Short Film: Far from Heaven

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Clifton Evers (Aus) and James Davoll (NI)

Film of Performance/Installation

In 1997 Australian Indigenous artist Tracey Moffatt released a short film entitled Heaven. It inverted the white male colonial gaze directed at Indigenous women since colonisation. Moffatt compiles home video footage of fit young male surfers posing, surfing, and changing into and out of wetsuits. We pick up on this consideration from an older white male surfer perspective, one whose body is not hard but soft and vulnerable. For many such surfers the wetsuit is armour, advertised by companies through militaristic (its genesis) and cyborgian tropes. It is a ‘second-skin’ infused with histories of colonisation, a petrochemical industrial complex, and attendant wars. Polluted leisure is gendered, raced, colonial, and capitalist. White men-who-surf are ‘far from heaven’.

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