Lecture: In Search of the Australian Sublime

Lecture Performance: “In Search of the Australian Sublime”

Lecture Performance at Universität der Künste, Art in Context Department, June 2011.

A performance about homesickness as seen in representations of the Australian Landscape in the first one hundred years of European settlement and then my own personal experience. A lecture displaying early Australian landscape paintings revealed how early artists often painted Australia to look like their homeland in Europe. I also showed artworks by my own family- my father’s nostalgic and inaccurate oil paintings of his parent’s home countries, England and Greece (countries he has never visited) and my seven year old niece’s reenactments of the American movie “High School Musical” in her backyard as she has said she would rather be American.

The second part of the performance was outside and focused on why I live in Berlin. I performed a series of actions in the public space which are illegal in Australia- drinking alcohol, lighting a firework, nudity. I discussed the history behind how these actions became illegal which were often connected with the early convict origins of Australia and the need to control the public.

I concluded by stating how I have internalised feelings of cultural inferiority compared to Europeans and often feel that I am too loud, too colourful and not classy enough. In response, I stated that my opinions and aesthetic are valid and I made a beach as what I miss the most about Australia is the landscape but in a physical, tactile sense which is best experienced by being nude at the beach.

Afterwards I was advised by my German art lecturers that I should aim to be more tasteful like Andrea Fraser.