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Who speaks for a community?

Curated by Bella Hone Saunders (SA/VIC)

Ellen Davies (VIC) Seb Henry-Jones (NSW) Kate Power (SA) Angela Schilling (VIC) James Tylor (SA) Grace Marlow (SA) Eugene Choi (NSW)

Catalogue essay by Hugh Hirst-Johnson (SA/VIC)

1 December – 22 December 2017

This exhibition will be an opportunity for each artist, the curator and guests to explore their personal relationships with the nebulous term: ‘community.’ This exhibition will utilise Sister Gallery as a safe and supportive environment, as well as a platform, for the exploration of personal identity in relation to community with a focus on representation and intersectionality . It would be an opportunity for each artist to interrogate their own history/ies, resist or challenge dominant Australian culture and to examine whether their communities have been accorded or denied social space within a gallery.

This exhibition will endeavour to ask the following questions:

Who speaks for a community?

If a dedicated gallery space does not clearly establish a sense of inclusion or accessibility for multiple communities, what procedures should be set in place to achieve this?

How do we hold gallery spaces/curators accountable for speaking to diverse communities and engaging in cross-cultural dialogues?

The aim is not to present an authoritative answer to any of these questions, rather to open and continue an important dialogue surrounding the notion of ‘community’ This exhibition will attempt to answer questions and further interrogate which communities, as well as where and when they, have historically been designated or denied social space in cultural in situations.

The curator sees a common thread between each of the eight artists work, through their competent abilities to engage with, and speak to, their individual identities. These identities are often fluid and are reflected through multiple community groups. Each artist involved explores themes of community with textural, engaging and exploratory practices. Many of the artists involved respond to gender constructs and gender performativity as a component of their identities, while others reflect on t heir ethnicity and culture to consider their place and reception in broader post- colonial society. It is also in the curator’s belief that through this exhibition will be an introduction of a “multiplicity of voices, both within the work as well as around it. ” [1]

Panel discussions on the topic of ‘who speaks for a community?’ were held on:

Saturday December 2, 1 pm-3 pm. With exhibiting artists.

Friday December 8, 6.30-8.30 pm. With a guest panel comprised of: Becci Love, Lauren Abineri, Pony Horseman, Hen Vaughan and Aida Azin.

Images by Christopher Arblaster

[1] Brian Kuan Wood, from: Lind, Maria, Brian Kuan Wood, and Beatrice Von. Bismarck. Selected Maria Lind writing . N ew York: Sternberg Press, 2011, 7