Dennis Del Favero, Tampa 2001 (2015)

Dennis Del Favero presents Tampa 2001 a computer graphic installation which seeks to explore how “Doors” occupy a fundamental place in human society, whilst also being central to the nonhuman world.

The oceanic waters surrounding Australia have always been perceived since white settlement as vast impenetrable “doors”, keeping human and non-human dangers at bay while protecting Australia’s inhabitants. 20th century Australia prided itself on opening its “doors” for those fleeing persecution. That all changed on August 29th 2001 when a Norwegian freighter, the MV Tampa, carrying 438 Afghan refugees, entered Australia’s territorial waters. The government responded by dispatching its elite Special Forces to intercept this new “invasion”. 

Tampa 2001 explores something closer to home, the interaction between the oceans that surround us and our identity as a nation, and the way this “door” continues to irrepressibly convulse in the wake of the Tampa episode.