Australian-British multimedia artist Kate McMillan was born in 1974 in Hampshire, England, and spent part of her formative years in Australia; today she lives and works in London.
Shot at Lieberose Castle, McMillan’s short film “Instructions for Another Future” is a reflection on time, memory, and lost knowledge. …
In the film, the artist treats the rural castle in the district of Dahme-Spreewald to symbolize Europe in the present, where the old splendour is still visible, but the beams are rotten, and the walls cracked. In Instructions for Another Future two protagonists, a black woman and a white woman, scurry like ghosts through the halls of the former country residence and park of the Graf family. The two women perform strange rituals with so-called “hag-stones”, which play a role in black magic cult rituals in different parts of the world.
A possible key to the work lies in McMillan’s Australian background and the prevailing understanding of time. “After European perception, there is a movement from the past into the future. In Australia, on the other hand, there is the idea that you carry the past into the future”, says the artist. This opens up the possibility of actively deciding what is worth taking with you — symbolized in the film by the hag-stones the protagonists carry with them — and what you can confidently bury in the past.
Nostalgic images of a supposedly simpler life is an idea the artist counteracts with a complex, but selectively remembered past, a narrative she animates to recover old knowledge. “There is always lost history. Maybe there is hope for the future.”
Solo Exhibitions (a selection)
2016 Songs for Dancing, Songs for Dying, Castor Projects, London, UK
2014 The Moment of Disappearance, Performance Space, Sydney, Australia
2008 Lost, John Curtin Gallery, Bentley, Australia
2006 Broken Ground, Margaret Moore Contemporary Art and 'Disaster Narratives' at the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, Perth, Australia
Group Exhibitions (a selection)
2017 Palinopsia/Afterimage, Tieranatomisches Theater Berlin, Germany
2015 Somewhere In-Between, Karavil Contemporary, London, UK
2013 A heap of broken images (Arts Proper), Assemblage, Sydney, Australia
2010 The Beauty of Distance: Songs of Survival in a Precarious Age. Curated by David Elliott. Biennale of Sydney, Austalia