Pictures & Ghosts
Pictures & Ghosts gathers the recollections and traces of a dance. From stark photographic memory to a distant sense of nostalgia, performer Arabella Frahn-Starkie draws upon the relationship between dance, and the means of documenting and archiving performance through video, photography, and notation.
The documentation floods across multiple screens creating silhouettes and visual obstructions, layering the use of analog and digital technology. Arabella’s marking, blurring and overwriting of the documentation, works to undercut the accuracy and solidity of the documentation, giving her tactile control of images of herself as she reasserts authorship over her visual reproduction.
In Pictures & Ghosts, Arabella invites audiences into her process of retracing a dance that may otherwise have sunk into her bodily memory, never to be seen again. The performance is a contemplation on the possibilities and pitfalls of archiving dance, and for Arabella, it is a reminder that no time spent dancing is inconsequential.
Choreographer Performer: Arabella Frahn-Starkie
Photographer: Trudi Treble
Director: Meg Duncan
Composer: Robert Downie
Pictures & Ghosts is also presented at Platform Arts from 7—8 October 2022.
Arabella Frahn-Starkie is a dance artist and researcher. She is passionate that the skills of dancing and choreographic thinking can be useful in just about any situation. In 2021, she completed her Honours at the Victorian College of the Arts, where she also received a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Contemporary Dance) in 2016. Over the past few years her artistic practice has seen a preoccupation with documenting and thinking about how to archive the ephemera of dance. As a dancer she has worked with and array of incredible choreographers, visual artists, and researchers including Rebecca Jensen, Jo Lloyd, Siobhan McKenna, Sandra Parker, David Rosetzky, Dr Katie Lee, and Dr Petra Gemeinboeck. Arabella is driven to use the body in her work, as she believes that at the junction of the artwork, audience, and artist, is a sentient and volatile body.
Trudi Treble is a photographer based in Naarm. Her interests involve fashion, art, documentary and travel, and she aims to combine the four elements in a unique and innovative way in her work, particularly centring around the human form. Past group exhibitions include Australian Bushfire Appeal Print Sale (Online, 2020), Hypercopy (Albert St Gallery, 2019), Interaction/Intervention (RMIT, 2018) and Ballarat International Foto Biennale (Ballarat Town, 2017). Trudi and Arabella have an ongoing working relationship, having worked together on multiple cross-disciplinary projects over the past four years. Trudi completed her Bachelor of Photography at the University of Westminster in 2020.
Meg Duncan is a filmmaker from Narrm (Melbourne, Australia). Often foregrounding queer stories and feminist issues, Meg establishes rich landscape of desire, sending her characters’ experiences across the skin of the audience. She believes stories have the power to enhance, inspire, connect, and teach. She pours this understanding into every work she creates. Meg has directed short films, music videos and experimental installation works. In 2020, Meg was supported by the Harry Hains Memorial Fund to produce her short film script Haze which was completed in 2021 and debuted at Mardi Gras Film Festival in 2022. Her previous short Lavender (2018) has screen around the world in festivals such as the Berlin Female Filmmakers Festival, where she was awarded the Unique Voice Award, and the Chicago Feminist Film Festival. Meg recently completed a BA of Fine Arts (Film and Television. Hons) at the Victorian College of the Arts.
Robert Downie is a composer, producer, and sound designer seeking to combine the memories of days past with visions of the future. Along with writing scores for contemporary dance works, theatre shows, and short films, he is also an active member in the Melbourne music scene with song-writing, mixing, mastering and production credits on over 50 records.