The Rat & The Octopus
A collaborative project by Sally Lundburg, Keith Tallett, Margo Ray, and Scott Yoell.
Myths are universal and timeless stories that reflect and shape our lives – they explore our desires, our fears, our longings, and provide narratives that remind us what it means to be human. Through the modes of photography and video, we have adapted the deceptively simple Polynesian myth of ‘The Rat and The Octopus’ into a modern context, set in an unspecified Pacific island locale. We have created two allegorical characters to personify the Rat and the Octopus. One being the Corporate and duplicitous business man/land speculator, ‘the ‘Rat’ and the other a Union foreman/construction worker, the ‘Octopus’. By placing the characters in a variety of settings and situations, we loosely reenact the myth and touch on themes of corporate colonialism, deal making and breaking, chance encounters and the consequences thereof. Although at first glance we are playing on the contrasting nature of the Rat and the Octopus, we will also note their similarities, characteristics they share; both operate in camouflage and exist on the periphery as means of survival. We play on these similarities to elucidate the more complex nature of each character and the potential for good and evil in all of us.
Thus far this project has spanned 5 years, with our initial shoot taking place in 2011.