Retelling, untelling, Two Rivers
Sarah Scout Presents, Melbourne
20 Sept – 23 Oct 2012
Part of 'I would breathe water', curated by Kit Wise
"On a calm August morning in 1605 Pedro Fernandez de Quirós sailed the galleon Capitana into the mouth of a river surrounded by blue mountain ranges. De Quirós commanded his crew to drop anchor in the deep harbour proclaiming, 'This great west land is no myth. This is Austrialia del Espiritu Santo, Empire of Spain."
In July 2011, I travelled to Colombia with Michael Taussig. We hoped to collaborate on a book called Two Rivers. While this work did not come to pass as I imagined, in the Medio Magdalena Mick and I shared a Lumix camera; the photographs reproduced in this book were therefore taken by both of us. Likewise, the writing you encounter on these pages remains incomplete.
Entwining autobiography, myth and historical fiction, Two Rivers is a collection of writing, drawings and travel photographs about two colonised rivers. Two women feature in this work, the artist and a young writer. Each travels along a river called Magdalena. Lily describes a recent journey to the heart of Colombia, while her counterpart travels from the source to the mouth of Australia's longest tributary in a continent colonised by the Spanish in 1605. Both women resist colonisation through writing, knowing that they too could be dammed, yet their bodies, desires and political imagination thrive on the river's sovereignty.