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Zane Saunders

Being a Medium 2007

Installation and Performance

Dimensions Variable

Artists Statement

‘Being A Medium’ could be seen as an exploratory journey of ritual and absurdity: it both stimulated and provoked the junctures between performance, culture, sound and installation. BAM was a major project as part of the ongoing collaboration with sound/media artist File_Error (Nicholas Mills).

The JUTE Theatre was transformed into an 'installation' space, and audiences were invited to wander the space before the 'actual' performance began (or so they thought). The audience were confronted with what seemed an exhibition/installation, with sound and graphic video and screen accompaniment.

Slowly Zane and File_Error emerged to 'start' the performance. The loose 'narrative' traversed the various mediums: live performance, pre-recorded screen, installation and sound.

Video dance works were pre-produced in the space, and formed part of the narrative during the performance. The video-works were directed by File_Error, and shot by File_Error and Ken Mida.

CREDITS: Installation and performance: Zane Saunders - Sound: File_Error - Video Direction: File_Error - Camera's: File_Error & Ken Miida - Lighting Design: File_Error & Russell Miledge.

view the videos here


Zane Saunders was born in Cairns in 1971, and grew up in Kuranda, Far North Queensland, Australia. He identifies with the Butchulla (Bajala) of Fraser Island, some 1500km to the south. Attendance at art school at Cairns TAFE was encouraged by his mother; Zane has a Gungu Yimithir language name given by a Hopevale elder. The name Ngamu Mangal Bungal - means clever hands.

Although Zane has found it challenging to survive as an artist, he has works in the collections of the Australian National Gallery, Queensland Art Gallery, National Gallery of Victoria and a host of state, corporate and private collections.

Coming from a very strong visual arts background, Zane continues exploring and investigating new visual expression.

While contuining his broad traditional visual arts output, in painting and printmaking, Zane has courageously explored diverse and challenging mediums of installation, sculpture, media and contemporary performance.

This relatively recent performance work has provided a unique medium to take his prolific visual practice 'off the wall', and into the peoples space.

Over the past three years, Zane has developed a very deep and unique approach to contemporary dance/performance, drawing from his indigenous cultural heritage, and from the many experiences of contemporary society.

Importantly, this new work is placed in many diverse settings and contexts, each work site specific, and both visually stunning and challenging, for audiences.

"Performance is a vehicle for the spirit to connect to audience": modern devices/costume are utilized to convey the message; site specific work devised to site location; use of formal and informal spaces, emphasis on the absurdity of contemporary 'western' norms.

Zane also has an ongoing colloboration with sound and media artist File_Error, and this partnership allows Zane to explore video, media and performance in a more defined context. In 2007, the 2 artists colloborated and self-produced the installation, performance and media event, "Being A Medium" over 3 nights at the JUTE Theatre in Cairns.