Into the looking glass (The Hunger for the Enchanted)

An installation by Indira Shanahan

Part 2 – PRESENT

25 February 2017, 8.30pm Opening performance - FREE EVENT - Book Now

27 February to 01 March 2017, 9.30am to 7pm, installation
Basement room, Alliance Francaise de Melbourne
51 Grey Street, ST KILDA

Into the Looking Glass – Present is the second of three performative installations created by

Indira Shanahan as part of her ongoing practice-led PhD inquiry at RMIT University, Melbourne.

Indira is a performance artist and designer and her work investigates performance and what she calls ‘the performativity of space’ in both material forms and as ongoing online installations. Her material environments and performances are created to form springboards and structural frameworks for digital platforms and further virtual iterations. The works are situated within cross-disciplinary modalities, not easily categorized and once created, already transforming immediately into other forms of expression.

Video, sound and performance come together to create fictional tracings and contours of imagined feminine cartographies within online and offline environments.   The installations are inspired by online digital games and notions of  “Fairy tales” (with roots in French and German history) inform the work. Each space is conceived as a kind of ‘Wunderkammer’, a cabinet of curiosities, which can be explored by the audience. Perched between theatre, game and a sensory, mythical world the works are site-immersive, site-specific and site-responsive.

An encounter with imaginary tracings of feminine cartographies.

Into The Looking Glass (PAST)
Performative installation
Image selections from first installation
(Avoca, Victoria 2015).


“There is a language older by far and deeper then words. It is the language of bodies, of body on body, wind on snow, rain on trees, wave on stone. It is the language of dream,  gesture, symbol, memory. We have forgotten this language. We do not even remember that it exists.”

Derrick Jensen, A Language Older Then Words.

Biography Indira Shanahan

German born Ina Indira Shanahan is a designer/director/hybrid artist whose works spans over a number of art form and mediums. Her career in Australia began as millinery supervisor for the Victoria State Opera and the Melbourne Theatre Company (1988-97). In 1991 her work was exhibited at the National Gallery of Victoria. For over two decades she has designed sets and costumes for contemporary and new work in theatre, opera, dance, film and television. Many of the productions she worked on received awards and toured nationally and internationally. Her design approach likes to involve the use of multimedia and/or projections and work in non-theatrical spaces. In 2004 she co-directed 'Sex, Drugs & String Quartet' (screened through ABC’s Sunday Arts program), a video music work produced by four women artists from various backgrounds, involving dance, the visual arts, performance art and music composition. It won “Best Documentary” in the 2005 Australian Film Music Industry Awards.

As a performance artist, she has co-produced, performed and directed performance works, which investigate issues surrounding the body, space, installations, and audience/performer relationships since 1995. Works have been shown in contemporary art spaces, universities, festivals, galleries and conferences. She holds an Honours degree in Performance and Multimedia from Victoria University (2004) and has been a mentor in the Australia wide JUMP Arts mentorship program in the category of hybrid arts practice. (2010). Indira is currently a PhD researcher in the school of Media & Communication at RMIT University, Melbourne. Her practice led PhD investigates performance and performative space in both material and digital virtual environments.

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