Dingo: A treatment towards a new communionism

André Stitt

Exhibition Dates
9 August - 11 August 2007

André Stitt's performance ‘akshun' 'Dingo: A Treatment towards a new communionism' involved the artist being locked in a cage with a dingo at certain times over a three-day period referencing Joseph Beuys' performance 'I Like America and America Likes Me' (also commonly referred to as ‘Coyote') created in New York in 1974.

Overview

André Stitt's performance ‘akshun' Dingo: A Treatment towards a new communionism involved the artist being locked in a cage with a dingo at certain times over a three-day period referencing Joseph Beuys' performance I Like America and America Likes Me (also commonly referred to as Coyote) created in New York in 1974.

 

Within indigenous cultures the coyote was deified and attributed the archetype of ‘trickster' — a subversive and symbolic character capable of transformative power and healing. The ‘dingo' like the ‘Coyote' has also become synonymous with fear; represented in dominant cultural iconography as an antisocial menace. And, like the coyote, the dingo has also become the victim of legalised revenge and persecution.

 

To para-quote Beuys: "you could say that a reckoning has to be made with the dingo, and only then can this trauma be resolved."

 

The work brought together elements of Stitt's practice: artistic activism and direct engagement in socio-cultural and politically contentious issues. These general concerns are linked to the wider implications of post-colonial trauma, cultural imperialism, psychological and real genocide.

 

The name ‘dingo' comes from the Eora language. André Stitt's performance was supported by Wales Arts International.

 

Aftermath provided a critical and public focus to the complex relationship of performance and installation art, sharing a genealogy, as they do, in early conceptual and post-object art. Aftermath centred on the ‘aftermath' of performance, or conversely, performance as a strategy for creation of material environments - the bleeding back and forth of active models of performance and its post-life.

 

Over six weeks one of six artists participating from Australia and abroad undertook a performance work in one of the Artspace galleries resulting in the installation Aftermath and collectively creating a dynamic, rolling set of relationships between changing spaces. This program was completed by two discrete performance works by local artists. The project was also accompanied by a set of screenings of international performance documentation in the Artspace Reading Room and a Symposium held at CarriageWorks on Saturday 18 August, 2007.

André Stitt, 'Dingo: A treatment towards a new communionism', performance documentation, Artspace, Sydney, 2007