- When 18 Jan - 18 Jan 2020
Cnr Oxford St & Greens Rd, Paddington NSW 2021
This one-day symposium draws together diverse perspectives on the Great Ocean as a connector to culture, ancestral traditions and the movement of people. Exhibiting artists and guest speakers discuss issues connecting communities and cultures, including displacement and labour, cultural activism in the face of colonisation and the creation of new cultural phenomena.
This symposium is part of 'Wansolwara: One Salt Water', a series of exhibitions, performances and events from across the Pacific and throughout the Great Ocean.
10.30am | Welcome to Country
10.50am | Introduction
UNSW Galleries Director José Da Silva introduces the project 'Wansolwara: One Salt Water'.
11.00am | Conversation
A conversation with artist and curator Talia Smith, exhibiting artist Shivanjani Lal and artist Salote Tawale to discuss the enduring effects of displacement from histories of indentured labour, migration and ongoing colonial forces for communities living in the diaspora.
11.45am | Break
12.00pm | Talanoa
An intercultural dialogue with Tongan-Australian writer Winnie Dunn, exhibiting artists Ruha Fifita, Latai Taumoepeau and visiting Musgamakw Dzawada’enuxw First Nations artist activist Marianne Nicolson. Together they will discuss art as a site of advocacy, activism and social engagement. The term talanoa is used across the Pacific to reflect a process of inclusive, participatory and transparent dialogue.
1.00pm | Lunch
Gluten-free and vegetarian options available.
2.00pm | Keynote
Indigenous artist-curator relationships in the militourist present
Dr Léuli Eshrāghi
Response by Indigenous Pacific Studies scholar Mitiana Arbon.
3.00pm | Break
3.15pm | Conversation
Writer and text-based artist Enoch Mailangi is joined by exhibiting artists Angela Tiatia, Vaimaila Urale and Rebecca Ann Hobbs for a conversation on the convergence of the traditional and contemporary in popular culture and the creation of new, hybrid phenomena.
4.15pm | Book Launch
Transits and Returns is a significant contribution to the emergent discourse on global Indigenous art. The publication explores the complexities of being Indigenous in the 21st century as expressed through recent art, curation and scholarship by Indigenous practitioners. Organised by the Vancouver Art Gallery and Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane, curated by Tarah Hogue, Sarah Biscarra Dilley, Freja Carmichael, Léuli Eshrāghi and Lana Lopesi.
Mitiana Arbon (b. 1993, Canberra, Australia) is an Indigenous Pacific Studies scholar completing his PhD thesis on Pacific Art at Australian National University. Mitiana's interest in his PhD topic stems from a broader interest in the framing of Pacific people and cultural heritage within 'western' institutional settings. Mitiana is a member of the Australian Association for Pacific Studies, the Gender Institute, and the Pacific Institute.
Winnie Dunn (b. 1996, Sydney, Australia) is a Tongan-Australian writer and community arts worker. She is the manager of Sweatshop: Western Sydney Literacy Movement and the literary editor of Sweatshop Women, The Big Black Thing and Bent not Broken: Ten Years of Creative Writing. Winnie's work has been published in The Lifted Brow, Sydney Review of Books, Meanjin, The Griffith Review and SBS Life.
Dr Léuli Eshrāghi (b. 1986, Yuwibara Nation territory, Australia; lives Darwin/Montreal) Sāmoan artist, curator and researcher, intervenes in display territories to centre Indigenous presence and power, sensual and spoken languages, and ceremonial-political practices. Through performance, moving image, writing and installation, ia engages with Indigenous possibility as haunted by ongoing militourist and missionary violences that erase faʻafafine-faʻatama from kinship structures. Ia contributes to growing international critical practice across the Great Ocean and North America through residencies, exhibitions, publications, teaching and rights advocacy. Eshrāghi holds a PhD in Curatorial Practice (2019) from Monash University, a Graduate Certificate in Indigenous Arts Management (2012) and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Indigenous and Francophone Studies (2009) from University of Melbourne. Ia serves on the board of the Aboriginal Curatorial Collective/Collectif des commissaires autochtones (Canada) and Pacific Advisory Group for Melbourne Museum (Australia).
Ruha Fifita (b. 1990, Vava’u, Tonga; lives in Brisbane, Australia) is a visual and performing artist investigating the histories of collaborative frameworks for art-making and the evolution of the social values and functions that they fulfil and/or have the potency to capture, propagate, and influence. In 2006 she co-founded ON THE SPOT (OTS), an arts organisation aimed at exploring and utilising the arts as a tool for community building. Ruha is currently Pacific Arts Research Assistant for QAGOMA.
Dr Rebecca Ann Hobbs (b. 1976 Townsville - Bindal and Wulgurukaba Country – Australia, lives in Tāmaki Makaurau, Aotearoa, NZ.) focuses on collaboration to create performative artworks that celebrate dynamic bodies and their relationship with specific sites. Hobbs received the 2003 Samstag Scholarship via a BFA(HONS) at the Victorian College of the Arts, which allowed her to attain an MFA from CalArts (2005), lastly receiving a DocFA from the University of Auckland (2017). Hobbs is currently a lecturer at the Auckland University of Technology and has exhibited extensively across Australia, Aotearoa and internationally.
