28 February 2012
I have an essay in the zine-style catalogue for a show by Nat Thomas at Melbourne’s CCP. The show is called ‘Yesterday’s News’ and it is about the media.
Nat made a 36 minute video of the microfilm of the defunct newspaper, The Truth, which was Australia’s most notorious tabloid from the 1960s-1980s. The exhibition consists of this film, plus a shredder (and some shredded newspapers) and a wall of Nat’s clippings from papers and magazines.
Nat has a particular focus on Rupert Murdoch.
My essay is called ‘Calamity Nat’, because I decided that Nat reminds me of Calamity Jane, that great ‘fool’ of the American frontier. Nat is a vocal and absurdist critic of society. Like the cartoonists in our newspapers, she uses comedy to speak the truths which are too disconcerting or controversial for the journalists and editorial writers.
In my essay I compare cartoonists and Nat to the role played by Shakespeare’s fools. I also weave in some notions about renewable energy and the American West, through the ‘Frontier Thesis’.
Have a read and let me know what you think.
The exhibition is on until April Fool’s Day.