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HOME2019-02-20T16:30:40+00:00

REFUGE IS NOW SHOWING
12 February – 18 April 2019.
Mon-Fri 11am-5pm, Sun 12-4pm.
Saturdays during the Perth Festival 12-4pm.
Building 200A, Curtin University, Kent Street, Bentley. +61 08 9266 4155.
THE REFUGE PUBLIC PROGRAM IS NOW ONLINE HERE
gallery@curtin.edu.au

Perth Festival and John Curtin Gallery are proud to present REFUGE.

REFUGE features two poignant and timely works – Candice Breitz’s Love Story, 2016 and Angelica Mesiti’s Mother Tongue, 2017, both utilising the cinematic medium to present the complex experiences of their immigrant and refugee subjects through music, performance and the spoken word.

Australian-born, Paris-based Angelica Mesiti’s work offers unusual insight into the immigrant experience through an elegiac journey into the song and music of diverse communities displaced from their homelands and living in the Danish city of Aarhus. Exquisitely captured with the artist’s characteristically dream-like nuance, Mother Tongue has universal resonance, presenting a series of diasporic encounters between those who seek to belong yet also to retain and preserve a sense of cultural identity and tradition.  Mother Tongue was commissioned by the Aarhus European Capital for Culture 2017 in association with the Adelaide Biennial 2018. Angelica Mesiti will represent Australia at this year’s Venice Biennale.

South African Candice Breitz challenges audiences not to ignore the stories of refugees, deploying a provocative juxtaposition of storytellers – influential Hollywood stars Alec Baldwin and Julianne Moore, with six real-life refugees.   Acclaimed at the 2017 Venice Biennale, Love Story is based upon narratives of six individuals who fled their countries: Sarah Ezzat Mardini, who escaped war-torn Syria, José Maria João, a former child soldier from Angola; Mamy Maloba Langa, a survivor from the Democratic Republic of the Congo; Shabeena Saveri, an Indian transgender activist; Luis Nava, a political dissident from Venezuela; and Farah Abdi Mohamed, a young atheist from Somalia. This multi-channel work prompts viewers to consider: why is it that the same audiences driven to tears by fictional blockbusters, remain unaffected in the face of actual human suffering.

The forced migration of people from developing countries as a result of violence, conflict and climate-related extreme events, is often presented in an unpalatable way through polarising political rhetoric and scare-mongering. REFUGE depicts the human reality of these issues through the persuasive medium of cinema, bringing to life the plight of people forced to flee their homes and make new lives in often strange and inhospitable lands.

Chris Malcolm & Felicity Fenner, exhibition curators.
Presented in association with Perth Festival, supported by Visual Arts Program Partner Wesfarmers Arts.  Mother Tongue and Love Story appear courtesy Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne.

REFUGE Exhibition Opening 11/2/2019

Candice Breitz – Love Story

Acclaimed at the 2017 Venice Biennale, Candice Breitz’s Love Story features compelling performances from Hollywood stars Julianne Moore and Alec Baldwin as they recount the experiences of six refugees. The actors’performances are juxtaposed with the personal narratives of the six individuals forced to flee their countries: Sarah Ezzat Mardini, who escaped war-torn Syria; José Maria João, a former child soldier from Angola; Mamy Maloba Langa, a survivor from the Democratic Republic of the Congo; Shabeena Saveri, an Indian transgender activist; Luis Nava, a political dissident from Venezuela; and Farah Abdi Mohamed, a young atheist from Somalia.

In combination, these contrasting versions of the exact same accounts of suffering provide insight into how such tragedies are communicated, interpreted and acted upon.In a cinematic installation interrogating the conditions under which empathy is produced, the work prompts viewers to consider why it is that the same audiences that are driven to tears by fictional blockbusters can remain unaffected in the face of real human suffering.

Visit Candice Breitz’s website here

Angelica Mesiti – Mother Tongue

Mother Tongue, a new work by Australian artist Angelica Mesiti, also offers unusual insight into the immigrant experience. It is an elegiac journey into the song and music of diverse communities displaced from their homelands and living in the Danish city of Aarhus. Filmed in a number of locations and communities in Aarhus, Mother Tongue brings together ancient and modern rhythms, traditional and contemporary song arrangements.

This emotionally and visually immersive film iscaptured with the artist’s characteristically dream-like nuance and reveals the role of music in defining and retaining cultural identity and tradition. Mother Tongue has universal resonance, presenting a series of diasporic encounters between those who seek to belong yet also to retain a sense of cultural identity and tradition.

Angelica Mesiti is Australia’s representative artist at the 2019 Venice Biennale.

Visit Angelica Mesiti’s website here

Also showing in the JCG Atrium:

WARSHIP – The Glorious Decline of the Officers’ Library
An Installation by Jo Darbyshire
Exhibiting now until 10 March 2019

Click the image above for more information

The John Curtin Gallery, which houses the Curtin University Art Collection celebrates its 20thAnniversary in 2018 after opening as Australia’s largest university art museum in 1998.   

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Indigenous Acknowledgement

John Curtin Gallery acknowledges the traditional owners of the land on which the Bentley gallery is located, the Wadjuk people of the Noongar Nation.

WATCH OUR TRADITIONAL ABORIGINAL WELCOME VIDEO