The Colony [stage 1] - Who Comes to Visit? Exhibition, June 2018:
This work-in-progress with Ngarrindjeri explores assimilation, treaty and bureaucracy as the logistics of empire.
What is your experience of whiteness and identity in the context of Treaty and colonization? How do we want to share our limited time on this planet? How do we come to terms?
The Colony is a dynamic, experimental installation, combining projection work, sculpture, line art and poetic audio-visual provocations. Opening Sunday June 17 at 2.30pm, with a Welcome to Country by Ngarrindjeri Elder Rose Rigney (find her speech below), speeches by the lead artists and drinks and nibbles. The installation will be shown from June 15 to July 22 2018.
Check out useful links and background info - Treaty, Uluru Statement, Letters Patent and Native Title.
This cross-cultural collaboration was created by Jen Lyons-Reid [concept, line art, text], Carl Kuddell [concept, sculpture, text], Ngarrindjeri man Clyde Rigney Jnr [concept, text, audio], Felix Weber [sculptures, installation] and Johanis Lyons-Reid [video].
Welcome to the Colony
When you enter the Colony, who comes to visit? Navigate a bivouac of menacing, invasive colonies and colonial beliefs, to experience how Ngarrindjeri continue to maintain and share their cultural values in the tension between assimilation and treaty. “Nukkan Nganawi Ngarrindjeri Kringkari Ngoppen? Can you see my walk in your white world?”
Suspended in a surreal, timeless now, tinged with past, present and future colonial ventures, an array of cargo crates form a mobile bureaucratic envoy, dispatched to colonize this space.
HQ spews data, assessing and assimilating Ngarrindjeri values and dictating the terms of ‘settlement’. From its crates spill the colonizers cargo, flotsam, tools and toys, casting menacing shadows of invasion. Absurd technology prints and projects evaluation protocols and Colonizer roles, rendered as friendly, garish cartoons. A never-ending negotiation emanates from a makeshift tent. “Are you still here? Are you listening? Do I scare you? I am assimilated, I speak fluent Grey. We need to come to terms.”
Navigating this bivouac, audiences are invited to decipher the impact of colonial beliefs: What does assimilation mean to you? Which of the colonizers do you know? What is your experience of treaty and colonization? Who do you see when you look into the mirror? How do we want to share our limited time on this planet? How do we come to terms?
When you exit back into the colony through the Welcome gate, please take some information from the Community Notice Board.
The Colony [stage 1] - Exhibition is one of the 2017-18 outcomes of our cross-cultural collaboration during Creating Together - what can possibly go wrong?.
The Colony [stage 2] - Immersive game, 2018-19: We plan to create an interactive game world, run by a colonial bureaucracy, ‘Grey Matters Inc’, with a diverse range of artists, partners and communities. This intersectional project and participatory game will explore concepts of intersectionality, insurrection and solidarity. Stage 2 at Nexus Arts, Adelaide, as a WIP showing with artists talk, and Goolwa South Coast Arts Centre in August 2019 during SALA Festival, and then returning to Murray Bridge Regional Gallery.
The Colony [stage 3] - Immersive game and festival performance, 2019-20: In the third stage we want to present the fully formed gameplay and performance to arts festivals and events, further develop interactive and mobile elements of the work and tour the game, performance and exhibition nationally.
Floor sheet info clockwise from Gallery entrance:
Entrance: ‘Community Notice Board’ - Jen Lyons-Reid, Carl Kuddell, lamp-post ads featuring What Privilege’s 50 colonizers and their 10 gangs, mixed media, 2018
Left-hand wall 1: ‘Can you see me?’ - Jen Lyons-Reid, Carl Kuddell, Clyde Rigney Jnr, sculpture, Ngarrindjeri archival images of Clyde's ancestors Grace and Daniel Gollan, mirror-glass, metal, LED, mixed media, 3x 55cm x 45cm, 2018
Centre: ‘The Colony Cargo’ - Felix Weber, Jen Lyons-Reid, Carl Kuddell, Clyde Rigney Jnr, sculpture, 5x 90cm x 90cm x 180cm, mixed media, 2018
‘You didn’t see me coming’ - Jen Lyons-Reid, Carl Kuddell, Clyde Rigney Jnr, mixed media, digital photo-frame, 2018
‘Mission protocol’ - Jen Lyons-Reid, Carl Kuddell, Felix Weber, Clyde Rigney Jnr, kinetic sculpture, wooden printer with endless canvas loop, mixed media, 2018
Left-hand wall 2: ‘This is not a toy’ – Felix Weber, Jen Lyons-Reid, Carl Kuddell, sculpture + shadow projection, wood, torch, 2018
Back wall: ‘Surveillance / Protection’ - Johanis Lyons-Reid, Jen Lyons-Reid, Carl Kuddell, Clyde Rigney Jnr, video projection, featuring videos created in collaboration with Ngarrindjeri, 2018
Right-hand wall: ‘Three Cheers for Civilization’ - Jen Lyons-Reid, Carl Kuddell, dual channel video projection, line art, poetry, 2018
Right-hand wall/ entry wall right corner: ‘We meet again (are you still listening?)’ - Clyde Rigney Jnr, Jen Lyons-Reid, Carl Kuddell, Felix Weber, sculpture, metal/ canvas tent, audio-video projection, 1.7mx 2.5m, 2018
Entry/ Exit wall: ‘Story Theft’ – Jen Lyons-Reid, Carl Kuddell, Clyde Rigney Jnr, video projection, Ngarrindjeri values, line art, poetry, 2018
Exit: ‘Welcome to the Colony’ – Felix Weber, Jen Lyons-Reid, Carl Kuddell, sculpture, 4.5mx 3m, wood, mixed media, LED-neon, 2018
Artistic concept / co-curators: Clyde Rigney Jnr, Jen Lyons-Reid and Carl Kuddell
Sculptures and installations: Felix Weber, Carl Kuddell, Jen Lyons-Reid
Video / FX: Johanis Lyons-Reid
Cartoons and line art: Jen Lyons-Reid
Poetry/ text: Jen Lyons-Reid, Carl Kuddell, Clyde Rigney Jnr
Spoken word performance: Clyde Rigney Jnr
Editing (slide projections and audio): Jen Lyons-Reid and Carl Kuddell
Seamstress extraordinaire: Gemima Thompson
Printing: PrintsAlive (Thanks Warren and Trevor)
Bump-in support: Melinda Rankin and her lovely team, Det, Don, Trevor and all the other volunteers and tech support at the Murray Bridge Regional Gallery and city council
Welcome to Country: Ngarrindjeri Elder Rose Rigney
Photo and video documentation: Johanis Lyons-Reid and Carl Kuddell
Ngarrindjeri Catering: Little Catering Co
And a big shout out to all our community participants, funders and supporters.
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body, and by the South Australian Government through Arts SA.
The project has been supported by the Regional Gallery Murray Bridge.