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Topography of the Unseen

Experimental Short, 5:42. 2017.

Music: Karlheinz Essl, 7×7

Topography of the Unseen is an experimental visualisation created from a high fidelity Point-Cloud model of the historical significant convict-era Parramatta Female Factory Precinct in Western Sydney. This former child welfare institution and its unsettling myth and memories are depicted as a series of deconstructed scenes, unique in their representational aesthetic that supports the intangible and mutable nature of memory.

Topography of the Unseen offers a unique perspective on the Parramatta Girls Home, a former state-controlled child welfare institution situated adjacent to the convict-era Parramatta Female Factory in Sydney, Australia. Up until the early 1980s, ‘children at risk’ were held and subjected to unwarranted punishment and abuse. The film offers a reconstructed reality in its unique representational format. Photographic veracity is partly suspended in an uncertain and dissolute world of recollections. With one trend in CGI to generate ever more realistic depictions, this project takes a deliberate step back and makes use of a primitive reconstructed reality, the point cloud representation. It is to achieve a unique look, which in my view, is compatible with how human memory operates. It is mutable, reconstructed and fragmented.

Parramatta Girls Home is a former state-controlled child welfare institution situated adjacent to the convict-era Parramatta Female Factory in Western Sydney. This significant site is the birthplace of Australian child welfare, operating as multiple institutions from 1887 until 1983. Hay Institution for Girls, a maximum security institution located at the old Hay Gaol, was an annexe of Parramatta Girls Training School. Up until the early 1980s, ‘children at risk’ were held at Parramatta Girls Home and subjected to unwarranted punishment and abuse, as has emerged in the current Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Related Project:

Parragirls Past, Present

Previous screenings:
  • Official Selection Concrete Dream Festival, Los Angeles, June 2018.
  • The Big Anxiety Festival, September – November 2017. Sydney.
  • In the collection of Parramatta Female Factory Precinct Memory Project, Parramatta.

 

Topography of the Unseen, 05:42