Fiona Amundsen

A Body That Lives (2017)

47 seconds (excerpt) of 14 min 07 secSingle channel / Digital Video / Colour / Sound

"Fiona Amundsen’s A Body that Lives presents testimony from one of 1,000 Japanese prisoners of war who participated in the 1944 breakout from a camp in Cowra, Australia. Structurally composed in three sections, the work opens with silent archival footage from an American produced WWII propaganda film employed to justify US military actions within the Asia Pacific. Amundsen has cropped the image to emphasise the violence of bodies at war and to decontextualise its location. This is followed by a black frame, over which we hear the a sample of the modern day tourist audio guide to the Cowra campsite, introducing the official story and providing historical context. The central section is Amundsen’s interview with 96-year-old POW Teruo Murakami. The closing shots are still-like images of the bonsai trees and outdoor grounds of ‘Cowra Japanese Gardens’, built in commemoration of the Japanese soldiers who lost their lives in the breakout."

Mercedes Vicente, Curator

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