A durational social media project
Totem and Taboo
5th – 21st September 2019
Totem #1, 2019. Digital photograph on tyvek, 42x60cm
Totem & Taboo makes connections between thought, feeling and the material. Freud’s iconic text of the same name, written in 1918, explores the primacy of instinct, sexuality and spirituality to the organization of society, through an anthropological study of the rituals and beliefs of certain Indigenous groups, including Indigenous Australians. It links social and political organizational paradigms to innate psychological structures of his formation of the Oedipal complex, and aligns the ‘dark continent’ of the category woman, to ‘the primitive’. Whilst Freud’s ideas construct a racialized and hierarchical view that has been widely discredited, evidence of the dominance of such a patriarchal world view remains, over 100 years later.
What would it look like if the world rejected a masculinized power structure as a useful framework? How would we do that? What other forces would, then, be uncovered? Drawing on the artist’s continuing explorations of the object as a feminist strategy, Totem & Taboo explores an imaginary world of people and things, conjoined in a sense of community, strength and agency. Images and objects of encounter provide moments of ritual, protection, kinship, balance and transformation.