Elisabeth Rankin

Did You Kiss the Dead Body?

Drawing Noir

30. March to 9. April 2017

Elizabeth Rankin is an emerging Sydney artist who has completed her MFA in Drawing in 2017. 

In this studio based research project Rankin investigate her interest in dark narratives, particularly those of crime perpetrated on the human body. Drawing on the theories of Julia Kristeva, Sigmund Freud and Margaret Iversen leads her to an exploration of three concepts: the ideas of the “abject”, the “uncanny” and “noir” and the significance of narrative drawing in the light of these key elements as well as the relationship between them. As an expression of these grim, violent and disconcerting elements, she focuses on ways of conveying them through visual narratives. In this process Rankin critiques traditional ideas that narrative is primarily a literary technique and propose that art may also be read visually.

The project centers on an urban mystery: the story of a man, found dead on Somerton beach in Adelaide in 1948. The death remains unexplained but spies and political intrigue are part of the speculation. This conjecture, and the complete absence of known actual events, further enables an exploration of open ended story telling forms, which are developed through both still and moving drawing.

Photographic documentation by Elizabeth Rankin