An Uncanny Symmetry: Técha Noble

Eleanor Zeichner

In JG Ballard’s 1966 novel The Crystal World, a doctor attempting to reach a leprosy treatment facility in a remote jungle discovers that the jungle itself is afflicted with a terrible phenomenon that crystallises all living things. Dazzling and grotesque, the phenomenon results from the collision of ‘time’ and ‘anti-time’, petrifying the forest and the people and creatures within. It imagines a forsaken world in the wake of environmental catastrophe where time is held in a state of eternal, perversely beautiful, suspension.

The Kingpins
Spider Nanny 2013 (still)
Digital video, 2:05 mins
Artbank collection, commissioned 2013

Técha Noble
Passage 2015
Commissioned for ‘Treatment’ 2015
Western Treatment Plant, Werribee, Victoria
Image courtesy of the artist

Techa Noble cites Ballard’s dystopian novel as a touchstone for her multidisciplinary practice. Her solo work, as with her work made since 2000 in the collaborative The Kingpins, explores these boundaries and collisions: between real and metaphoric time and space, between the sacred and the profane, between the masculine and feminine, between the human and non-human body, between the horrific and the sublime. Her recent works both animate and explode these supposed dualities, creating new composite forms and figures that resist explicit categorisation, incorporating performance, installation, costume, printmaking, video and sculpture.


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