Tania Ferrier

Talkback (2015) DVD_NTSC, color, 88 / 30 min

Genre: Documentary, Experimental, Installation

Keywords: arts & artists, biography, ethnic & multicultural , found footage, history, political & social activitism

TALKBACK by Tania Ferrier. Les Morgan. Laura Mitchell (15min excerpt from video collage) is a hybrid arts installation that aims to explore the intersections of race and identity. The main exhibit is a video collage titled TALKBACK that features interviews with sixty-six Americans and Australians, who discuss aspects of their histories and aspirations. The project seeks to encourage dialogue about belonging, blackness, whiteness and intergenerational continuity and change

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Tania Ferrier

Angry Underwear (2015) DVD_NTSC, color, 2:19 min

Genre: Documentary

Keywords: arts & artists, biography, found footage, political & social activitism

ANGRY UNDERWEAR (2 min trailer) featuring Tania Ferrier and an archive of her unique hand painted, in your face, underwear from the early nineties in NYC.

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Tania Ferrier

The Last Resort (2011) DVD NTSC, color , 53:53 min

Genre: Documentary

Keywords: arts & artists, ethnic & multicultural , history, architecture, political & social activism

The Last Resort is a diary like edit of video documentation & interviews, by Tania Ferrier & Carmelo Musca (CM Films) during the making of The Quod Project in 2010. It is not a film in a narrative sense but rather a sequence of shots, edited for a gallery context, so that an audience can engage with any part of the video installation.

The first part of The Quod Project required building a set of a bedroom as it looks today at the Rottnest Resort. Based on research, we duplicated the appearance of the current day plastered white washed walls & Mediterranean decor that does its job of hiding history. We used a mirror as a framing device & took photographs of friends dressed as unwitting tourists to interpret the present use of the space. For legal reasons we have not used any actual documentation of the resort.

The bedroom set was then converted to the cell set, located in the artists back garden studio in South Fremantle. The set was based on research of the Rottnest Quod Prison cell spatial dimensions & appearance between 1864 & 1903. There is no existing cell space left at the Rottnest Quod today. The cell became the backdrop for a series of photographs of Cedric Jacobs & Noel Nannup, Aboriginal representatives for Wadjemup/ Rottnest, who acted as prisoners for a series of photographs. The mirror frame was used in reverse, showing the past through a hole in the wall; a hole in the holiday history of The Rottnest Quod.

The Last Resort video installation begins with interviews of the artist, Tania Ferrier, & other participants involved in building the project. Following on, several neighbours are asked to lie down in the set to get a sense for the cramped conditions the Aboriginal men experienced, gaoled seven men per 2m x 3m cell; like sardines.

An interview with eminent Western Australian historian, Dr. Neville Green, provides important information on the history of the Rottnest Quod Prison & the state wide, colonial frontier solution of removing Aboriginal men from their land to Rottnest Island.

The voices of random party guests are heard who unwittingly encounter the cell .They are asked to say what they know, if anything, about the history of the Rottnest Quod. Later Aboriginal Elders are interviewed after the cell set has been aged. Cedric and Noel channel the past and speak from their perspective on the current day use of the Quod as a tourist resort.

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Tania Ferrier

Whitewash (2012) DVD NTSC, color, 6:13 min

Genre: Experimental

Keywords: ethnic & multicultural , history, political & social activism

WHITEWASH is a 6 minute video made by artist, Tania Ferrier as the final piece in a project examining the history of a building on Rottnest Island/ Wadjemup, Western Australia, called The Quod.

Quod means gaol in old English slang, which is what the building functioned as from 1864 to 1903 after which time it was converted to tourist accommodation for ensuing generations of Western Australians.

Its prior history as the notorious Native Prison where over 400 Aboriginal men from died in the cells from inhumane conditions was whitewashed as with the cells which became the bedrooms for tourists. The spelling of Quod was changed to Quad in an attempt to shake off the reference to a gaol. Today it remains accommodation as part of the Rottnest Island Lodge Resort where little information is provided to tourists about the history of the rooms where they sleep.

WHITEWASH is a video that lets us reflect upon the whole of Australian history and how we as a nation have colluded in the collective forgetting of the past and to contemplate what this means to Aboriginal people today.

Aboriginal film maker, Glen Stasiuk and actors, Curtis Taylor and Michael Smith participated in the making of this video along with Antony Webb / DOP, Alan Thompson / additional editing, James Kerr / stills photography and actors Alan Boyd and Monica Maine. Guitar track by Abraham Dunovits, Didj by Steve Richter and additional sound by Alan Thompson. Concept/Direction/Design by Tania Ferrier, C. 2012.

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Tania Ferrier

Wardong Wadjemup (2012) color / b&w, 7:57 min

Genre: Experimental, Installation

Keywords: dance, ethnic & multicultural , history, political & social activism

In Wardong Wadjemup, a young Aboriginal dancer named Michael Smith, used my Rottnest cell set, props, costumes and dressings ( including road kill crows I had collected and frozen over several months as the crow is the local Aboriginal totem for Rottnest / Wadjemup Island ) to create a dance for his final year project at University. My husband filmed it for him on a small video camera and edited it and I directed. This film became part of The Quod Project exhibition .

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