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Special places archive

June 2007

Minutes to midnight

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With these photographs from a journey across Australia, Trent Parke has made an intense, autobiographical piece, specific in time and place. It’s presented as a web slide show with narrative voice-over. As the intro says:

The work is both a document of a changing nation, uneasy with its identity and its place in the world, and a work of fiction which when combined suggests the build-up, aftermath and rebirth of an apocalyptic world. In its making, Trent pupated from documenting an emotional black and white world to one of color.
Trent Parke, untitled photograph of pig shooters, from the segment The World’s going crazy.
This body of work is about the emotion of the time that we live in. It’s not about a physical sense, it’s about an emotional sense and the subconscious, and the thought of what might happen. It’s a document, but it’s a fiction in a sense as well. I look at ‘Minutes to midnight’ as — the way that I wanted to create it was almost like a film clip. I find it amazing to see how much imagery you can pack into a three minute song, and how effective that can be. And so ‘Minutes to midnight’ was that sort of style of work. I was trying to get images that had no real connection, and then making a fictional personal story out of them, I suppose. There were like, fragments of dreams, and nightmares, and all this imagery that, sort of, somehow, sinks to the back of your mind, and gets pulled back up at certain times… [Trent Parke, transcript of start of narration to the segment A document & a fiction.]


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