Solo Exhbition at UTS Gallery 17 September—8 November 2019

Through a series of multi-channel videos, the exhibition focuses on two counterpoint histories in Bali that continue to shape and contest its position as an island paradise. Part feminist surf film, part ghost story, Their Sea is Always Hungry combines performative and documentary modes of filmmaking to consider the impact of the silenced history of Indonesia’s 1965-66 anti-communist killings in which a reported 80,000 people died in Bali alone.

The exhibition focuses on the spectral trace of Bali’s history of political violence and how this buried past continues to haunt present topographies. In response to unacknowledged mass graves sites, the artist frames two video performances – a chanted lament and a ritualised wrapping of a burial site. Each performance draws visibility to these points of erasure in the landscape, where histories of violence register as gaps, fragments and present absences. Presented as an immersive multi channel video installation, the exhibition frames alternative forms of remembering and memorialisation.

As a countering narrative the exhibition explores images of an exotic island paradise initiated by Bali’s early surf tourism that occurred in the early 1970s. The exhibition includes a feminist retelling of the cult surf film, Morning of the Earth (1971), which instigated an idyllic vision of Bali particularly within the Australian imagination. The video focuses on two female surfers as they carve out their own trajectories through oceans and coastlines. Evoking the colour saturated imagery of the original film, the video critically reframes the surfing colonialisms that took place not long after the 1965-66 massacres and looks at the ways the Australian surfer romance of Bali wiped the island clean of past atrocities.



Kidung/Lament (2019)
3 Channel video installation, stereo sound, 10:58 minutes.
Performer: Cok Sawitri
Production Assistance: Wayan Martino
Camera Operator: Wayan Martino,
Leyla Stevens
Camera Assistance: Medy Mahasena
Audio Mastering: Tim Bruniges
Editing: Leyla Stevens

rites for the missing (2019)
2 Channel video, 12:20 minutes.
Performers: Ninus &
Kadek Intan Kirana Sari
Production Assistance: Wayan Martino
Camera Operators: Wayan Martino, Leyla Stevens & Prema Ananda
Editing: Leyla Stevens

A Line in the Sea (2019) 3 Channel video, stereo sound, 9:45 minutes.
Performers: Bonne Gea &
Dhea Natasya
Camera Operators: Wayan Martino, Leyla Stevens
Camera Assistance: Medy Mahasena
Water camera operator: Paul Baker
Sound Design: Tim Bruniges
Editing: Leyla Stevens.

Installation documentation by
Zan Wimberley.