Academic journal article About Performance

Kellerberrin on Our Minds

Academic journal article About Performance

Kellerberrin on Our Minds

Article excerpt

For Noah.

A place is [...] an instantaneous configuration of positions. It implies an indication of stability. A space exists when one takes into consideration vectors ofdirection, velocities, and timevariables [...] in relation to place,space is like the word when it is spoken, that is, when it is caught in the ambiguity of an actualisation, transformed into a term dependent on many different conventions, situated as the act of a present (or of a time), and modified by the transformations caused by successive contexts [ ...] In short, space is a practiced place.

Michel de Certeau

10:34am Thu, 30 Oct, 2003 In front of... the Aurora Cinema, Kellerherrin UTM 50 568089E 6499917N The night was cold. A strong south wind & clear sky reducing temperatures below zero. I huddled in my hammock, trying to think about this project & what it meant, but unable to get beyond the fact of walking through (the) country.

The morning wind chill made breakfast dijf cult. [I] hurry to break camp & get moving to keep warm. [1] walk into the cold head wind towards Kellerbeirin.

I thought about not coming here - to the cinema - cos it seems beside the point. But it}s so easy to cross the railway tracks, & here I am.

(Minchinton 2003)

In 2003 we walked to Kellerberrin, a small, and to most people unimportant, town 210km east of Perth in the wheat belt area of Western Australia. We walked not just to get there, but because Kellerberrin is significant for both of us.

In 2001, Domenico visited Kellerberrin. While there, he learnt that Noah, the infant son of his friend, visual artist Greg Pryor (see Pryor 2005, 2006a & 2006b), had died. On that day, Domenico saw and bought the Kellerberrin Cinema. Domenico wanted to dedicate the building to Noah and the Kellerberrin community. Mark's grandmother lived in Mitchell St, Kellerberrin, raising her large family there; Mark's mother left Kellerberrin when she was nineteen.

These walks were performances of two different but related relationships to the country through, in, and across which they occurred: Mark's, Void: Kellerberrin Walking, was a live and web-based performance and installation involving writing and photography for the National Review of Live Art (NRLA), Midland (Minchinton 2003); Domenico's, Breathing for Biagio Walking (A Walk from Perth to Kellerberrin), was a 'continuation' of a performance for the NRLA at the Midland railway workshops in Perth in November 2003, and prefigured a later walk, Terminal (Breathing for Biagio Walking), for the South Project in the stairwells of the Sydney Myer Asia Centre, University of Melbourne, on 1 July 2004 (see de Clario 2004). Both of Domenico's walks generated writing and photographs, but were essentially live performance events.

Mark started walking in Busselton, c.200km south of Perth, on 22 September. He walked along roads and beaches, through National Parks and forests, detouring whenever he wanted. He carried his food, water, and shelter; mostly he slept in a hammock at the side of the road, sometimes he stayed in a hotel or caravan park. He rested every few days, and spent nearly a week in Perth on the way. He wrote a web journal - including photos and ironically intended Global Positioning System (GPS) readings (since these could only reflect static positions, not the dynamically changing thoughts, emotions, affects, and so on attending any 'place') - on a PalmPilot and 'posted' it daily via a mobile phone. Apart from the last three days when a friend joined him, he walked alone. His walk began in rain and gale force winds. He finished on 29 October in sunshine and high clouds; with detours and digressions, his journey was about 650km.

Domenico started walking from Perth on 3 November. He walked to Kellerberrin by the most direct route - along the Great Eastern Highway - from about 9am to 2pm, travelling c.30km each day. At the end of each day, a friend picked him up and drove him back to Perth where he did his usual job as Head of the School of Contemporary Arts at Edith Cowan University (ECU). …

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