Bloodlines



year: 1991     technical design and programming: David Crossan     models: multiple

An interactive installation. Simulating a darkroom, strips of positive film enlarged to 50cm width and varying lengths, are suspended from wires, as if hung out to dry, fixed by giant ‘bulldog’ clips. Backlighting is activated by the movement of viewers. A non-interactive soundtrack feeds into the space, with edited interviews with the subjects. Exhibited in Wellington, Palmerston North, Dunedin, Christchurch and Sydney.


The beauty of a face is commonly judged against a racial stereotype. Faces that display racial ambiguity often produce unique beauty that transcends theis stereotype. Bloodlines portrays such faces. It also explores the experience, through recorded interviews, of those born of mixed race. While the beautiful face might in some circumstances be an asset, social acceptance by more than one racial community to whom one might wish to belong cannot always be easily found. Who am I? What am I?

The filmstrips have a stressed quality - some are torn, scratched or display other kinds of ‘damage’. While the faces are handsome in unique ways, the voices of the subjects describe the confusion in trying to develop personal cultural identities.