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'Kitsch Sites' by Melody Paloma & 'Apparatus for theft' by Lu Forsberg

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Kitsch Sites by Melody Paloma and Apparatus for theft by Lu Forsberg

When: Friday 22nd September 6:30pm

Where: Composite, Collingwood Yards

Join us on Friday 22 September, 6:30-8:00PM for a screening of Kitsch Sites by Melody Paloma and Apparatus for theft by Lu Forsberg!

Kitsch Sites
by Melody Paloma combines archival footage from the National Archives of Australia with new and found footage to consider the The Snowy Mountains Scheme as an aesthetic project with colonial kitsch at its centre.

Built over 25 years between 1949 and 1974, The Snowy Mountains Scheme is the largest engineering project undertaken in Australia. Despite significant environmental and cultural impacts, the myth of the scheme elevates Australia as industrially, environmentally and culturally progressive, while simultaneously fortifying nationalist values.

The mythic quality of The Scheme is one that continues to circulate in the settler-colonial imaginary. This work interrogates colonial kitsch as enacting a particular form of settler nativism, manically reproducing colonial figures such as the battler, the pioneer, the melancholic and the larrikin. In circling around a definition of kitsch, Kitsch Sites considers these modes of mythmaking as violently mobilising nostalgia, sentiments of national belonging, and Indigenous dispossession.

A single channel version of this video work originally commissioned by Stray Voltage for KINGS Artist-Run.

Apparatus for theft
by Lu Forsberg utilises historical images from the Wollongong City Libraries Illawarra Images collection, original hand-held video footage, screen recordings and photographs of tangible infrastructures to interrogate the entanglements of colonialism, capitalism and coal extraction.

Adopting a poetic non-linear approach to filmmaking, Apparatus for theft reveals a system used for the colonial theft of coal, comprising three mines, a power station, a shipping port and connecting rail lines. The three underground longwall coal mines - Airly, Clarence and Springvale - are all owned by Centennial Coal and are located on Wiradjuri Country near the settlement of Lithgow.

Coal extracted from Airly and Springvale mines is delivered to Mount Piper Power Station (Wiradjuri Country), where it is burned as a fossil fuel to generate electricity for the colony of New South Wales. The coal from Clarence is taken to the Port Kembla Coal Terminal on Dharawal Country, and exported to propel colonial economic growth.


Melody Paloma is a writer and MFA candidate at UNSW. Her work is concerned with colonial aesthetics, infrastructure, and the politics of work. Her poetry and criticism have been published by Meanjin, un Magazine, Overland, Rabbit, Australian Poetry Journal, SOd Press, Cordite Poetry Review, and others. 

Her first poetry collection, In Some Ways Dingo, was published with Rabbit in 2017. Over the course of 2018 she produced Some Days, a durational chapbook-length work published by Stale Objects dePress and performed in 2019 with Liquid Architecture. Her latest work, a book of poems titled I Love It Here, is forthcoming with Sick Leave. 

Lu Forsberg is an artist-researcher living and working on unceded Dharug and Gundungurra Country. Their art practice utilises video, photography, computer imagery and audio production to examine the mechanisms and infrastructures that underpin colonial extractive capitalism. Lu has exhibited their work in solo and group exhibitions at spaces including the Institute of Modern Art, UNSW Galleries and the QUT Art Museum. Lu holds a BFA(Honours) from the Queensland University of Technology and an MFA from The University of New South Wales.

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