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Metabolism (Film - A Treatment Commission)

Version 2 2024-06-02, 23:40
Version 1 2023-08-24, 05:06
posted on 2024-06-02, 23:40 authored by Eugenia Lim, Cameron BishopCameron Bishop, David CrossDavid Cross
Metabolism (Film - A Treatment Commission)


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21-22 APRIL : EUGENIA LIM METABOLISM A portrait of a living, working ecology and the multi-species it sustains, Metabolism is an eco-feminist film-essay concerned with inner and outer circular economy of the body and its environment. LOCATION Western Treatment Plant, Werribee NIGHT + DAY EVENT 21-22 April, 2023 Times TBC REGISTER Single-channel artist film, 2K video, colour, sound, looped. Curators: Cameron Bishop and David Cross Note: For Treatment III, a preview of ‘Metabolism’ will screen during the Night + Day event before its longer-form presentation in late 2023. A portrait of a living, working ecology and the multi-species it sustains, Metabolism is a film-essay that considers the body-as-land and land-as-body. Filmed around the site of the Western Treatment Plant (WTP), Metabolism is an artist-film that considers metabolism as an ambivalent process, connecting external and internal forces: from chemical energy-creation within our bodies, to capitalism’s ‘metabolic rift’. For the Wadawurrung people, Wirribi-yaluk (Werribee river) is the backbone and spine of Country, a waterway that has sustained life since time immemorial. Wirribi-yaluk runs along the eastern edge of the WTP, a living and flowing entity connecting old ways with new. Since colonisation, the land, waters and air of this place have been drastically shaped to produce and metabolise food, waste, energy and water. Created in dialogue with the site-as-protagonist through seasonal change and a number of months, Metabolism considers the interconnections and interdependencies between human and more-than-human bodies; interior and exterior ecologies, and the consumption, colonisation and capitalisation of land. “There’s no waste in waste.” – Peter Kissonergis, Melbourne Water METABOLISM TEAM Director, Lead Artist, Editor: Eugenia Lim Cinematographer: Tim Hillier Original Composition and Sound Design: Fia Fiell (Carolyn Schofield) Drone Operators: Trent Perrett and Glenn Hester Production Coordinator: Bianca Chang Wadawurrung Cultural Advisors: Stephanie Skinner and Corinna Eccles Performer: Lee Wan Performer: Harshanie Habarakadage Western Treatment Plant Operations: Peter Kissonergis Melbourne Water Heritage Advisor: Paul Balassone Metabolism was filmed on and in the lands, waters and skies of the Wadawurrung. We pay our deep respect to the sovereign traditional custodians of this place for their deep, ongoing practice of care for country, kin and culture.

Research statement

Background A unique curatorial approach to site framed this $20,000 commission for Wyndham City and the Treatment Public Art project with partners Melbourne Water and Wyndham City. For over a year Eugenia Lim worked closely with Melbourne Water and curators, Bishop and Cross, to research and make an experimental film documenting a day in the life of the Western Treatment Plant. Fundamentally the curatorial conceit challenges the idea of site as static and/or neutral, suggesting it is one of 'becoming' (Nato Thomson, 2015), encouraging diverse audiences to share a dialogue about the elision of our waste, the built environment and nature, and public health. Contribution The curators took a 'transversal approach' to site (Nato thomson, 2015), where they broached conversations about place across multiple stakeholder groups including the artist, engineers and biologists, historians and bureaucrats to allow the production access to micro and macro aspects of the plant. Questions around the 24 hour life cycle of the plant, and its critical function in the life of Melbourne City, framed the production bringing novel perspectives to public infrastructure and our relationship to it. The film was first shown at T Night and Day on a 5 x 3m outdoor screen, alongside an improvised sound work by Fia Fiell, in the ponds precinct at WTP. Significance Eugenia Lim is an award winning artist with an international reputation. In 2022 Lim won a prestigious Sidney Myer Creative Fellowship, some of which contributed to the making of this work. Careful curatorial selection of the artist for this major Treatment commission aligned with the themes for Treatment, where Lim's interest in the body, performance, film, social and spatial practices became the anchorpoint for the Treatment Night and Day project. Outside of the T Night & Day event its legacy will build with the high profile of the artist and entry into numerous festivals around the world.


One Mp4 Preview of Metabolism

Recognition, awards & prizes

$20,000 funding from Wyndham City Sydney Myer Creative Fellowship


Treatment Night and Day - Outdoors, Ponds Precinct at Western Treatment Plant


Wyndham City ; Melbourne Water

Place of publication

Melbourne, Vic.

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