Photo: Lean Timms
Photo: Lean Timms

Desiderium performance by Hannah Quinlivan.

In this very special DESIGN Canberra festival event, artist Hannah Quinlivan spoke about her signature DESIGN Canberra installation, Desiderium, followed by an intimate performance where acclaimed classical vocalist Shikarar Ringdahl responded to the sculptural elements as they move through the space, materialising the atmosphere of Desiderium into sound and movement.

Desiderium is an ephemeral spatial drawing and vocal performance that educes what Ben Anderson terms ‘the affective atmosphere’ of life after periods of crisis. It responds to the red summer with which the year 2020 began, the subsequent health and economic crisis, and the fissures they have riven in our collective mood. This year has brought the realisation that the slow unravelling of our ecology has gained irreversible momentum. At the same time, the viral outbreak has compelled us to face with sober senses the fragility of our once taken for granted ways of living. After a year of grief and fear, this artwork asks its audience to take time to pause. To listen and hold close our ardent longing for the futures we once possessed but that dissolved into smoke, and to find the fortitude to care for each other through the uncertain future.

DESIGN Canberra acknowledges the Ngunnawal people as the traditional custodians of the ACT and surrounding areas. We honour and respect their ongoing cultural and spiritual connections to this country and the contribution they make to the life of this city and this region. We aim to respect cultural heritage, customs and beliefs of all Indigenous people.