the next village

International Art Space Kellerberrin (IASKA). Kellerberrin, Australia. 2008

The Next Village was an exhibition component of a 7 week residency conducted at the IASKA residency in Kellerberrin, a small farming community in the Wheatbelt area of Western Australia in May 2008. The project took place in a farmer’s field at the western entrance to the community, sandwiched between the highway and rail line. A hole resembling a crater or a dam for collecting water was constructed in a corner of the field, measuring roughly 7 metres in diameter. On the edge of the dam a shed was constructed from salvaged materials-mostly consisting of material from an old work shed demolished as part of the project. This shed was in turn toppled into the hole, coming to rest on an angle in the excavation. In addition to the shed, a small bunker resembling a shipping crate was dug into one wall of the dam, this structure was constructed of old Jarrah wood, rough on the outside, but finished and polished on the inside. In the external wall of the structure a window was cut, offering the viewer a framed view of the landscape from ground level.

The title of the show is taken from a story of the same name by Franz Kafka, in which the narrator describes the possibility that even a full life may not be long enough to make the journey to the next village.

The project was constructed as a rumination on the impossibility of ever being secure, the desire to find shelter and carve out a place of one’s own in such a harsh environment. The location of the installation, sandwiched between the lifelines of the highway, the train lines and the water pipeline that make survival possible in this area increased the vulnerability of the situation.

The Next Village - Franz Kafka