Stephen Jones, Debra Petrovich: The Anita Project

  • ©, Stephen Jones and Debra Petrovich, The Anita Project

Artist Statement:


    Debra Petrovitch creates live audiovisual performances and media installations that aim to break up narrative and linear constructs. The Anita Project is based on research into the rape and murder of beauty queen and nurse, Anita Cobby — a crime that burnt itself into the collective Australian consciousness.

    Debra Petrovitch’s new work, The Anita Project, probes issues related to the rape and murder of Anita Cobby in 1986, and examines the system of exclusions that society maintains as its base structure. Cruelty and crisis are highlighted at an individual and societal level, to encourage audiences to question these issues rather then protecting themselves from ugliness and violence. The crime may have been committed in Australia but it certainly exists as a universal parallel in all societies. Petrovitch investigates the value of looking at such violent incidents, in the belief that the things we want to despise and exclude, and therefore not look at, are an essential part of our history.

    The Anita Project was originally created as a non-linear media installation, consisting of three DVDs running in random that are triggered by the audience via pressure mats. After a period of time the sequences time out, transforming the non-linear visuals into a cathartic series of images as a symbolic release of the victim. Because Petrovitch was unable to attend, she has created a new, non-interactive, alternative version of The Anita Project for presentation at ISEA.


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