Australian Video Art Archive

Jill Orr


The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters-Goya

00:10:48 2002, 2003

This is the title of an etching by Goya who is the master of depicting humanity's extremes. I felt the title aptly summed up the post September 11th world where the Iraq war began and continues creating the plight of refugees who were and still are imprisoned in Australian detention centres coupled by the ongoing death and maiming in the name of War on Terror that holds sway through clashing belief systems.

This work was an eight-hour event in which sculptures were created from a tonne of meat bones. I wanted to work with the real stuff from which we are made as an antidote or reality check from the mediated depictions of the most horrific human situations that are witnessed on screen and in print from our peaceful lounge.

The work expresses madness from multiple perspectives: from the killer to the killed; from the witness to the animal. This video documentation returns the corporeal live experience back to the safety of the screen.

The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters- Goya was first performed in 2002 at Artspace, Sydney and again in 2003, funded by the City of Melbourne, at 45 Downstairs, Melbourne.

DVD available.