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Monash Art Design & Architecture

Recreating the past for a better future.

“Beyond the politics or history for me it always comes back to the core materials that are formed or sculpted by an ideological determination, like copper being used for capitalist extraction or the coconuts being used as the agency for an eco-revolution.” – Nicholas Mangan

Progress in Action reflects upon the 1989 civil war on the Pacific Island of Bougainville; a war ignited over disputed land use, ownership and compensation claims. The work references the BRA’s resourceful use of coconuts through a refinery and modified generator during the food and energy blockade. The power generated by coconut oil is used to show footage of the Panguna mine and events leading up to the Bougainville crisis. Whilst the past struggle is portrayed, links to our current energy consumption and humanity’s resourcefulness are apparent.

Investigator
Nicholas Mangan

Footage credits

My Brother Wartovo, 41 mins (1973)
Director: John Richardson
Courtesy of Shell Corporation
Accessed through National Film and Sound Archive of Australia’s Film Australia Collection Library, Commonwealth Film Unit © National Film and Sound Archive of Australia

My Valley Is Changing, 26 mins (1970)
Courtesy of National Film and Sound Archive of Australia’s Film Australia Collection Library, Commonwealth Film Unit © National Film and Sound Archive of Australia

Bougainville Island (1965)
Courtesy of National Film and Sound Archive of Australia’s Film Australia Collection Library, Commonwealth Film Unit © National Film and Sound Archive of Australia
Filmed during a bureau of mineral resources expedition in 1965

Footage also sourced from ABC News, Foreign Correspondent, and Lateline segments. © Australian Broadcasting Commission library sales.

The Coconut Revolution (2000, 50 mins)
Documentary
Director: Dom Rotheroe
Stampede Films, GB

Progress in Action
Nicholas Mangan, Progress in Action
2013

installation view

Courtesy of the artist and Sutton Gallery, photographed by Andrew Curtis.

Progress in Action

installation view, standard definition, 4:18mins (continuous loop), powered by coconuts

Courtesy of the artist and Sutton Gallery, photographed by Andrew Curtis.

Progress in Action
Nicholas Mangan, Most hunted man
2013

Acid etched copper sheet, 59x42cm, Edition of 3

Courtesy of the artist and Sutton Gallery, photographed by Andrew Curtis.

Progress in Action
Nicholas Mangan, Bougainville Copper Limited Annual Report 1988 1
2013

Acid etched copper sheet, 92x62cm, Edition of 3

Courtesy of the artist and Sutton Gallery, photographed by Andrew Curtis.

Progress in Action
Nicholas Mangan, Bougainville Copper Limited Annual Report 1988 2
2013

Acid etched copper sheet, 92x62cm, Edition of 3

Courtesy of the artist and Sutton Gallery, photographed by Andrew Curtis.

Progress in Action
Nicholas Mangan, Progress in Action
2013

installation view

Courtesy of the artist and Sutton Gallery, photographed by Andrew Curtis.

Progress in Action
Progress in Action

installation view, standard definition, 4:18mins (continuous loop), powered by coconuts

Courtesy of the artist and Sutton Gallery, photographed by Andrew Curtis.

MADA researchers from varied backgrounds, including professional artists, designers, architects and theorists, work together to produce vibrant, innovative, creative research that addresses the social, economic and human issues facing Australia.

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