Extract of ‘chimera’ video

Running time: 5 minutes of 10:05:00 (full running time)

chimera. Video work shown at Gallery25, Edith Cowan University, Perth, Western Australia, as part of the ghosted matter/phantom hurt (and other chimera) installation, 2-22 July, and as part of the disquieting domesticities/vestiges of violence (regenerations) installation. Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town, 30 September-10 December 2021.

The term ‘chimera’ has a variety of meanings. In Greek Mythology, it refers to a fire-breathing monster with the head of a lion, the body of a goat and the tail of a serpent. It could also be used to describe a fantastical beast made up of parts of different animals. Related to this is the biological definition, in which a chimera is an organism, such as a cultivated plant consisting of at least two genetically different kinds of tissue because of mutation or grafting. While all these definitions are, in some ways related to the imagery featured in this video, perhaps the most applicable is that of a

an illusion or fabrication of the mind; a figment of the imagination; that which is intangible, transient, fantastical, and unreal. Like revenants, the impressions referring to the return or persistence of elements from the social or cultural past, being both present and absent at the same time. Verne Harris’s words, written in relation to the archive resonate here: “What is present speaks loudly of absences, and what is absent presents itself insistently. Presence and absence unfolding out of one another. The experience of being haunted”.

Harris, V. 2015. Hauntology, archivy and banditry: an engagement with Derrida and Zapiro. Critical Arts 29(1):13-27.