PANEL 1, MAY 19
Abstracts and bios are available below.
Video presentations, comments and discussion will be enabled on May 19th.
HAWAPI | Susie Quillinan
HAWAPI is an independent cultural association that takes interdisciplinary artists to specific locations to conduct research and produce interventions in public space. These encuentros take place in sites that are impacted by, and representative of, particular social, political, economic and environmental tensions. Providing artists with the opportunity to work in these contexts compels them to grapple with the complexities of place, in order to better understand critical regional issues. After the encuentro, HAWAPI creates opportunities for the artists to share their insights with the established contemporary art community in the form of public exhibitions, events, publications and conversations. For the Art Anywhere? 2020 symposium, co-director of HAWAPI Susie Quillinan will present a brief overview of the seven previous editions of the project in Peru and Colombia, in addition to the dynamics of location specificity, production and presentation.
SUSIE QUILLINAN works across exhibition making, residency design, education and publishing to explore how we think, organise learning and develop modes of making. Quillinan’s research explores experimental study and research methods in art and curatorial practice, artist made infrastructures and weaving as methodology. She has developed curatorial programming, editorial projects and study programmes in Lima, New York, Berlin, Bogotá and Mexico City. Quillinan is currently co-director of HAWAPI, program manager of Transart Institute’s MFA program and candidate in the PhD - Curatorial Practice program at MADA, Monash. She is based in Lima, Peru.
A GUIDE TO REMEMBERING: THE COLONIAL AMNESIA PROJECT
A guide to remembering – the colonial amnesia project presents a new landscape memorial typology, derived through social exchange and collective encounters. Through the lens of a thief and a perpetrator on unceded lands, this Project Anywhere iteration is based in Bothwell, Tasmania. This project follows the familial links and history of the Black Line (1830) and the Black War (1823–1831) during colonial invasion. The act of remembering these atrocities is prompted through a methodology of poetic provocations, disrupting colonial comfort through acknowledgement of the dark history that took place in this region. Thus, this work is purposed as an affront to colonial amnesia. During an artist residency in September 2020, the Bothwell
community will be invited to participate in this project, immersing in the narratives of place and contributing to a new assemblage of memory. Through participating and engaging in the project and its ‘poetic provocations’ (as a tool for remembering), a deeper experience of memorialisation is offered to those who participate. It is through participatory practice that knowledge and truth telling will resonate on a far deeper level than a physical memorial space. This new intangible memorial typology can then transcend beyond time and place, being a Project Anywhere that brings the act of remembering to the forefront of our being.
TANIA BLACKWELL is a Tasmanian born; Melbourne based interdisciplinary artist. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Fine Art) with Honours, RMIT University 2002 and a Masters of Landscape Architecture Melbourne University 2018. Intangible cultural heritage, memory, darkness and haunting in landscapes are recurring themes in her creative practice and research. These narratives are explored through mapping, installations, photography, writing and exchange. Most recent achievements include; recipient, Steve Calhoun Research Scholarship, Melbourne University 2016; Invited speaker Places of Memory, Intangible Cultural Heritage for ICOMOS, Florence, 2017; and Trauma-scapes and the Aesthetics of Darkness – Tasmanian Landscapes, Island Dynamics Conference, Svalbard, Norway 2019.
In 2018, Presa bought 22 acres of land adjacent to state forest on the traditional land of the Dja Dja Wurrung people in central Victoria. A commissioned environmental report listing the Indigenous and non-Indigenous species serves as an initial guide for rehabilitating this land. Yet as I travel -most recently to Shangri-La, bordering Tibet and Emily Dickinson’s historic garden in Amherst- she wondered what it means to “dwell authentically” (using Heidegger’s term) in land brutally taken from its original inhabitants, and what role art might have in healing and reparation? Thus, she turned to gardens. Might a garden become the “Bridge” in Heidegger’s concept of the four-fold: “that gathers to itself in its own way earth and sky, divinities and mortals”? Following Luce Irigaray’s thought, might dwelling be characterised as a constant striving in relation to Eros? In fidelity to these thinkers, she dreams of, devises, plans and starts to construct a garden – for the sky, the gods and the cosmos, and to the earth, its mineral elements and creatures. This presentation is an account of a process of making; still in its infancy, it is offered in acknowledgment of the traditional custodians, their knowledge systems and the life they sustain.
ELIZABETH PRESA is an artist and lecturer at the VCA. She was Head of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Ideas at the VCA from 2003-2018, prior to that she taught in the Sculpture Department of the VCA. In 2019 she was visiting artist and professor at The Central Academy of Fine Art in Beijing, and at Minzu University for the Ethnic minorities Beijing; and visiting Researcher at Amherst College MA.
GROWING COMMUNITIES: PLANTS, PEOPLE AND RESTORATIVE PRACTICE
One of Gower’s ongoing responses to living in Kulin country as a trawlwoolway woman is to restore (her) front yard into a plant community, with a focus on species of the plains grasslands plant community of Melbourne. This project is both a decolonising act and a relational practice, comprising a growing number of sites and people as it moves in and out of the gallery and across state and First Nations boundaries. In this presentation, she will map this restorative project’s trajectories and reflect upon plants as sovereign beings that have the capacity to restore our relationships to place and to each other.
LAUREN GOWER belongs to the trawlwoolway people of tebrakunna country in northeast Tasmania, and currently lives in unceded Kulin country in Melbourne. Lauren works in the role of Tutor in Indigenous Arts and Culture at the Wilin Centre for Indigenous Arts and Culture, University of Melbourne. Lauren's research and creative practice focus on poetic, performative and participatory engagements with country that centre First Nations ways of being, doing and knowing.
CHAIR | Raafat Ishak
RAAFAT ISHAK Born Cairo 1967; arrived Melbourne 1982; lives and works in Melbourne. Working across painting, sculpture, installation and site-specific drawing, Raafat Ishak's practice is informed by the history of painting and architecture. While self-consciously embroiled in and submitting to the canonical historical impetus of early modernism and the obscene undertones of pagan desert practices, Ishak’s meditation on the place of and logic for painting is premeditated on speculations on the complicity of the apathetic gesture in negotiating a troubled and grieving world. His work is held in many significant public and private collections, he is a founding member of Ocular Lab Inc, and is represented by Sutton Gallery, Melbourne. Ishak is currently Head of Painting at the Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne.