The Shouting Valley: Interrogating the Borders Between Us
Cushla Donaldson, Hoda Afshar, Jun Yang, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, and Shahriar Asdollah-Zadeh, curated by Lisa Beauchamp
Exhibition preview: Tuesday 28 January, 5:30pm
Exhibition runs: 29 January – 15 March 2020
Artist talk with Cushla Donaldson: Wednesday 29 January, 12:30pm
aArtist talk with Shahriar Asdollah-Zadeh: Saturday 22 February, 1pm
Communicating the experiences of migrants on Australian off-shore detention centres is Hoda Afshar’s portrait series Remain (2018), made in collaboration with men who remained on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea, following the closure of the island’s detention facility. Working closely with Kurdish Iranian journalist and refugee Behrouz Boochani, whose portrait is included, Afshar’s works are a stark reminder of the injustices of migration laws, a topic rightfully at the centre of ongoing and current debates.
A newly commissioned artist-designed wallpaper complete with traditional Chinese ink paintings forms part of a large-scale installation called Becoming European or How I Grew up with Wiener Schnitzel (2015) by Jun Yang. Using Google’s image repository to narrate his experience of migration with reference to the European Migrant Crisis of 2015, Yang’s video is a prescient reminder of the pervasive stereotypes placed on people who choose to migrate. As asked in his video, “Isn’t migration a human right or part of human nature?”
New painting by Shahriar Asdollah-Zadeh explores the fragility of borders as seen from afar. Titled Pale Blue Dot, the paintings relate to the experience of seeing first-hand the Earth from outer space. As national boundaries vanish, the conflicts that divide people become less important reminding us of the need to see past these imposed divisions.