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Neil Fettling

Relics

Mixed media installation
Dimensions variable
 
 
Neil Fettling
Relics, 2013
Mixed media installation
Dimensions variable
Photograph: Kristian Häggblom


‘these objects are the traces left behind by the disappearance of everything else’, a quote by Cultural critic, Jean Baudrillard, refers to the clamour of objects that fill our daily lives as contrasted by the stillness and silence of a photograph. Within this context, as an artist based in the vast semi-desert of North West Victoria in Australia, my work and research involves the history and sociology of Mallee dry- land farmers, and their determination to tame the land. This is traced through the collection and re-interpretation of the ephemeral objects left behind on their farming properties. This work interfaces the abundant waste and bloated heritage of our post- industrial materialism and how the cultural artefact has replaced nature as a signifier of meaning. In exhuming the informal rubbish pits for abandoned secular relics, l collect discarded objects in mass, and then re-install them into large scale monuments of human aspiration of settlement. Intimate objects that have been touched and worn are memory fragments that have the capacity to outlive the existence of the subject. Everyday objects become outsiders when their conventional banality is transformed by the disappearance of their real or immanent form. Ultimately, these ephemeral objects represent ephemeral lives.
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