Matthew Berka

Entry #2

25.02.2016

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As I was walking back to Falls Creek from Wallace's Hut, the pink-blue sky was bleeding out into dark gradients through a slow fade. My work is now forming through a compulsion towards certain qualities (shooting vertically, wind, ghost gum trees, interior spaces, fading light). The vision I had of the hunting rifle figure was merging with the walks I took, echoed through my steps and a sense of following or being followed.

The image-idea links are also forming, as it seems I’m trying to find voice for latent energies hidden in these trees, these paths, these huts. Light is the absolute concealer/revealer in this metaphor. A massacre map (dotting 65 massacre locations of indigenous peoples in north-eastern Victoria between 1836-1850) I saw at visitor's centre in Mount Beauty sparks me to think; how can one find any images in the here and now to touch the scale of such repressed historical traumas? And what would be the purpose of such images? Would they function solely to hold up a mirror? To incorporate the past into our present understanding of where and who we are?

Wallace's hut: the interior windows, the dark interior itself, the slits of lights projected from the outside twilight leaving in quick disappearance. The black void shape that formed inside doorway frame of the hut... These images are forming an inventory of absence, disappearance and removal.

I've been given various archival footage; from handheld documentation of a large storm in 1998 to promo-commercial documentaries from the 50's on the hydro-electric scheme featuring a range of isolated audio-vision fragments of interest: a lone boy, off on adventure in the bush, stumbles across a lizard and momentary glance vertically at a pylon before his dad spots him. Landscape shots of various stocks and a split second fragment of a gum tree being struck down. More and more I have the sense that my own 8mm film experiments are an extension/interruption of this archival footage. The idea would be to embed my own footage within it so that it becomes seamless yet disruptive to the montage.

That sound starts again at 7:33pm… it comes from the spring saddle track where the vestiges of a construction site lay scattered with some piping in process of being sealed in place, next to which sits a large rusted silo-like dome filtering water that emanates the intermittent humming that often extends into a voracious buzzing drone that is sent directly into my brain. It's hard to sleep so I decide to wander up the track to record it, coming closer and closer toward the structure. As I lay in bed a hypnagogic state overcomes me, sending the buzzing sound in overlap with flashes of mental images from Falls Creek, Bogong and beyond. The fluctuating sound of water flowing and the metallic sound has become the soundtrack to these images.


wallace-s-hut