The truth is out there

“The truth is out there.”

Sydney April 2016 (6 photos)

Scully: The truth is out there, Mulder. But so are lies.

deny everything

“Deny everything.”

Mulder: I would never lie. I willfully participated in a campaign of misinformation.

These photos were taken on Cockatoo Island, a UNESCO world-heritage-listed island in the middle of Sydney Harbour. Between 1839 and 1869, Cockatoo Island operated as a convict penal establishment and it was also the site of one of Australia’s biggest shipyards, operating between 1857 and 1991. The first of its two dry docks were built by convicts. Parts of the movie Wolverine were filmed here. Accessible to the public by a short ferry ride, it is free to visit.

apology is policy

“Apology is policy.”

Mulder: You can’t protect the public by lying to them.
The Cigarette-Smoking Man: It’s done every day.

More recently, Cockatoo Island is the location for the Embassy of the Real, one of the 6 themed venues for the 20th Biennale of Sydney, currently on until June 5, 2016. This is Australia’s largest contemporary visual arts event, showcasing innovative and thought-provoking works from around the world.

This particular artwork entitled, “Conscious Sleep”, is a site specific installation in a former prisoner’s barracks that invites the viewer to step into another world; a surreal, dreamlike place not unlike the states of hypnogogia or hypnopomia that exist between wakefulness and sleep. The artist Chiharu Shiota has woven a web of black wool with no discernible beginning or end. The knotted threads can be read as a bundle of fibres creating links between thought and memory; as nerves and synapses within the brain connecting the conscious mind to the world of dreams.

trust no-one

“Trust no-one.”

Scully: You said it yourself, once – “a dream is an answer to a question we haven’t learned how to ask.”

My immediate reaction upon entering this art installation was that I was on the set of an X files episode, a show I was a huge fan of. I knew the shot I wanted to get and waited for it. The attendant looked at me strangely as I just stood there waiting for a single person to come in. Then a man walked in and walked through the exhibit to the door into the light. I got my shot (first photo of this post). I try to never let any obstacles – real or perceived – get in the way of me getting my shot.

deceive inveigle obfuscate

“Deceive. Inveigle. Obfuscate.”

The Cigarette-Smoking Man: Life… is like a box of chocolates – A cheap, thoughtless, perfunctory gift that nobody ever asks for. Unreturnable, because all you get back is another box of chocolates. So, you’re stuck with this undefinable whipped-mint crap that you mindlessly wolf down when there’s nothing else left to eat. Sure, once in a while, there’s a.. peanut butter cup, or an English toffee. But they’re gone too fast, and the taste is.. fleeting. So you end up with nothing but broken bits filled with hardened jelly and teeth-shattering nuts – If you’re desperate enough to eat those, all you’ve got left is a… is an empty box… filled with useless, brown paper wrappers.

I want to believe

“I want to believe.”

Leica Etcetera, Photography Etcetera

The truth is out there

Image

93 thoughts on “The truth is out there

  1. Woah. Brilliant use of the X Files connection with the images and your thoughts. I had to giggle when you mentioned how you provoked strange looks from the attendant. 😉

    • Thank you. Perhaps I should have been one of their script writers. 🙂

      I stood there for a long time, pretending to just be absorbing the Art around me. She must have got bored of me standing there. I have a lot of patience. 🙂

  2. Very clever of you to tie The X-Files in with these series of Cockatoo Island shots. Where there are dreams, there are always mysteries. Looks like the wait was worth it and hopefully no one else looked at you strangely (it sounds like it’s a pretty quiet place). Really like the second shot – evokes a sense of fear and wonder at the same time.

    • Thanks, my creative imagination goes into overdrive sometimes. Fortunately I went on a weekday so the crowds were less and there was the chance to photograph without too many people around. Sometimes that’s a good thing.

  3. The stuff of nightmares! Looks to me as if in the middle of a (albeit messy) spider web with no escape…

    I was a fan of the X files but the recent series left me cold. Some things are best left in the past.

