James Powditch

Fahrenheit 451
2002 Sulman Prize Exhibition, Art Gallery of NSW: June 2002
Dickerson Gallery, Melbourne: September 2001
timber, metal, paper & cloth
3690 x 1250mm
© James Powditch 2001

The most recent in a series of works inspired by films. The film Fahrenheit 451 was made in 1966 by Francis Truffaut and was based on Ray Bradbury’s 1954 novel, set in an Orwellian-style future where books are banned and burnt by a special task force of firemen. The piece is built in a widescreen film format with each of the four segments making up frames evoking a credit sequence and giving a sense of the film’s narrative. It is built using found objects and materials including ceiling tin recovered from burnt-out shops. The large no smoking sign is from the Art Gallery of NSW’s old Q Stores (smoking is the norm in Fahrenheit 451 as all anti-smoking literature has been destroyed). Old penguin books refer to the film’s main visual motive that of burning books. Two types are used the orange being novels, the blue scientific - the world of Fahrenheit 451 may be technologically advanced yet is intellectually and emotionally stifled. The books also continue the flag motif and hopefully help the whole piece evoke fascist-style propaganda


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