Have you seen MY Emily?
Sat, 7 Oct, 1 - 4pm
- When 30 Sep - 19 Nov 2017
1 Powerhouse Rd, Casula NSW 2170
Mon to Sun, 10am - 5pm
(02) 9824 1121
Sydney's dynamic multi-disciplinary arts centre, Casula Powerhouse (CPAC) is proud to announce the first major commission and institutional solo exhibition for Wiradjuri conceptual artist, Amala Groom. Have you seen MY Emily? is a 6-channel digital video installation.
In this major new work Groom performs an extended conversation between herself and the wife of a former Prime Minister in a stately Manhattan home. Based upon an actual conversation, the work seeks to expand upon the language of ownership and authority surrounding western perceptions of Aboriginal art and culture, unveiling the indistinct nuances of interpretation and the potentially shocking hidden truths that language can possess.
Reimagining the conversation and the behaviours of both parties, Groom unpacks what was said, what was imagined to be said, and what it could have really meant. As a bookend to the conversation, the exhibition features Untitled a 1994 work by the subject of the conversation, Emily Kame Kngwarreye.
“We’re exceptionally proud to commission Have you seen MY Emily? as our first major Indigenous commission by an Aboriginal artist since CPAC's redevelopment in 2008. CPAC firmly believes in supporting emerging and early career artists, but this work is even more exciting for us as it is so exquisitely timed, given the various discussions going on in the wider arts community about the sometimes problematic relationship between collectors and Indigenous artists. The issues and scenarios teased out in Amala’s work are very real and are happening across the country, time and time again… so it’s time they were subject to a serious and sometimes challenging interrogation.” said Director of CPAC Craig Donarski
Discussing her ambitious project artist Amala Groom said “The opportunity to expand my practice in experimenting with contemporary video art could not have been realised without the ongoing support of both CPAC, Curiousworks and the exhibition curator, Adam Porter. Have you seen MY Emily? is a commentary about the intersection between wealth and privilege that questions the authority and ownership around the commodification and objectification of Aboriginal art as cultural capital. This artwork provides an avenue to influence the cultural landscape in encouraging much needed dialogue about where we are at and where we are headed as a nation of many nations”.
Amala Groom is a Wiradjuri conceptual artist whose practice, as the performance of her cultural sovereignty, is informed and driven by First Nations epistemologies, ontologies and methodologies. Her work, a form of passionate activism, presents acute and incisive commentary on contemporary socio-political issues. Articulated across diverse media, Groom’s work often subverts and unsettles western iconographies in order to enunciate Aboriginal stories, experiences and histories, and to interrogate and undermine the legacy of colonialism. Not wishing to create reactionary works which tacitly allow contemporary political operatives serving the colonial ideology to set her artistic agenda, Groom seeks to create works which proactively and creatively unpack and undermine the Colonial Project, the on-going philosophy of colonialism that has imperialistically subjugated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples since 1770. Current and upcoming shows include The Public Body .02, Artspace, curated by Talia Linz and Alexie Glass-Kantor, System of Objects, National Art School curated by Jaime Tsai & Mikaela Rodwell, Moving Histories Future Projections, a dLux Media Arts exhibition toured by Museum & Galleries of NSW, curated by Kelly Doley and Di Smith, Have you seen my Emily?, Casula Powerhouse, curated by Adam Porter and Talk Back, Visual Bulk, Hobiennale 2017, curated by James Tylor. Groom features in the upcoming publication Contemporary interdisciplinary & experimental art practice By Indigenous Australian artists, published by Open City Inc, co-edited by Sarah-Jane Norman, Virginia Baxter and Keith Gallasch; and is a member of the board of the National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA).
Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre
Located on the banks of the Georges River, the Casula Powerhouse incorporates six galleries and presents a range of permanent and temporary exhibitions. The Casula Powerhouse is a leading visual and performing arts space in South West Sydney. Boasting a 321-seat theatre, Casula Powerhouse plays host to a range of theatre and cinematic productions each year.