The Beehive

Australia, 2018

Zanny Begg

Artbank + ACMI Commission, ACMI Collection

Digital video, stereo sound, variable duration

Artwork

Zanny Begg’s The Beehive is the inaugural Artbank + ACMI Commission supporting ambitious and experimental screen-based work at the nexus of film and art.

The Beehive is a non-linear experimental documentary exploring the unsolved murder of Sydney anti-development campaigner and glamourous style icon Juanita Nielsen in Kings Cross in 1975. Juanita’s body has never been found and her murderers have never been charged.

The Beehive consists of scripted fictions, documentary interviews and choreographed scenes with multiple actors playing the role of Juanita. The film is ever-changing, as a different combination of footage is randomly selected for each screening with 1,344 possible variations. The Beehive therefore continually morphs and evolves to reveal different interpretations of this violent historical act and its social context. Operating like a forensic investigation, the film presents a variety of puzzle pieces, asking new questions and potentially pointing to an answer.

The title is a reference to Juanita Nielsen’s famous hairdo but is also a metaphor for human cities. In classical times the beehive was seen as a hierarchical and densely industrious hub; in pre-Christian symbolism the beehive was a dark cooperative womb guided by a powerful queen. This clash between utilitarian and feminist interpretations of our cities provides a poetic tension that flows through the film.

Who killed Juanita Nielsen?

Zanny Begg discusses The Beehive; exploring the unsolved murder of anti-development campaigner Juanita Nielsen.

How are these works connected?

Explore this constellation

Related articles

Related works

On display until:

ACMI: Gallery 3

6 November 2018

Credits

producer

Philippa Bateman

creator
Production places
Australia
Production dates
2018

Collection metadata

ACMI Identifier

Z000121

Language

English

Subject category

Digital Art

Sound/audio

Sound

Colour

Colour

Materials

Single channel digital video and software, colour and audio

Collected

68 times

Please note: this archive is an ongoing body of work. Sometimes the credit information (director, year etc) isn’t available so these fields may be left blank; we are progressively filling these in with further research.

Cite this work on Wikipedia

If you would like to cite this item, please use the following template: {{cite web |url=https://acmi.net.au/works/59805--the-beehive/ |title=The Beehive |author=Australian Centre for the Moving Image |access-date=27 October 2021 |publisher=Australian Centre for the Moving Image}}