Perhaps the World is Fine Tonight

by Patricia Piccinini (2009)

Perhaps the World is Fine Tonight is an installation that I created originally for the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery in Hobart. It is a traditional museum-style diorama that people can move through and it presents a group of Tasmanian devils surrounding a girl. In contrast to the popular notion of Tasmanian devils as dangerous, ugly creatures, they do not threaten her. Instead, they are sitting and lying calmly, while the girl rests in a yoga pose called the 'pose of the child'. The strangely calm yet eerie atmosphere is augmented by the haunting soundtrack, by Franc Tetaz, the evokes the windiness of hilltop overlaid mysterious vocal and instrumental melodies that hover at the edge of audibility.

It is an incongruously tranquil work. All of the creatures are quite formally and carefully placed, which makes them seem a little out of place in the beautiful mountaintop environment. It is almost as if they have deliberately gathered to perform some ritual. The girl’s manifest calm and the devils’ almost protective demeanor are at odds with the usual notion of the darkened bush setting as threatening. Stranger still, hovering overhead is a huge bodily but otherwise unidentifiable form that is being held up by a pair of wedgetailed eagles. Just what this is unclear. It’s physicality and verisimilitude contradict the most obvious possibility that the object is purely metaphorical. The work has a dreamlike quality, in that while it all seems to make sense at the time it’s, upon awakening the illogicality or impossibility of the situation is obvious.

In thinking about the work, the strangeness of the suspended object is actually no more extreme than the unlikeliness of the relationship between the girls and devils. All these things are very much in the realm of dreams rather than reality. For me this is a very experiential work, rather than a clearly narrative one. It is very much about creating a space that enables a very special sort of experience for those who view it, transporting them to a world in between the real world and the world of dreams.




Interview with The Condition Report by Patricia Piccinini and The Condition report

Just Because Something Is Bad, Doesn't Mean It Isn't Good by Basak Doga Temur

Patricia Piccinini interviewed by Jane Messenger by Jane Messenger

Speculative Fabulations for Technoculture's Generations by Donna Haraway

The Naturally Artificial World by Laura Fernandez Orgaz and Patricia Piccinini

Border Patrol by Stella Brennan

We Are Family: Patricia Piccinini at the 50th Biennale of Venice by Linda Michael

Patricia Piccinini's Offspring by Peter Hennessey

Fast forward: accelerated evolution by Rachel Kent

One Night Love by Nikos Papastergiadis

Autoerotic by Amanda Rowell

One Night Love by Linda Michael

Atmosphere by Juliana Engberg

Biopshere by Edward Colless

Patricia Piccinini: Ethical Aesthetics by Jacqueline Millner

Patricia Piccinini - Early Installations by Peter Hennessey

The NESS Project and the Birth of Truck Babies by Hiroo Yamagata

Some thoughts about Embryo by Patricia Piccinini

The Rookie by Patricia Piccinini

The Shadows Calling by Patricia Piccinini

Meditations on the continuum of vitality by Patricia Piccinini

Six observations about The Skywhale by Patricia Piccinini

Those Who Dream by Night by Patricia Piccinini

The Fitzroy Series by Patricia Piccinini

Eulogy by Patricia Piccinini

The Lovers by Patricia Piccinini

The Welcome Guest by Patricia Piccinini

The Observer by Patricia Piccinini

Aloft by Patricia Piccinini

Balasana by Patricia Piccinini

The Gathering by Patricia Piccinini

Perhaps the World is Fine Tonight by Patricia Piccinini

Bottom Feeder by Patricia Piccinini

Not Quite Animal by Patricia Piccinini

The Long Awaited by Patricia Piccinini

The Foundling by Patricia Piccinini

In Another Life by Patricia Piccinini

Big Mother by Patricia Piccinini

Bodyguard by Patricia Piccinini

Sandman by Patricia Piccinini

The Leather Landscape by Patricia Piccinini

The Young Family by Patricia Piccinini

Still Life With Stem Cells by Patricia Piccinini

Swell by Patricia Piccinini

The Breathing Room by Patricia Piccinini

Truck Babies by Patricia Piccinini