24 August – 23 September
Opening event: Thursday 24th August, 6-8pm
Liss Fenwick is a visual artist from Larrakia country, living in Naarm/Melbourne. Their lens-based practice explores place and the transformation of problematic euro- and human-centred hierarchies in the so-called ‘Northern Territory’. Their recent exhibitions include Humpty Doom (2023), BACK OUT (2022), Natural History of Destruction (2021).
Mastotermes is a video and sound work sharing the perspective of a termite colony chewing, digesting and depositing English language books underground on the rural block I grew up on in the (so-called) ‘Northern Territory.’
In this work spanning several years, the iconic human knowledge-source becomes food-source for Mastotermes Darwinensis, the giant northern termite.
I began working with this termite colony when they started eating my late father’s shed. I fed them his books. Many of the books were fictionalised Australian history books written by colonialists. I selected other books paying attention to the artifice of history and colonising knowledge systems that continue to be imposed here through the education system.
Termites are widely poisoned, as the mischievous insects are known to surreptitiously undermine a whole structure. Through this work I imagine both ‘living’ and ‘future’ unmoored from the problematic supremacy of Euro- and anthropo-centric knowledge systems.
Created and filmed on Larrakia land. Sovereignty was never ceded.