LECTURE SERIES Special Screening MERILYN FAIRSKYE – Stati d’Animo

Dates & times

Sun 8 April 2018, 3pm–4pm


ANU China in the World Theatre

Image: Merilyn Fairskye (still) Stati d’Animo/60 Seconds/07 , Single-channel video installation



TICKETS $10 / $5 student (available at the door)  Friends of the Drill Hall Gallery FREE


Merilyn Fairskye’s Stati d’Animo is a sure-fire masterpiece of experimental video. A feast for the eye and a powerful incentive to associative thinking, it fearlessly confronts topical issues which most contemporary artists would never dream of approaching head-on, and most would prefer not to deal with at all.


Stati d’Animo is having a once-only screening at the ANU, at 3pm on Sunday 8 April 2018, in the auditorium of the China and the World Centre on the ANU Campus. The artist will be present for the screening at the China and the World auditorium.


Merilyn Fairskye is one of the participating artists in the group exhibition, INCOMMENSURABLE – photo-media in the era of globalisation, currently on show at the ANU Drill Hall Gallery. (The exhibition closes on the same day: April 8). 


Evidently non-narrative, evidently anti-discursive, we begin to realise as Stati dAnimo unfolds that it is a meditation on globalisation, on the trauma of 9/11, on public surveillance and control in the post-9/11 world, and on the incredible hall-of-mirrors effects which have become commonplace in contemporary life – effects which are due to the simultaneous impact of massive wealth-creation, global population explosion, intensified mass consumption and the innovations of digital technology.


Stati d’Animo was shot in eighteen international airport terminals over a period of several years, but the locations merge together into a “limbo” where the passengers in transit are altered (via digital manipulation) into billowing traces in space and time. “These are bodies in transition,” Tanya Peterson has remarked, “but no one ends up going anywhere. They are stalled and jerked through endless cycles of anticipation and resignation. They appear to walk in the debris of time, stretched to the point of transparency, haunted by a resonance of duration which builds their corporeal frame through an uninterrupted stutter of transitional movements.”


The film’s title, Stati di Animo (“States of Mind”), alludes to Futurist painting and refers directly to a famous trio of paintings which Umberto Boccioni painted in 1911. In his conception of the three paintings, Boccioni gave expression to the ultra-modern attributes of speed, relativity and simultaneity, and wanted to convey the contemporary philosopher Henri Bergson’s notion of duration (“la durée”). He developed his theme in the context of a railway station. The paintings were titled The Farewells, Those who leave, and Those who stay.  Fairskye adopted the same titles for the three episodes of her video.


If you listen attentively to the interweaving sounds of the flight announcements, the instructions from air-traffic controllers, the messages coming from within planes that are actually in flight, catching the reference to “American Airways flight 11 leaving from Boston” and to the air-hostess “Betty Ong”, the certainty builds that something terrible, something momentous is going to overturn this state of limbo.



Updated:  3 April 2018/ Responsible Officer:  DHG Director/ Page Contact:  Drill Hall Gallery