WHITEFELLA CLEANING? TOPOGRAPHIES IN TRANSLATION

Deborah Cain

Abstract


Daniel Malone’s work in the Biennale of Sydney 2004, titled A Long Drop
to Nationhood, was a site-specific installation. This paper looks at the multi-layering of references to cultural forms (such as ‘outhouse’ and ‘red hills’), aesthetic precursors (video, painting, photography, and installation practice), as well as the connections to complex cultural and political issues. Previously, Malone has appropriated corporate logos, national flags, commercial posters, advertisements, other people’s art or personas, even his own name, and re-presented them in an often ‘topsy-turvy’ sort of way. This analogy can be paired with Germaine Greer’s discussion in the Biennale catalogue extract of displacement and an Antipodean ‘squattocracy’. The tension and cross-referencing between Greer’s dialogue and Malone’s installation create possible topographic connections. These can be opened out by the viewer’s experience of the work and what Antonio Damasio describes as the recalled images that 'occur as you conjure up a remembrance of things past…so as to distinguish them from the perceptual variety’ (1994: 96–97).

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.11157/sites-vol3iss1id38