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Rebecca Belmore, The Named and the Unnamed, 2002, video installation, Collection of the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, The University of British Columbia Rebecca Belmore, The Named and the Unnamed, 2002, video installation, Collection of the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, The University of British Columbia
photo Howard Ursuliak, © the artist
THE BRINGING TOGETHER OF INDIGENOUS CULTURES FROM THE PACIFIC REGION, WHETHER IN LARGE SCALE EVENTS LIKE THE ASIA PACIFIC TRIENNIAL OR SMALLER BUT SIGNIFICANT SHOWS LIKE JENNY FRASER AND LUBI THOMAS’ BIG EYE: ABORIGINAL ANIMATION FROM AUSTRALIA AND CANADA (RT91, P26) YIELDS INSIGHTS FOR BOTH ARTISTS AND AUDIENCES ABOUT INDIGENEITY AND ART IN A BROADER THAN USUAL CONTEXT. STOP(THE) GAP IS SUCH AN EVENT, ONE WITH AN EXCITING, TIMELY FOCUS ON MEDIA ARTS.

As part of its celebration of the moving image in visual art, the 2011 Adelaide Film Festival is partnering the University of South Australia’s Samstag Museum of Art to present Stop(the)Gap: International Indigenous Art in Motion. Curated by Brenda L Croft, the exhibition will bring together from Australia the considerable talents of filmmaker Warwick Thornton, leading new media artist r e a and curator and media artist Genevieve Grieves (Bunjilaka, Melbourne Museum).

Warwick Thornton, Stranded, 2011, film still, commissioned by Adelaide Film Festival Investment Fund 2011 Warwick Thornton, Stranded, 2011, film still, commissioned by Adelaide Film Festival Investment Fund 2011
© the artist
Warwick Thornton’s contribution to Stop(the)Gap, commissioned through the Adelaide Film Festival Investment Fund, will be on show at the Samstag Museum while r e a and Genevieve Grieves will screen their creations outdoors at Port Adelaide’s historic Harts Mill.

The Australians are joined by a range of visiting major artists: Rebecca Belmore (performance, installation; Canada’s official representative at the 2005 Venice Biennale, Sydney Biennale, 1988), Dana Claxton (Canada; video, performance; Sundance Film Festival; 2010 Biennale of Sydney; Microwave, Hong Kong); Alan Michelson (USA; digital photography, video and glass), Nova Paul (NZ; photography, film: fascinating three-colour separation images of New Zealand sites), Lisa Reihana (NZ; Campbelltown Arts Centre’s Edge of Elsewhere, 2010 and major Australian galleries have shown her richly textured photomedia portraits) and Erica Lord (USA; interdisciplinary artist; striking photographic work).

In the Stop(the)Gap press release, Brenda Croft writes, “Some of the most provocative and illuminating moving image work today is being created by Indigenous new media artists—yet there has been no international focus on this work until now. Despite physical distances, Indigenous communities around the globe are linked through their shared colonial histories, each bearing the scars borne of dispossession, injustice, inequality, and misrepresentation.” Croft has “selected works challenging preconceptions of contemporary Indigenous expression and addressing themes of human rights, environmental concerns, cultural security, and negotiating diversity.”

At the very same time as they provoke us, the works of these artists display the seductive power of art, using bodies, film, video, new technologies and a potent sense of place to transform a problematic world into one that fascinates as much as it challenges, thereby further opening us up to the riches of Indigenous cultures.


2011 BigPond Adelaide Film Festival and Samstag Museum of Art: Stop(the)Gap: International Indigenous Art in Motion, Feb 24-April 21, www.adelaidefilmfestival.org and www.unisa.edu.au/samstagmuseum

RealTime issue #101 Feb-March 2011 pg. 30

© RealTime ; for permission to reproduce apply to realtime@realtimearts.net

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