gallery screening for BLINDSIDE PLAY | Craig Bender + David Mackenzie, Long Acre Fire Trail, 2006, single channel video + live feed radio scanner, 7:00min.
A video recording shows the passing landscape of the Belanglo state forest in the Southern Highlands slowly deteriorating as the video camera sensor struggles towards the end of its functional life. Accompanying the video, the bizarre and often violent conversations picked up on a radio scanner reflects the violent history of this landscape. A disturbing dialogue emerges between the Civilian Band radio, the passing landscape and the digital textures of the decaying video image. Craig Bender and David Mackenzie both work intimately with Australian landscapes. In their work, a drive down the Long Acre fire trail moves beyond a drive through the Australian bush, deteriorating into a road trip through the history of violence that marks and defines our landscapes, an uncertain trip into the forensic shadows of the Australian sub-conscious.
(strong language warning)