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Ost Offic

Helen Grace, 30 sec, Australia, 2004. Digital Video

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Produced and Directed by: Helen Grace
Editor: Chris Caines
Additional Cinematography: Simon Smith
Calligraphy: John Wong
Thanks: Ashfield & District Historical Society, Australia Post Archives, Prelinger Archives, Noel McFarlane, Connor Moore, Alana Hicks, Allison Hawkings, Greg Ferris
SBS Independent: Commissioning Editor: Glenys Rowe
ACMI: Executive Producer: Clare Stewart
ACMI: Production Manager: Philippa Campey
© Helen Grace

ARTV: produced with the assistance of ACMI and SBS Independent


Helen Grace reworks images of a disused rural post office and a repurposed masonic temple in this poetic meditation on the fragility of civic space.

Biography - Helen Grace

Born 1949, lives and works in Sydney.

Grace has a PhD in Art History from the University of Sydney and more recently has studied Russian at Moscow State University. Her films have won numerous awards including an AFI Award for Best Experimental Film and two Dendy Awards. In 2000 she completed the CD-ROM project Before Utopia: A non-official pre-history of the present. Her solo exhibitions include Money Is No Object and Secret Archives of the Recent Past. Her work has been shown widely overseas including at the Guggenheim Museum, New York, and the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris.

She is represented by Mori Gallery, Sydney.

Artist Statement - Helen Grace

'A country town - or any suburb - in Australia. Nineteenth-century civic architecture declares the citizens' hopes for stability and permanence - post offices, schools, community centres, built to last. The buildings survive, empty and derelict or 'redeveloped' - their original functions moving on, privatised, franchised. Everywhere, people lament the loss of community, civility, democracy even. Elsewhere, an earthquake. Everything destroyed. One minute you are secure, the next minute your world has collapsed - and you never saw it coming. Everything is impermanent. And we, the survivors, rebuild, begin again. Civilizations arise and pass away, arise and pass away.'

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