Shivanjani Lal (b.1982 Lautoka, Fiji; lives in Sydney, Australia) is a twice removed Fijian Indian Australian Artist and Curator from the indentured labour diaspora of the Indian and Pacific Oceans whose history is shaped by the Kala Pani [Black Waters]. She works across mediums to explore her dislocation that seeks to account for memory, erasure, healing and the archive. In 2019 she was the recipient of the NSW Visual Arts Fellowship (Emerging) and presented a solo exhibition Like This Incense Your Spirit Must Burn at Bega Valley Regional Gallery.
Enoch Mailangi (b.1995 Sydney, Australia) is an Indigenous and Polynesian TV writer and text-based artist. Their practice and writing primarily champions themes of Black mediocrity and explores celebrity culture as a vehicle of colonisation. They are a 2019/20 Sydney Theatre Company Emerging Playwright and an MFA student at the National Institute of Dramatic Arts. They’re thesis researches humour in South Pacific regions. They have been programmed in Belvoir’s 2020 A25 program for new work Apologia, a play exploring the art of the public apology: opening in May.
Marianne Nicolson is an artist activist of the Musgamakw Dzawada’enuxw First Nations. The Musgamakw Dzawada’enuxw Nations are part of the Kwakwaka’wakw (Kwak’wala speaking peoples) of the Pacific Northwest Coast. She is trained in both traditional Kwakwaka’wakw forms and culture and contemporary gallery and museum-based practice. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Emily Carr University of Art and Design (1996), a Master of Fine Arts (2000) from the University of Victoria, as well as a Master of Arts (2005) in Linguistics and Anthropology and a PhD (2013) in Linguistics and Anthropology with a focus on space as expressed in the Kwak’wala language. Nicolson works as a Kwakwaka’wakw cultural researcher and historian, as well as an advocate for Indigenous land rights. Her practice is multi-disciplinary encompassing photography, painting, carving, video, installation, monumental public art, writing and speaking. All her work is political in nature and seeks to uphold Kwakwaka’wakw traditional philosophy and worldview through contemporary mediums and technology. Exhibitions include the 17th Biennale of Sydney, Australia; The Vancouver Art Gallery, The National Museum of the American Indian in New York, Nuit Blanche in Toronto, Ontario, Museum Arnhem, Netherlands and many others.
Talia Smith (b.1985 Auckland, New Zealand; lives Sydney, Australia) is an artist and curator of Sāmoan, Cook Island and European descent. Her practices examine themes of time, memory, dislocation and the diaspora with a focus on the Asia Pacific and photography. She has curated shows around Australia and New Zealand including Artbank, Cement Fondu, Artspace, Centre for Contemporary Photography and Papakura Art Gallery. She is Founder of Cold Cuts Project Space and currently completing her MFA at UNSW, Sydney.
Latai Taumoepeau (b. 1972 Sydney, Australia) is a contemporary Punake — a body-centred performance artist whose practice tells the stories of her homelands, the Island Kingdom of Tonga, and her birthplace of the Eora Nation, Sydney. Working in durational performance and documenting it through photographs, she addresses issues of race, class and the female body. In her recent practice, Taumoepeau explores the effects of climate change in the Pacific, probing existing power structures and the looming possibility of dispossession that many island communities face.
Salote Tawale was born in Suva, Fiji Islands and grew up in the South Eastern suburbs of Melbourne, Australia. Cultural identity is a central focus in her research. The inherent conflict of being from a mixed heritage (Fiji and Australia), that simultaneously includes and excludes Tawale from a dominant post-colonial Australia, is a significant consideration in her arts practice. Intrinsically performative – employing photography, video, drawing, sculpture, installation and live actions – Tawale re-forms and performs her identity and experience of a translocated Indigeneity, that is, removed from land and separated from traditional practices and consequently repositioned within immigrant histories.
Angela Tiatia (b. 1973, Auckland, New Zealand, lives in Sydney Australia) explores contemporary culture, drawing attention to its relationship to representation, gender, neo-colonialism and the commodification of the body and place, often through the lenses of history and popular culture. Important recent institutional group exhibitions include Intercambio, Cuba Biennial, Havana (2019), After the Fall, National Museum of Singapore (2017); Countercurrents, Samstag Museum of Art, Adelaide (2017); Personal Structures, a collateral exhibition of the 57th Venice Biennial (2017).
Vaimaila Urale (b. Fagamalo, Sāmoa 1972 lives and works in Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand) has developed a distinct art making process that draws on traditional Sāmoan elements expressed through digital media and contemporary social art practices. Referencing early computer image making known as ASCII, Urale explores digital mark making utilising universal computer keyboard characters / \ backslash and forward slash, as well as mathematical symbols < > less-than and greater-than. Using this process, she has designed tattoos, screen prints, ceramics as well as large-scale public murals. She is known for her work as co-founder of the art collective D.A.N.C.E art club whose interactive practice is based upon a desire to broaden and disrupt who art is made for and relevant to. Her work has been exhibited nationally at Dowse Art Museum and Māngere Arts Centre – Ngā Tohu o Uenuku, as well as internationally at SOMArts, San Francisco, Para/site, Hong Kong, Fei Contemporary Art Center, China and Blak Dot Gallery, Australia.
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