All the violence within this / In the national interest
All the violence within this and In the national interest are two collections of images surveilling—like a crime scene—the violence inherent in threads of daily life as seemingly benign as leisure and development.
Although this work was first written about by Robert Wood for Semaphore, it wasn't shown publicly until 2021 when Abigail Moncrieff curated The National 2021: New Australian Art at Carriageworks (Gadigal Land/Sydney). In this exhibition six images from the collection were shown on three double sided light boxes—like two sides of the same coin.
Throughout the course of The National I was also Carriageworks' inaugural writer in residence working on Conversations and Correspondence. The six exchanges that unfold within Conversations and Correspondence were spurred by photographs from All the violence within this and In the national interest, and together reveal part of a relational constellation of people and place that underpins my practice as a whole, and these images specifically.
The texts were progressively published on the Carriageworks Journal:
Trespassing with Chris Griffiths and David Newry
Relations with Narelle Jubelin and Diana Wood Conroy
Gluttony with Mona Bhan
Impossibilities with Jazz Money
Tensions with Kush Badhwar
Wit with Ross Gibson
While we do not always discuss the images directly they are, in each case, a common point of departure—forging paths to innumerable destinations.
We speak through agendas of development and colonisation and leisure, coursing through our lives and the places we hold dear. We speak of viruses and airports and tourism, of altered ecosystems and large dams and jinns and police, of gold mines and gravel pits and missed communications, of interminable fallacies and important impossibilities, of simple joys and the beauty of perseverance, of forensic accountability and the value of imagination, and, perhaps with most urgency, we delve into ourselves and this Country.
In early 2022 the work was shown at the Courthouse Gallery (Kariyarra Country / Port Hedland) in regional WA–which presented a wonderful opportunity to share the work closer to its place of origin. And here the work continued to grow.
Recordings were made with each of the original people involved with Conversations and Correspondence reading their text. These were made available to the public in the exhibition space, progressively online, and broadcast fortnightly on Hedland Community Radio over the course of the exhibition. Writer Tristen Harwood offered his reflections on the work in Seven Myths You Should.
In April 2022 the work was released as a limited edition artist book under the imprint Borderline Books—my self-publishing imprint.
Writing about the work:
Seven Myths You Should, Tristen Harwood, exhibition text. 2022
The National 2021 artist text by Tai Spruyt
Beyond Museology: The National 2021, Tess Maunder, Art Monthly Australasia, 27 August, 2021
The National 2021, by Tristen Harwood, The Saturday Paper No.343 April 2021
It’s a love letter to those women who haven’t been seen, by Giselle Au-Nhien Nguyen, Sydney Morning Herald, 25 March 2021
All the violence within this, by Robert Wood, Semaphore, July 2020
This work has been supported by the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund (2019), a Regional Artist Fellowship through the State Government’s Regional Arts and Cultural Investment Program and Regional Arts WA (2020-21), Carriageworks and The Courthouse Gallery.
Installation images by Zan Wimberley, courtesy Carriageworks.