Installation including mixed media on canvas, moving image, sound and performance, 2019
Performances, video editing and mixed media on canvas by: Annie Goliath
Narrator's Voice: Nkuli Hepburn Zikalala
Performance and Sound Design: Black Astronaut
This installation is set in a future dystopia that is in a state of ecological collapse combined with humanity's over-glorification of technology that has resulted in an increased and devastating loss of gender equality. This installation, asks questions about the nature of power and consciousness. Could AI ever possess consciousness? Did equality between genders exist in the past and could it exist in the future? Could human consciousness exist beyond matter?
In part 2 of the science fiction film that forms a part of their installation, the ghost of the main protagonist Pandora dances in the ruins of the palace of Knossos on the island of Crete, built by the ancient Minoan civilisation believed to be a historical example of a once, thriving partnership society. This part reflects on the cultural historian Riane Eisler’s theory, which proposes that societies used to follow a primarily partnership model of civilisation but over time, this gave way to today’s largely dominator model of civilisation. The dominator model is based on the ranking of one gender over another relying on a top-down hierarchy that is extremely destructive while the partnership model is based on linking and equality. In Eisler’s view, the dominator/partnership dichotomy is not ideology-specific as both capitalism and communism can, and have, operated with dominator values. This installation mourns the undervaluing of care towards the human and the more-than-human – pervasive in this dystopian future and our present-day unsustainable, dominator model.
The archival film referenced in part 2, is the German silent film Pandora's Box (1929) directed by Austrian filmmaker Georg Wilhelm Pabst, that starred the actress Louise Brooks.
Moving Image Piece, 11 minutes, 45 seconds
Detail of mixed media on canvas, 140 x 120 cm
Mixed media on canvas, 140 x 120 cm
Pandora's Box, 2019
Installation shot 1
Pandora's Box, 2019
Installation shot 2
Detail of In-between Boundaries, 2019
Mixed media on canvas
Four-part moving image piece and sound
Behind the Veil, 2019
In part 4 of the science fiction film that forms part of this installation, the words that Pandora sings (who was commanded to be killed by the AI Blue_10010101), are derived from collaging together snippets of several, strikingly similar reported near-death experiences from historical and present-day sources. These reports of near-death experiences traverse different cultures, age groups, continents and timeframes. The ultimate nature of these experiences are strongly debated. Some of the reports include veridical perception confirmed by witnesses, which make these experiences harder to explain away as mere hallucinations of a dying brain.
During the exhibition, the character Pandora periodically performed during part 4 of the science fiction film. Combining influences taken from the history of drone, jazz and experimental music to form the sound piece, Pandora's sung words echo these collective 'memories' of an arguably otherworldly realm existing in-between or beyond linear time.