Jill Orr: Antipodean Epic, Live performance

Jill Orr

31 May 2015

Humanities’ survival depends on seed, the ultimate container of life but as climate and consequently environment is changing, seed has become contested ground. Political, scientific, environmental and ethical debate surround both GM seed and its reliance on the global monopoly of a few mega agri-businesses. This is starkly contrasted by localized heritage seed closely guarded for its un-tampered quality. Both forms of seed production are charged with the task of feeding populations as they grow exponentially into the future. Here lies part of our challenge.

Antipodean Epic is a poetic journey that incorporates seed both in abundance and scarcity. The work utilizes costume to create three characters, or creatures, as a means to ask: Are the creatures the end of their species or the beginning of another? Are they displaced or transported viral creations? Are they unwanted interlopers within the seed stock? Are they the carriers of a potential future or remnants of a distant past or both?

The initial photo and video shoots occurred across two main sites. One being an expansive wheat farm where the bird character comes ‘into and out of’ being. The straw character is realized in the gypsum mines in the sunset country. Both the video and photographic images give vision to these characters who are introduced into the live performance as projections before physically entering the live space. The live performance is set in a disused railway building in Mildura where all elements come together and finalise this phase of the work.

Antipodean Epic was created for video and photograph that culminated in a premier live performance for the Palimpsest Biennale 10# 2015.

The Antipodean Epic- Quarry, performance was re-imagined for the Lorne Sculpture Biennale, 2016 and later for the Belo Horizonte Biennale Brazil, also in 2016.

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