Danse Macabre

I once travelled into the future, but not very far. One moment I was having a riot at a party, jostled by euphoric crowds of inebriated, sweaty bodies and deafened by blaring music. The very next, I was standing utterly alone in a silent, empty warehouse. The extreme temporal dislocation was as marked as anaesthetic amnesia, a jump-cut in a movie or skipping chapters on a DVD. A ‘black out’? I lost time. And I had no idea how. Perhaps, I thought, I might be dead. In contrast to the surging party, the empty space,was had the aura of an ancient ruin. I stood in wonder, like the uncertain woman in Caspar David Friedrich’s Woman at Sunset or Sunrise (c. 1818). The pale dawn light illuminated reflective pools of spilt wine, broken glass, overturned furniture and scattered cigarette butts. What would normally constitute a scene of rancid and chaotic debris, a disgusting aftermath, instead had the spatial precision and implication of a mammoth artistic installation, each component detailed, vibrant and poetic.

 

Image: Sue Dodd, The Last Tour I, 2015, ink, graphite, gouache, acrylic, magazine prints 100 x 69.5 cm. Courtesy of the artist and the Anna Pappas Gallery, Melbourne.

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Sue Dodd is an artist and academic based in Melbourne. She works at Victoria University and is represented by Anna Pappas Gallery.