Two-Down

Frankie Chow & Alana Wesley
EXHIBITION  RUNS
   
February
   
14
 -  
February
   
25
Inspired by the way through which the Australian landscape is often painted as a villainous threat throughout the Australian horror genre, Chow and Wesley explored various settings throughout Broken Hill, scrutinising them as though they were menacing characters.

INFORMATION

Australian horror is a genre that often departs from supernatural themes and renders reality as the pervasive terror. In their first collaborative project, Sydney based artists Frankie Chow and Alana Wesley extended their respective investigations into the horror of the everyday to create a body of work in Broken Hill. Two-Down is an exhibition comprised from their work in the region, inclusive of performances documented through video, photography and performance objects.

Inspired by the way through which the Australian landscape is often painted as a villainous threat throughout the Australian horror genre, Chow and Wesley explored various settings throughout Broken Hill, scrutinising them as though they were menacing characters.

Referencing iconic scenes from Australian horror films, as well as traditional horror tropes and techniques (such as coloured filters and elongated landscape shots, depicting humans like small desert prey) both artists satirise, criticise and turn these tropes on their head to ultimately suggest that this fear of Australia’s landscape is derived from a white, colonial fear of the unknown. Broken Hill was a crucial location in regards to the development of Two-Down in that it not only aesthetically mirrored the deserted "outback" landscapes portrayed in landmark Australian films such as Wolf Creek or Picnic at Hanging Rock, it is also the location which inspired Wake In Fright; a text that has informed a large proportion of this body of work.

The “BarrierRanges” (as the area of Broken Hill and its surrounds were formerly known) has also long been known for its lawlessness since the 19th century. A mining hub on the border of SA and NSW, the legacy of Broken Hill is one that is largely white, masculine and isolated. In this environment, Chow and Wesley depict themselves as Others, both culturally (both artists are from Australia, yet sound and/or appear "foreign") and as women.

Throughout the works that make up Two-Down, Chow and Wesley try to assimilate to blokey, White Australian culture, often with satirical, surprising –and even mildly horrifying- consequences. Ultimately, Two-Down is an exhibition that suggests that it is not Australia’s natural landscape, but rather its national culture, that poses as the truly ominous threat.

Australian horror is a genre that often departs from supernatural themes and renders reality as the pervasive terror. In their first collaborative project, Sydney based artists Frankie Chow and Alana Wesley extended their respective investigations into the horror of the everyday to create a body of work in Broken Hill. Two-Down is an exhibition comprised from their work in the region, inclusive of performances documented through video, photography and performance objects.

Inspired by the way through which the Australian landscape is often painted as a villainous threat throughout the Australian horror genre, Chow and Wesley explored various settings throughout Broken Hill, scrutinising them as though they were menacing characters.

Referencing iconic scenes from Australian horror films, as well as traditional horror tropes and techniques (such as coloured filters and elongated landscape shots, depicting humans like small desert prey) both artists satirise, criticise and turn these tropes on their head to ultimately suggest that this fear of Australia’s landscape is derived from a white, colonial fear of the unknown. Broken Hill was a crucial location in regards to the development of Two-Down in that it not only aesthetically mirrored the deserted "outback" landscapes portrayed in landmark Australian films such as Wolf Creek or Picnic at Hanging Rock, it is also the location which inspired Wake In Fright; a text that has informed a large proportion of this body of work.

The “BarrierRanges” (as the area of Broken Hill and its surrounds were formerly known) has also long been known for its lawlessness since the 19th century. A mining hub on the border of SA and NSW, the legacy of Broken Hill is one that is largely white, masculine and isolated. In this environment, Chow and Wesley depict themselves as Others, both culturally (both artists are from Australia, yet sound and/or appear "foreign") and as women.

Throughout the works that make up Two-Down, Chow and Wesley try to assimilate to blokey, White Australian culture, often with satirical, surprising –and even mildly horrifying- consequences. Ultimately, Two-Down is an exhibition that suggests that it is not Australia’s natural landscape, but rather its national culture, that poses as the truly ominous threat.

FEATURED  WORKS

Frankie Chow & Alana Wesley, Dangerous Rock, Tomboy Foolishness, 2018, Single-Channel Video, 6 min 35 sec
Frankie Chow & Alana Wesley, Drunk Traffic, 2018, Single-Channel Video, 26 min 54 sec
Frankie Chow & Alana Wesley, Flipside, 2018, Digital Prints; 30x46cm,Sound; 2 min 45 sec
Frankie Chow & Alana Wesley, I’ve Always Been Here, 2018, Single-Channel Video, 5 min 39 sec
Frankie Chow & Alana Wesley, Lemon Peril, 2018, Single-Channel Video, 14 min 53 sec
Frankie Chow & Alana Wesley, The kangaroos had been respectable corpses; in the next they were trailing their insides, 2018, Single-Channel Video, 5 min 31 sec

OTHER  EXHIBITIONS