The End of the Age of Entitlement (films), 2011-20
Eight gelatin silver photogram films each encapsulated in a Mylar envelope. Unique objects. Displayed backlit.
These are shadows cast by flash on photographic film without a camera. They record the struggle and flutter of live small cabbage white butterflies Pieris rapae caught in a sudden downpour of rain at night near Lake Tyrrell in the Victorian Mallee. The images starkly reveal moments of suffering in the umwelt or ‘life-world’ of creatures we habitually ignore. Yet, this is an introduced species whose presence typifies the growing ecological hybridity of Australia’s remaining indigenous semi-arid landscapes. Portraying small lives indirectly and intimately highlights their delicate pathos whilst symbolizing the vulnerability of that larger life-world, the Mallee ecosystems, of which they have become a part. The artworks are part of Gathering Shadows, a project deploying the triple metaphors of physical touch, cast shadows and invertebrate abjection in order to poetically enunciate the ecological tragedy confronting particular environments – in this instance – Mallee country.
The largest of The End of the Age of Entitlement films is the source image for the affiliated print of the same name.