Image: Roy Ananda, The Pale Dossier, Post Office Projects, photograph Sam Roberts.

Creativity and collaboration are at the heart of innovation. Since 2018 UniSA Business has partnered with Guildhouse to present works by contemporary South Australian visual artists to encourage reflection and inspire new ideas.

Excerpts from ‘The Pale Dossier’

Roy Ananda

13 May —  1 August 2024
Yungondi Building, UniSA City West Campus

Artist Statement

‘Excerpts from ‘The Pale Dossier’’ comprises selected collages from a larger body of work, previously exhibited at Post Office Projects, Port Adelaide. The work brings thousands of images carefully cut from reference books, textbooks, and instructional manuals into conversation with substrates such as felt, acoustic pinboard, and synthetic vellum. Disinterred from their rational and utilitarian points of origin, these images are subjected to far more idiosyncratic and arcane arrangements. While it is seemingly in the nature of the diagram or the infographic to clarify, quantify, and explicate, this recent investigation asks how such visual languages might serve to deepen the mysteries that abound. The resulting outcomes perhaps sit somewhere between a celebration and a critique of the human urge to try to map systems of knowledge, and the inevitable inadequacy of such attempts. Like much of my practice, this body of work is also a by-product of my pop-culture fandom. Unlike previous odes to fandom which overtly evidence their origins in singular fictional universes (such as those of ‘Star Wars’, ‘Dungeons & Dragons’, or H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos), ‘The Pale Dossier’ channels the aesthetics and atmospheres of a loosely linked body of cultural artefacts belonging to the amorphous genre of ‘hauntology’. Extrapolating from cultural theorist Mark Fisher’s use of the term, my hauntological influences include the music of Burial and Boards of Canada, the esoteric pseudo-science of BBC Television’s ‘Look Around You’, and ghost stories in the tradition of M.R. James and Junji Ito.

– Roy Ananda

About the artist

Roy Ananda is a visual artist, writer, and educator practicing on Kaurna Country (Tarndanya/Adelaide Plains). His objects, installations, drawings, collages, and texts variously celebrate popular culture, play, process, and the very act of making. Since 2001 he has exhibited prolifically around Australia, holding solo exhibitions at Adelaide Central Gallery (Adelaide), the Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia (Adelaide), Dianne Tanzer Gallery+ Projects (Melbourne), FELTspace (Adelaide), Gallery 4a (Sydney), Hugo Michell Gallery (Adelaide), Samstag Museum of Art (Adelaide), and West Space (Melbourne). His work has been included in such significant survey exhibitions as Primavera (2004) at the MCA (Sydney), the Australian Drawing Biennial (2004) at the Drill Hall Gallery (Canberra), and CACSA Contemporary 2015 at SASA Gallery (Adelaide). In 2010 he was the South Australian recipient of the Qantas Foundation Art Award, which facilitated research trips to the U.K., Germany, and the U.S.A.  In 2017 Ananda completed a Masters by Research project at the University of South Australia’s School of Art, Architecture and Design, titled How to write a fan letter: the generative potential of pop-culture fandom in contemporary visual art practice. Ananda presented a major new work in the 2018 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art at the Art Gallery of South Australia, inspired by his lifelong passion for the fantasy role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons. He has lectured in drawing and sculpture at Adelaide Central School of Art since 2004 and currently holds the position of Head of Drawing. His writing has appeared in a wide variety of journals, books, exhibition catalogues, zines, and websites. Ananda was the feature artist of the 2021 South Australian Living Artists Festival and subject of that year’s SALA Publication, co-authored with Andrew Purvis, Bernadette Klavins, and Sean Williams, and published by Wakefield Press.

Image: Roy Ananda, The Pale Dossier, Post Office Projects, photograph Sam Roberts.

Please note: The UniSA Business School Yungondi Building is open Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm.