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Drawing and the subjectivity of the 'other'
conference contributionposted on 2005-01-01, 00:00 authored by Mirjana LozanovskaMirjana Lozanovska
Scenes of the Aboriginal family sitting around a table in the film The Fringe Dwellers present the boy quietly drawing, while other members of the family are engaged in discussion. The boy is less visible, more passive and contemplative, and his subjectivity is suggested rather than explored in the film. He repeats the same activity and the same inward concentration. My hypothesis is that the boy's subjectivity and agency are projected elsewhere, towards an imaginary field beyond the film's structure and beyond the social reality of the film's outside. What is the aboriginal boy drawing? In one scene, is a glimpse of his 'projection', he draws a house. The boy is mesmerised and pre-occupied by his drawing. We have seen the mystery of this preoccupation in images of heroic modernist architects (Le Corbusier, Frank Lloyd Wright, Oscar Niemeyer come to mind) presenting a connection between the hand of the architect and his sketch as an essential gift in the making of a 'master architect'. Through this visual association, the 'Aboriginal boy drawing' is associated with the field of 'a universal human subject' and the essay investigates how his practice might participate in new subjective positions across disciplines. Through his inscriptions, the Aboriginal boy expresses more than a wish: he articulates and inhabits another dwelling, an imaginary dwelling of a subjectivity and 'identity' beyond the black and white divide. The boy, however, is not a 'master', making his drawing a subversive and risky practice.