Position Doubtful : mapping landscapes and memories
by Kim Mahood
Editor: Scribe Publications
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Imagine the document you have before you is not a book but a mapIt is well used, folded and folded, so that when you open it, no matter how carefully, something tears and a line that is neither latitude nor longitude opens in the secret geography of where you are about to enterSince the publication of her laureates’ memoirs of Craftwork for a Dried Lake in 2000, the writer and artist Kim Mahood has been returning to the Tanami Desert country in the far northwest of Australia where, as a child, she lived with her family over a distance raising cattleThe land is timeless, but many things have changed, the station has been returned to its traditional owners; mining companies have arrived; and Aboriginal art has flourished.Comedy and tragedy, knowledge and uncertainty are constant companions Mahood she immerses herself in the life of a small community and in revolutionary mapping projects activitiesWhat emerges from Position Doubtful is a revelation of the meaning of the earth to its people – and of the weight of historyMahood is an amazingly versatile artistShe works with words, with painting, with installations, and with the art of performance.She writes about her own work and collaborations, and about the work of desert artists, is deeply illuminating, making palpable the link between the artist and the countryIt’s a beautiful and intense exploration of friendship, landscape and back homeWritten with great energy and humour, Doubtful Position offers a unique portrait of Australia’s complex contemporary black and white relations”A shimmering, evocative of memories (it is) a must read for anyone interested in contemporary Indigenous Australia, a Doubtful Position opens the heart to understandingBooks+Mahood Publication is a country writerIts chapters unfold like red dune ribbonsThe rich pulse of the country makes the heart quake with gratitudePosition Doubtful has the breadth and delicacy of the desert and genui recordings
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