In 1975, Sydney anti-development activist and publisher of local newspaper NOW Juanita Nielsen walked into the Carousel nightclub in Kings Cross for a meeting with underworld figure Eddie Trigg. Nielsen was never seen again. Her disappearance – her murder – remains unsolved to this day. This void forms the core of The Beehive, an innovative new artwork by artist and filmmaker Zanny Begg.
Created as part of the inaugural Artbank + ACMI commissioning program, The Beehive is at the forefront of screen-based art. Created using an algorithm, the artwork is compiled randomly from scripted fictions, documentary interviews and choreographed sequences, exploring the implications of this infamous cold case and how they can be applied today. Part true crime, part agitprop, the work will morph and evolve with each viewing, offering audiences different glimpses and interpretations of the crime.
At its deepest levels, The Beehive not only explores the life and tragic death of a fascinating woman, but it investigates the impact of architecture, development and social change on individual lives. “Zanny Begg’s The Beehive is a shifting and dynamic examination of an unsolved mystery, a cinematic hybrid of historical and contemporary issues,” says ACMI director Katrina Sedgwick. “We’re thrilled that the inaugural Artbank + ACMI commission is such a genre-defying and multi-layered work.”