The future is female
Thursday, 4th October, 2018
By Callum Marshall
An all-female-artist exhibition exploring the past and future in speculative and interpretative ways has just begun at the Regional Art Gallery.
The Moving Histories/Future Projections exhibition sees the artists using screen-based mediums to reinterpret the past and conceive alternate futures.
Programs and Touring Exhibits Manager at Museums and Galleries NSW Rachel Arndt said the exhibit was a collaborative effort.
“It’s come together through a collaboration of Museums and Galleries NSW in partnership with dLux MediaArt. They found the curators and developed the exhibition,” she said.
“So, between MGNSW, dLux MediaArts and the two curators of the collaborative project Barbara Cleveland (Kelly Doley and Diana Baker-Smith.)
“Those two artists curated the exhibition, and were [the ones] charged with looking at screen-based projects by women in New South Wales.”
Due to the broad conception of the exhibition the artistic pieces cover an array of issues.
“It’s about how the artists look at history and the future of women, as well as topics such as Aboriginal history, colonialism, convict history and lost languages, among other things,” said Ms Arndt.
“But there’s also work looking at women’s bodies throughout art history and how film can address that, as well all these other issues.
“It’s all very engaging but very watchable thanks to the film elements of the exhibit.”
Regional Art Gallery’s James Bourne said each piece provided “powerful” commentary on these issues.
“There are some very powerful comments made by women who give voice to those who are not listened to in contemporary society,” he said.
“They have lots of things to say about colonialism, the plight of Indigenous peoples and the heritage that they’re made to live with and through.
“They give voice to marginalised cultures, to disappearing cultures and languages.”
Each piece’s use of time was part of challenging ingrained ideas within society, said Mr Bourne.
“History is definitely a flexible notion. We’re revisiting all kinds of comment on history, (but) not so much the events,” he said.
“The exploration of time is very striking within this exhibition. The idea of going back in time is one thing but there are (also) multiple temporalities presented at any one time. It makes you re-evaluate past events through a contemporary eye.
“For instance, in Joan Ross’ piece she travels back to the first colonial arrivals, but in this landscape there are blonde-brick suburban houses and there’re all kinds of anachronistic features. I think she’s trying to ask us to recognise the colonial legacy in contemporary Australia.
“That’s much the same thing for Caroline Garcia as well; she criticises our perception of the ‘other’ from a different culture, time and perspective.
“Using a green-screen she projects herself into certain scenes within movies, with her piece commenting on Hollywood or Bollywood’s look into the ‘other’ (where) they reduce that person to a two-dimensional scantily-clad body. It’s always for the entertainment of the male master.
“So these are the kinds of things that often go unrecognised, (but) are brought to the fore in this exhibition.”
The Moving Histories/Future Projections exhibit opened last Friday and will be running until November 11th at the Regional Art Gallery.