Performing The River is a sculptural artwork integrated on the walls of the Belmont City College Performing Arts Building. Conceptually, the sculpture is grounded by bringing together two key elements – the act of performance embodied in the Performing Arts building and the Derbarl Yerrigan (Swan River) that contours, outlining and rendering across the Belmont landscape.
In this artwork we interpret performance as an organizing concept for examining phenomena that may or may not be a performance in the conventional sense of the word but to include the aesthetics of everyday life. As such performance becomes an act of storytelling that may locate its roots in history. In this way, Performing the River explores art making tools to privilege the act of performance of historical textual narratives, going beyond the didactic forms of ‘writing’ history to ‘seeing’ histories that overlap, transform and elicit audience response in the process of making meaning
Tracing Time – djinanginy koora koora Flowing slowly – dabarkarn koorliny River - bilya Tracing the land – koorliny nidja boodja Not the soil the earth – yoowart boodja In quietness – dima dima But the mud, the debris – nidja kep bilya boodja, wer boorn and stones – wer boya Tracing Time djinanginy koora koora... (Translation by Nyoongar Elder Deborah Moody)
Performing The River Arif Satar & Audrey Fernandes-Satar, 2021 Eucalyptus pilularis, LED 8000 L x 232300 H x 50 D Photography by Christophe Canato