  4. My husband and I are at the end of season 8 of 9 of X Files on Netflix. Totally hooked. I realized we were talking last night after we turned it off like these characters were real people and entering into their lives with hopes that everything would end well for them. Sheesh! But it is awfully well written and acted. I was practically climbing over the back of the sofa and shrieking as Scully was fleeing for her life while her baby was coming. Great escape entertainment! “)

  5. Your post left me gasping for air…the bed isn’t always a safe haven. I admire your standing your ground waiting for the perfect shot, it was worth it.
    Have a great week!

  6. It’s haunting. In the first picture, I wasn’t sure whether the figure was part of the exhibition (!) until you said that it was a fellow visitor/passerby. I don’t mind people in my pictures. In fact, I relish it. It gives perspective and context … although, because I work primarily in colour, I do sometimes wish people wouldn’t wear the things that they do !

    • Thank you. I agree with you. People add a nice focal point to the shot. Your eye looks at them and then you see the environment.

      The last shot would have been better in b/w for the reasons you state, but I didn’t want to mix photo types here. Otherwise I would have put those far distant people in a deep black. 🙂

  7. I particularly like the image with the girl walking past a lighted window. Her feet almost disappear in the glare and it makes her look like a ghost walking through the exhibit.

    Also, I was a huge fan of the X-Files and I can’t say I ever heard the Cigarette Smoking Man comment on the Box of Chocolates translation. Perhaps it is from the more recent revival? I see they brought his character back, though it was too painful for me to watch this time around.

    • Thanks, she does seem to be dancing on air.

      The quote is from Season 4 (1996), “Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man”. In that episode we learn the truth, that the Smoking Man assassinated JFK and Martin Luther King. At the end he has a sniper rifle trained on one of The Lone Gunmen, and utters one of my favourite lines from the series, ” I can kill you whenever I please, but not today.”

  8. I trust your reaction on an X files episode, really do, Dragon. Perfect! the lighting captures of these images are truly magnificent!
    But, “never let any obstacles… getting my shot”, Scary!! 😕

  9. un garbuglio di rovi ne di spine, proprio come la faccia della Verità che è un prisma muto con mille sfaccettature
    le immagini mettono i brividi, pproprio come il telefilm da te citato( di cui sono anche io una estimatrice)
    🙂

  10. You just get better and better .. I loved Xfiles, so did hubby. I just finished watching Gillian Anderson in the Fall. These images are amazing Mr D! You absolutely nailed it 😃

  11. That is seriously spooky, even more so with only a couple of shots with people in them. The others are though all as if life as we know it has been swallowed whole, and that poor bloke in the first photo is entering another world, never to be seen again. These images will give me nightmares!!! Mission accomplished 99…

  12. Wonderfully atmospheric images as usual! Thanks! I’m not a fan of X-files at all, that’s why my first movie/TV association was with a Doctor Who episode. Doesn’t matter which, actually, they’ve got some creepy ones.

  13. aah…. LOVE this post. that first shot is pure x-files.
    favourite quote – why Scully’s of course.
    and that art installation – amazing!
    i dont care if the second series isnt as good as the first.. i still watch it – when the VPN is working…. its kinda cool to see an older version of Mulder and Scully – as someone else said up there, they kinda became ‘real’ people to all us fans..

    Great post, Draco. 🙂

  14. Wow, very impressive pictures!! 🙂 I do love the first one with the figure in the doorway, that works very well. Just wondering what all the criss crossing fibres are for – art? Must be hard to keep that clean of spiders making homes in those! 😉 Kind of feels a bit creepily sci fi too, Dr Who maybe?!

    • Yes, an artist’s impression with wool threaded to simulate pathways between thought and memory with no beginning or end. I enjoyed standing in there. A giant spider would not have seemed out of place. Daily cleaning was probably a ritual for the staff. 🙂

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