Kate Mitchell

Guirguis New Art Prize 2015

Kate Mitchell's video titled Future Fallout is a single channel video commissioned by Campbelltown Arts Centre and forms part of the Temporary Democracies initiative curated by Paul Gazzola.  This program continues the tradition established by the LiveArt projects Site Lab and Minto:Live which installed contemporary art events and performances in South West Sydney and enters into direct dialogue with the public about urban reality.

Mitchell is interested in how we place great value in the future and social roles and institutions and how they aim to predict and 'control' future events that may impinge upon individuals and society. Techniques of individuals looking into the future have ranged from clairvoyants of the shaman, the medium, the fortuneteller and the larger social pillar of the priest, king, the prophet, together with political leaders and more explicit professionals of today's planners, including insurance companies and long-range strategists.  

In her latest work, Future Fallout, the viewer is presented with a shopfront in s paddock with the business advertised as 'Psychic'  The video involves a classic comic gag in which a woman walks into the frame, attempts to open the shop door and in doing so, forces the building to fall over, revealing that there is nothing behind the door - the shop was just a fa├žade - an empty promise.  

Future Fallout serves as a reminder that the future remains unknowable regardless of your post in society or the means by which you wish to obtain these hidden insights. It also speaks directly to the changing circumstances of the township of Airds, and the shifting circumstances of people's lives in the broader community, and ultimately, to us all.

However, humour in the work provides a sense that not all is lost. By assuming a future, we make the present endurable and the past meaningful. Pasts, presents, and their alternative futures interweave in the anticipation and prediction of our future actions. The future is what we determine it to be, both individually and collectively. It is directly related to how we conceive of its possibility, potentials and implications. Our mental blueprints are its basic action programs and, to a certain degree, power over the future by our state of awareness in the present.

Image: single channel high definition digital video colour, sound, 16:9 47 second loop Courtesy the artist and Chalk Horse Gallery, Sydney