Holding little regard for formal aesthetic and disciplinary boundaries, Alana Hunt’s practice defies singular definition. Fed by obscured histories, political urgencies and imaginative, necessary horizons of possibility her work is best understood as a catalyst of culturally charged encounters – experiences, feelings, a kind of shared breath – that materialize through the local environments and social relationships she inhabits. It is in this sense that her work is less about producing an artwork and more about putting-art-to-work. Informed by a gentle though challenging approach to participatory and conceptual artistic traditions Alana’s work makes use of language, social encounters, imagery, video, performance lectures and publications across both on and offline environments within Australia, Asia, Europe and North America.
Alana has studied interdisciplinary and media art practice, art history, cinema, critical theory, history and political thought in Australia, Canada and India.
CONFLICT AREA / COUNTRY OF REFERENCE: INDIAN OCCUPIED KASHMIR
In the winter of December 2009 close to a thousand "paper txt msgs" were distributed throughout Indian occupied Kashmir as a kind of tongue-in-cheek response to the government's ban on pre-paid mobile phone services in the region.
Virtually overnight hundreds of thousands of mobile phone users - people conducting business, college students, families, distanced lovers were left without means of telecommunication. There was little more than a whisper from the media; it was not an isolated incident. The monitoring, blocking and banning of phone services is just one of the many ways in which India's occupation intervenes into, disrupts and desecrates the rhythms of daily life in Kashmir.
Through the distribution of an "alternative communicative tool" dejected pre-paid subscribers were invited to write a "paper-txt-msg", to anyone real or imagined, about anything they would like to write in a txt msg but were suddenly unable to do so.
It is these paper txt msgs, a cacophony of diversely wonderful voices, that have come to form the basis of this multi-platform body of work that has come to incorporate video, installation and a publication circulating in both on and offline environments.
Yet what is central to this work is not only the paper txt msgs, the video, the book and installations but everything that lies between these things.
It is the thoughts that were probed, the discussions that were generated and the ideas and feelings that have been voiced. Across Kashmir, India and Pakistan media outlets began to speak, through the paper txt msg project, on issues they had previously been silent on. On going friendships have formed. Creative collaborations and independent projects continue.
Personal, political and imaginative; it is all these ever-elusive yet vital parts of the picture that are the art work. In a sense it is art-working.
Paper TXT MSGS from Kashmir,
2009 - 2011
© Artraker CIC 2014