Occupy Conversations — Talking Portraits (2013/15)

Cameron Bishop


This ‘work is based around a series of remediations – paintings reanimated through film; a dialogue recontextualised through two paintings; a film remade through a montage of images. Translating content through media in this way re-materialises and radicalizes these works. When the seemingly lighthearted dialogue between Sigrid Thorton and Brian Dennehy in The Man From Snowy River II is decontextualized we notice their topic of discussion is not only strangely to secure pastoral land, but more ominously the commodification of the female body. Bishop offers a second lens through which to view this exchange when he videos a couple in the same poses as Thomas Bock’s paintings’ Manalargenna (1837) and Eliza Langhorne (1849) rehearsing the dialogue. Translated to this medium the dialogue is sutured to a history of violent dispossession – a far cry from the romantic notion of pioneering Australia envisioned through the film’.[1]

There is an occupation at play here, of the body as a medium for an other’s ideologies, only they are confused in the merging of technologies and subjectivities. These two can only ever rehearse their identities.

[1] Luciana Pangrazio, ‘Flatpak Australia’, catalogue essay in Cameron Bishop: Heteromania, Academy Gallery, University of Tasmania, 2013.


occupation; creative practice; remediation;

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21153/ps2015vol1no1art458


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