28 February – 26 April 2014 | 14 – 22 December 2014
Maddie Leach spent two months in Mandurah in early 2014 and her residency was hosted by the City of Mandurah. On a cultural tour organised by the city she was introduced to the Pinjarra massacre site, its contested narratives and the ongoing impasse surrounding its naming and memorialisation. For Bindjareb Nyungar and many other locals, the ‘border’ between the City of Mandurah and Pinjarra (in the Shire of Murray) is nominal and fluid, and Leach’s project subtly traverses this boundary. What transpired was conversation and research focused on a large piece of rock marking the massacre site and the removal of two plaques that have been attached to it. Their noticeable absence and the sustained disagreement about the language and wording used to write the plaques became a persistent force in her thinking.
Leach’s project has manifested in two parts: a film that carefully records the reproduction of a redacted Shire of Murray fax document onto a large lithographic stone; and a newspaper reproduction of the resulting lithograph, with further information enigmatically removed, printed in the Mandurah Coastal Times on the day the spaced 2: future recall exhibition opened in Perth. In this ‘public’ context, the lithograph document was circulated to around 37,000 homes in the Mandurah–Pinjarra region. Leach’s project title — 28th October 2834 — is taken from a recurrent typographic mistake in shire minutes regarding the date of the Pinjarra massacre and it intentionally operates as both portent and enigmatic forecast.
Images: Maddie Leach, 28th October 2834, 2014, film stills, colour HD video with audio. Image courtesy and © the artist; Maddie Leach, 28th October 2834, 2014, installation view, spaced 2: future recall, Western Australian Museum Perth. Photo: Robert Frith – Acorn Photography.