The Jason Project; or A Good Bloke
This year, Adam Deusien, Isabel Fox and Becky Russell, with a team of entirely regionally based artists. will be resident at the Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre to develop THE JASON PROJECT, as part of the Made in Bathurst Program.
The Jason Project will use the classical and canonical text Medea by Euripides to bring into light the epidemic of murder/suicide crimes committed by (in particular, but not restricted to) men on their families in Regional, rural and remote Australia. This work aims to excavate our response (or lack of) as a wider Australian community to these crimes, and how this response is seemingly isolated to short bursts of sensationalized media attention followed by a falling quiet. We will recontextualise the text to place the narrative inside a regional Australian town on the cusp of experiencing such a tragedy, asking questions surrounding mental health of families in these areas, the economic, emotional and psychological strain on regional and rural communities, access to support services for the people involved in these tragedies before and after the events, the media’s portrayal of the perpetrators and victims of their crimes and the impact of these events on regional communities.
We will explore these issues by turning the story of Medea on its head: What if when Medea and Jason, on the run, arrive in Corinth, it was a Prince and not a Princess that whisked Medea, not Jason, away, leaving Jason on the docks with his sons, an outcast to be sent into exile? What if it was Jason who killed his children, not the other way around? How do we respond differently to a woman or a man in this situation, being driven to commit what has been seen as one of the most reprehensible acts in the classical repertoire? Euripides Medea has been adapted and staged countlessly, but by inverting the genders of the lead pair, we hope to disoriented the assumed and typical meaning/reception of the text to engage in a specifically located discussion about Regional Australia.
Check back here for developments in the project throughout the year.