by Giddy, Allan


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Figuring Landscapes

The horizon line and vanishing point of an endless road leap and shimmer in the heat haze of a highway somewhere in New South Wales. The sinister travail of carrion crows play out against a CB radio conversation between two truckers, one British and the other Australian.

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This footage was captured on the main Sydney-Perth highway, with a tripod sitting on the white line about two hundred kilometres from the mining town of Broken Hill. My father was terminally ill at the time, and being so far from a large airport, in a vast plain with no mobile phone coverage, caused me great anxiety. Shortly after I returned to Sydney my father died. I reviewed the footage and turned to one of his favourite country music songs in search of a sound track.After editing out the lead singer only the standard ‘50s backing harmonies remained. These were subsequently slowed and looped until they somehow matched the speed of the moving image. I asked a resident to make some recordings of intercepted random radio chatter from airwaves around Broken Hill; he posted them to me in Sydney, and they were added to the final mix. The image comes in waves of absence and presence, as does the sound.The air is thick and hot, too hot to take wing. Allan Giddy, 2008 The extremes of heat and the sinister travail of crows devouring road kill on a highway somewhere in New South Wales play out against a CB radio conversation between two truckers, one British and the other Austra¬lian. Accompanied by a distorted song from the 1950s, their discussion centres on women and how best to approach the problems of dating.The temporary and precarious natures of human relationships together with anxieties about an unknown future are en-capsulated in the simple exchange between the two men.Nick Vickers has detected deeper meanings and ‘a delicate, mesmer¬izing sensibility where the crows seem to take the roles of bleak angels that link this corporeal earth to a place beyond that may only be reached by the invisible threads of radio waves’. Meanwhile the horizon line and the vanishing point of the endless road leap and shimmer in the heat haze, refusing to settle into a stable topographical representation. Catherine Elwes


Thumbnail for Allan Giddy. You (excerpt from 30'.mov)