Placing stones as they are found

Placing stones as they are found explores mining and globalism from the contradictory careful singular action of “undoing” the trajectory of a few small decorative Chinese stones. Gary Sangster writes:

“In early 2005, an elegant gesture of product repatriation was conceived and produced by Jenny Brown as a   way of both describing certain elements of a working global economy and tracing the efficiency of a path of distribution. It was a modest act of economic anthropology that engaged research, performance, and documentation, as well as articulating an imagined or real cultural narrative of a concept of homeland and the actual journey of anonymous artifacts to their site of origin. The somewhat poignant, yet deeply ironic, pursuit of a homecoming, for near valueless materials or objects, small stones, garden decor-purchased inexpensively from a down-market, transnational department store in Sydney-heightens the sense of disconnection and inauthenticity produced through a global economic marketplace. The project…suggests a sense of loss, or alienation, as objects of value, objects of use, objects of function, and objects of desire, large or small, voluble or mute, are interminably transferable, anonymously interchangeable, dislocated and redefined throughout the trade routes of mass-market capital. The work is an action of little consequence, a specific kind of elusive gesture of futility towards irreversible systems and processes, which makes sense only as a poetic or aesthetic form of art.”

A short version of the video documentation is shown below that follows the journey of the Chinese stones as well as another trajectory involving people from Uluru to the Australian coastline discussing their connection to stone. Through the connection between stone and bone, and stone and soul the lost, stolen, repressed and disrupted connections with our ancestral tradition through migration, deportation and imperialism are implied as well as Indigenous issues around repatriation.

DSCN0273 DSCN0362 DSCN1148 DSCN0631
This work was made as part of an Australia­‐China Council residency, supported by National Association for the Visual Arts & NSW Ministry for the Arts in 2005.  Documentation works were exhibited at “Views” BAU Gallery, Shanghai and Loose Projects, Sydney as part of a solo show held in 2006.