INTERVIEW: ALICE DUNCAN | ITSLIQUID

INTERVIEW: ALICE DUNCAN

Interviews | July 3, 2021 |

aliceduncan
Image courtesy of Alice Duncan

Interview: Alice Duncan
Luca Curci talks with Alice Duncan, one of the Honorable Mention winners during the ITSLIQUID International Contest – 9th edition.

Alice Duncan is an Australian artist and research currently residing in Naarm/Birraranga (Melbourne). Alice’s practice exposes the multifaceted, ever-changing and (most importantly) constructed nature of our personal and cultural identities. Utilising photography, ready-made materials and site-specific installation, Alice visualises the complexities involved in collectively living on colonised land. She creates images that layer both past and present Australian histories, using a combination of past (analogue) and present (digital) photographic techniques. Alice completed a Bachelor of Fine Art at the Victorian College of the Arts in 2014. She was the winner of the acquisitive Terry Cutler Award and finalist in the Majilis Travelling Scholarship for graduate students. In 2019, Alice completed an MA in Photography at RMIT in Melbourne. She is currently undertaking a practice-led research PhD at RMIT. In 2020, Alice has been chosen as a finalist for the Aesthetica Art Prize (UK), 66th Blake Prize (Sydney), Sunshine Coast Art Prize and CLIP Photography Awards (Perth). Alice’s work has been exhibited across Australia and internationally including solo exhibitions at Bus Projects (Melbourne), Cut Thumb Gallery (Brisbane), Seventh Gallery (Melbourne) and group exhibitions at Pingyao Photography Festival (China), Perth Centre for Photography and Queensland Centre for Photography. Alice has been an artist-in-residence at AARK in Korpo, Finland and the IAM in Berlin, Germany.

aliceduncan
Image courtesy of Alice Duncan

Luca Curci – What is art for you?
Alice Duncan – This is a great question, and so complex! For me, the best way to answer this is simply: art is a form of communication. Perhaps more personally than that, art is the way in which I understand, and articulate, the world around me.

LC – What are you currently working on?
AD – I am currently creating a body of work at Lake Mungo, an ancient landscape in rural New South Wales. It sits on the traditional lands of the Barkantjii, Mutthi Mutthi and Ngyiampaa people. This site represents an important, yet often overlooked, natural landmark within Australia. Since the discoveries of ancient human remains in the 1960s, Lake Mungo has been the location of an ongoing and often tense dialogue between Aboriginal people and settlers. It is a conversation connects Australia’s more recent past with a much deeper history. I am interested in landscapes that are also sites of tension and difference. For this body of work, I am creating physical intrusions into the photograph that challenge the perceived construction of the image. Through this process, I hope to expand and challenge the role of photography as a tool for documenting landscapes.

aliceduncan
Image courtesy of Alice Duncan

LC – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
AD – My practice is strongly influenced by my surrounds. I was born in New Zealand but moved to Australia with my family when I was young. I spent most of my childhood living and travelling between these two diverse countries. From an early age, I have been interested in understanding people’s relationship to land and the environment. Geographically, New Zealand is a much smaller country and one in which people coexist within the terrain around them. In Australia, it is much easier to feel separated from the landscape – main cities are dotted on the coastal fringes and are far more removed from rural areas of the country. I think this distance has played such a strong role in the creation of myths and misunderstandings of the Australian landscape and its history. In turn, these misunderstandings have led to damaging land practices that are often at odds to Indigenous Australian land management practices. Unfortunately, these issues are common within countries that have a history of, and continue to grapple with, ongoing colonialism. When I finished school, I studied fine art at university and focused particularly on photography. It was during this time that I became interested in the ethical considerations around and began to explore the role of photography in enacting or destabilising the ongoing effects of colonialism. I realised that the ways in which we photograph landscape of reflects and reinforces current social and political issues. These explorations have really led me to where I am today and influenced my practice.

aliceduncan
Image courtesy of Alice Duncan

LC – Which is the role the artist plays in society? And contemporary art?
AD – There are often challenging conversations around the ‘role’ of art in society. Some people believe that there is such thing as good art and bad art. Perhaps people believe that good art is work that changes and challenges people’s beliefs, or somehow creates peace and answers difficult questions. Some of the most memorable work I’ve come across has been the simplest. We live in such a challenging world, especially today and it can be hard to create work with such a lack of resources, money and audiences. For this reason, I think I the role for an artist in today’s society is to just keep making art, don’t stop!

aliceduncan
Image courtesy of Alice Duncan

LC – Did your style change over the years? In which way?
AD – While I’m not too sure about my ‘style’, I think my work has certainly changed over the years as I’ve travelled, met new people and come to understand the environment from new perspectives. I am certainly more interested in the ways in which I can use photography to collaborate with people, sometimes directly and sometimes less obviously. A part of my practice that has remained the same over the years in my interest in the materiality of photography. I always understood photographs as being constructions, rather than representations, of the world around us and am interested in the blurry line between imaging our world and viewing it. Just as our conceptions of the world around us are subjective and incomplete, images also mislead and pose more questions than answers.

aliceduncan
Image courtesy of Alice Duncan

Are you an artist, architect, designer? Would you like to be featured on ITSLIQUID platform? Send an e-mail to info@itsliquid.com or fill the form below






    RELATED POSTS


    THE NEW BLACK VANGUARD

    Art | November 27, 2022

    This October, Saatchi Gallery will present The New Black Vanguard: Photography between Art and Fashion, a ground breaking exhibition featuring 15 international Black photographers. Read more


    INTERVIEW: FRÉDÉRIC DEMEUSE

    Interviews | October 19, 2022

    Born in Belgium in 1978, Frédéric Demeuse is a naturalist and ornithologist by training. He lives and works in Brussels. As naturalist and visual storyteller, he is both witness and interpreter of all the diversity of this so precious and unique planet we all share. Read more


    Interview Constance Jeaggi

    Interviews | October 16, 2022

    Swiss Photographic Artist based between London, UK and Fort Worth, TX. I have always had a fascination with horses which in part stems from my interest in the essential role they played in the development of modern civilizations. Read more


    INTERVIEW: LIDIA ARRIAGADA-GARCIA

    Interviews | October 13, 2022

    Lidia Arriagada-Garcia is a Mapuche-Chilean photographer and artist who began her training in Chile, and moved to Lenapehoking (New York City) after she obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography and Painting & Drawing at San Francisco State University. In 2017 she became a United States citizen. Read more


    Sign up for our Newsletter.

    Enter your email to receive our latest updates!