Ian Andrews


Ulladulla (2019)

Ulladulla (2019)

A work of found footage and found sound.

This work was constructed according to a number of rules:

  • All images must be sourced from physical found amateur film, home movie footage of 8mm, Super 8, and 16mm gauges (no video, no internet source).
  • All vocal and musical soundtrack elements must be sourced from amateur tape recordings (other elements such as atmos, and sound effects can be produced).
  • The source material must not include any family archive material that has any relationship to the memory or personal history of the artist.

Dictated by the source material the thematic content is that of family holidays, recreation, and events. The work of the sound track is to undermine a simple reading of the presentation of these events.

The faces of children in frontal, mid-shot framing have been blurred. Any close-ups of children in the material have been discarded. The blurring works on a number of registers.

  1. At a simple ethical level it was decided to afford some privacy to children of the 1950s and 60s depicted who are most probably still alive and function in some public capacity in contemporary society.
  2. At another level it reflects upon current practices of the media to make a decision to blur or not blur the faces of subjects.
  3. Such blurring (out of context) cannot avoid the connotation of some underlying maleficence.

There is no deep meaning in this work. All semiosis occurs on the surface at the intersection of image and sound. There is no symbolism or metaphor. There is, however, allusion and connotation that develops by chance out of the source material and, once identified, purposively amplified in the editing. For example, the subtext of paedophilia in the holiday house and following empty-campsite scenes; the allusion to the Petrov Affair in the pairing of Robert Menzies and the nervous blonde woman at the airport; the suggestion of cross dressing at the end of the backyard party scene.

Bill Henson’s empty landscape and suburban fringe photographs from his Untitled 1994/95 and Untitled 2003/04 series, became a point of resonance for the selection and grading of particular images.

For a non-Australian audience I have provided a subtitled version.