Elise Bonato
Entry #2


Whether a Fury or a Grace, we are all born of something Other.

Material/immaterial. Corporeal/ethereal. Pleasure/horror. Romantic/gothic. Earthly/otherworldly.

Where do these polarities find union? How do the confluence of elements render together? Is there a means to synthesise them? What form(s) do they take? What face would it have, if it possessed one? A body—an essence? Does it harbour a mythology?

Would it be the landscape itself or would the land be the source?

As the weather turned, dousing the landscape with an impressive rainfall that lasted from one nightfall to the next, a fortune of beauty unfurled over the alpine horizon. Fog and mist of varying densities, making its bed comfortably on the skyline.

Despite the blistering cold, I set out with what equipment I had with me that could bear the wet and trekked down to Lake Guy at the heart of Bogong. The wind was furious, rightfully magnificent in its relentlessness, however not stern enough to carve into the mist that held its own over every mountain crest.

For a small part, I mourned being in a position unable to take up my filming attire and commit myself within the frame. As mesmerising as the mist was, these were not ideal conditions.

My filming process has evolved to generally reflect the following. Determine a location, set out a perimeter within that location and venture out ideally during morning or afternoon depending on the light. I will walk and walk further still until the landscape (etc.) compels me to stop. Before I set my camera down and prepare the shot, I ask for the land (etc.) for permission to film in that place. I dress according to the project intention, typically swathed in black. The only exposed parts of my body are my hair and hands. I never reveal my face.

It is not me. I do not perform.

Once I press record and step into the frame, time and other third-dimensional constructs become void. There is an altering.

It is not an idle act and neither do I find myself thinking of the last meal or the next deadline.

For lack of a sufficient description, I can only compare it to a deep meditation or possession of the highest order. A confluence of antagonisms, where the polarities that dictate my conceptual interest sunder within and move me without.

Every gesture coalesces like a question that I concede only the landscape can answer.

The fierce rain having dissipated, I have returned to capturing footage and performing, experimenting within the environment. Some frames highlight the roiling horizon of Bogong from the view of the village and others are more nondescript. In particular, I have enjoyed exploring the numerous garden alcoves and lush paths nearest to the lake. The sun dapples through the piercing green enough that the black shrouding my figure becomes sable and feathered.

The rain, now fuel to the creek rushing two steps behind me as I rest my head on a branch swaddled in moss, sings a chant I feel I am due to repeat in the days to come.

In whatever way that forms and by the permission of whoever bequeaths it done.

The ghosts, the wanderers, the ancestral spirits. Others... etc.