Post Premonitionism: JG Ballard’s The Drowned World

Post Premonitionism: What do you do when you have already seen the future? In 1962, JG Ballard’s book, The Drowned World, was a prescient warning; wilfully ignored.

Forty five years later, the causes may be different, but we seem to be spiralling into an ecological melt-down straight out of Ballard’s vision. What do you do when you have already seen the future? Apparently nothing.

In Post Premonitionism, fragile steel structures seem to mimic the skeletal remains of an abandoned city. Twisted, rusty and ephemeral, they eventually will disintegrate completely, vulnerable and helpless against nature’s inexorable power.

I have transposed Ballard’s premonition of The Drowned World on to the reality of Australia; salt takes the place of water in a continent characterised by drought.

Tracey Clement
2007

Post Premonitionism was a site-specific installation at Groundfloor Gallery, Balmain in 2007. It was my second solo exhibition with the gallery.

Photos: Details 1, 2, 4 & 5,  Richard Glover. Details 3, 6 & 7 & installation shots, Tracey Clement.

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