Metabolism (2023)

(Film, Moving Image, Social practice, Video, Work)

A portrait of a living, working ecology and the multi-species it sustains, Metabolism is a film-essay that considers the body-as-land and land-as-body.

Framing the constructed ecology of the Western Treatment Plant (WTP), the film considers metabolism as an ambivalent process, connecting external and internal forces: from chemical energy-creation within our bodies, to capitalism’s ‘metabolic rift’. For the Wadawurrung people, Wirribi-yaluk (Werribee river) is the backbone and spine of Country, a waterway that has sustained life since time immemorial. Wirribi-yaluk runs along the eastern edge of the WTP, a living and flowing entity connecting old ways with new. Since colonisation, the land, waters and air of this place have been drastically shaped to produce and metabolise food, waste, energy and water. Created in dialogue with the site-as-protagonist through seasonal change and a number of months, Metabolism considers the interconnections and interdependencies between human and more-than-human bodies; interior and exterior ecologies, and the consumption, colonisation and capitalisation of land.

(Images above)

1min trailer, METABOLISM, 2023, dir. Eugenia Lim. 2K video, colour, sound, 29:15

All others: video stills, METABOLISM

2K Single-Channel Moving Image, Colour, Sound, 29:15min

A film by Eugenia Lim and collaborators

METABOLISM was filmed on and in the lands, waters and skies of the Wadawurrung. We pay our respect to the sovereign traditional custodians of this place for their long, ongoing practice of care for country, kin and culture.

Director, Editor, Producer, Writer Eugenia Lim
Cinematographer Tim Hillier
Composer, Sound Designer, Mixing Carolyn Schofield (Fia Fiell)
Drone Operators Trent Perrett and Glenn Hester
Production Coordinator Bianca Chang
Wadawurrung Cultural Advisors Stephanie Skinner and Corinna Eccles 
Performers Lee Wan and Harshanie Habarakadage
Western Treatment Plant Operations Peter Kissonergis
Melbourne Water Heritage Advisor Paul Balassone
Colourist and Post Chris Tomkins
Title Design Amery Oke-Johnston (Thought & Found)
Sound Mastering, Recording Engineer Pat Telfer
Artistic Advisors Amos Gebhardt and Gabrielle Brady

Commissioned by Public Art Commission, Deakin University and the City of Wyndham.

Thank you

Peter Kissonergis, Paul Balassone, Catherine Rees, Lee Wan and Harshanie Habarakadage at Melbourne Water; Trisha-lee Donavan at Wadawurrung Aboriginal Corporation; curators David Cross and Cameron Bishop; Simon Reis and Public Art Commission; Gabrielle Brady and Amos Gebhardt for artistic rigour; and all METABOLISM collaborators, human and more-than-human.