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.

Rental: $20

DVD NTSC Sale: $50

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