A case of polar depression was performed on 8 October 2015 as part of Playful Sound presented by Danny Wild at the Ralph Wilson Theatre, Gorman House, Canberra
Timelapse of performance stills available on vimeo: https://vimeo.com/151304496
This experimental and improvisatory work was inspired by accounts written by Douglas Mawson and Sidney Jeffryes describing their respective experiences overwintering in Antarctica in 1913. During the performance the audience are seated in an oversized cubby house immersed in projections of footage shot by Herbert Ponting on the British Antarctic Expedition led by Robert Falcon Scott in 1910-1913.
As the audience reads text transcribed from Mawson's diaries, they hear an unseen performer reading a letter written by Jeffryes, describing the his experience of the same events. Mawson, the expedition leader, was concerned about Jeffryes' increasingly erratic and paranoid behaviour; while Jeffryes' believed that Mawson had 'cast a magnetic spell on him' and that the other men on the expedition were plotting against him.
Playing with presenting different perspectives and merging truths with fictions, this performance collages images from one expedition with conflicting personal accounts written about another. The soundscape improvised by Danny Wild gave the audience impressions of Antarctica when in actual fact they were listening to field recordings of ice-walking in Finland and a wind storm on Kangaroo Island.