November 29, 2023


masterpiece of human

Embodied Knowledge: Corporeal Complexity – QAGOMA Blog


‘Embodied Knowledge: Queensland Modern day Art’ opening at the Queensland Art Gallery from 13 August, is a showcase that reimagines our romance to our bodies and to our progressively digital planet. Listed here, we survey a variety of artists whose function characteristics in this important new exhibition.

Profiling 19 talented artists and collectives, ‘Embodied Knowledge’ is a snapshot of the art getting built currently by artists related to Queensland. The exhibition includes assignments crammed with wit and verve, that engage in with bodily extensions, convey corporeal recollections, and exhibit the entanglement of the political inside of the individual. Just one putting component of the exhibition’s various offerings is their material complexity, especially in artworks by James Barth, Meuram Murray Island Dance Group, Ethel Murray, Obery Sambo, Vanghoua Anthony Vue and Justene Williams.

James Barth ‘Gleaming, I’m shown’

James Barth, Australia b.1993 / Gleaming, I’m demonstrated 2021 / Oil display screen printed and brushed on aluminium composite sheet / 86 x 69cm / Private assortment, Brisbane / Impression courtesy: James Barth & Milani Gallery

The extension of bodily limitations in just professional and digital areas is exuberantly explored in Justene Williams’s expansive set up and in James Barth’s photopaintings. In Barth’s Gleaming, I’m revealed 2021 (illustrated), the anatomy of two lounging, plaid-clothed characters looks to mock skeletal norms. The legless figure sitting in the history is paper-thin, while the arms of a figure lying in the mid-floor appear as malleable as plasticine. To build her artworks, Barth initial builds digital worlds and avatars in open-resource graphics software package, then transfers these pictures to silk screens and prints them onto boards in varying shades of grey. The levels of damp paint are then brushed to make a blur — reminiscent of the function of German painter Gerhard Richter — that softens the crisp lines of the synthetic imagery. The ensuing artworks are a amazing mix of the virtual and the painterly.

Justene Williams ‘The Vertigoats’

Justene Williams, Australia b.1970 / The Vertigoats 2021 / Combined media / Obtained 2021 with money from the Modern Patrons through the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Artwork Basis / Collection: Queensland Artwork Gallery | Gallery of Present day Artwork / © Justene Williams

Williams’s The Vertigoats 2021 (illustrated) humorously reviews on the drive to ‘climb the ladder’ of each social and economic orders. A vivid array of mannequins — some immersed in the personal globe of digital truth headsets — are posed throughout an expansive gallery wall. Williams stretches and distorts the mannequins’ fibreglass limbs so extensively that they almost get rid of their partnership to the human body. Lurid, metallic department-retail outlet shelving even more adds to the eyesight of hyped-up retail treatment. Reinforcing the vertigo alluded to in the artwork’s title, colourful plastic climbing holds and geometric boulders are dotted across place, in reference to the latest vogue of climbing gyms. Williams points to how the fashion and wellness industries promote by themselves as modes through which persons can realise their individuality, but which actually engender conformity.

Vanghoua Anthony Vue ‘The Manny’

Vanghoua Anthony Vue, Australia b.1989 / The Manny (from the ‘Hard-hat Devi(l)-(n)ation’ series) 2022 / Mixed media / 145 x 120 x 85cm / Image courtesy: Vanghoua Anthony Vue

A few freshly commissioned headdresses, from Vanghoua Anthony Vue’s ‘Devi(l)- (n)ation’ sequence 2017–22 (illustrated), see hardhats adorned with elaborately interwoven screwdrivers, paint rollers, plastic pipes and other objects. These resources are decorated with sequins, plastic jewels and pompoms, electrical tape, plastic cable ties, washers and bolts.

Vue attracts his supplies from hardware suppliers to reference the handbook labour for which Hmong migrants are frequently employed in the Australian development business. Even though the intricate structure of the artworks nods to the opulent customized of Hmong headdresses discovered in the mountainous border areas of Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar and Laos, Vue’s variations are significantly a lot more bodily imposing than their classic counterparts, considering that they perform up the sculptural aspects of the discovered objects. As the Hmong individuals are break up throughout countrywide borders in South-East Asia and the wider diaspora, the dilemma of cultural continuity stays urgent: by way of his ‘Devi(l)-(n)ation’ series, Vue honors the customs of his Hmong heritage, when also positing a way for these aesthetic traditions to completely transform and develop in an Australian context.

Ethel Murray ‘Rope bigin’

Ethel Murray with Rope Bigin (defend) 2016 / Graphic courtesy: Ethel Murray and Joann Russo, Girringun Aboriginal Artwork Centre

Also working with extensions of the overall body and the need to sustain cultural heritage, Girramay artist Ethel Murray’s function reinvents the rainforest bigin (defend) (illustrated). Traditionally carved from softwood and painted with purely natural pigments, the artist employs lengths of orange, yellow, black and white artificial rope. Increasing on her father’s totem layouts, the graphic traces blur and the colors intermingle in Murray’s shaggy renditions. Though they are presented as static objects, the components of Bumbil Bigin Nguma: Remembering my father’s shields 2022 suggest the exaggerated movements of the shields, swinging and swaying in ceremony or struggle. With this simple twist in products, Murray reanimates the bigin tradition to have interaction new audiences.

Meuram Murray Island Dance Team

Meuram Murray Island Dance Group (from the Meuram nation in the Torres Strait Islands) performing in the course of finals at sunset at Dance Rites 2018 at Sydney Opera Property in Sydney, NSW, Australia on Nov. 24, 2018 / Image courtesy: ABC Arts Teresa Tan
Obery Sambo keeping two of his artworks / Photograph: Carli Willis

The Meuram Murray Island Dance Team (illustrated) encapsulates the plan of embodied knowledge in the activation of works by way of ceremonies that originate on Mer in the Torres Strait. Voice and motion convey the classes of the ancestors and their totems into the modern second. Obery Sambo (illustrated) is a main member of the team and a revered mask-maker. In addition to generating customary dhari (the type of headdress that is the image of the Torres Strait), his follow has expanded to integrate his personal unique response to Mer legends and medicine men. These are rendered in commercially made coconut husk, twine, artificial supplies and acrylic paint and while they could not conform to common types, Sambo makes use of them as memory props to keep these oral histories lively.

These performs and artists in ‘Embodied Knowledge’ every single emphasize how artwork can be deployed to rethink what cultural continuity can appear like, and reimagine our partnership to ourselves in our ever more electronic entire world.

Ellie Buttrose is Curator, Present-day Australian Art, QAGOMA
Katina Davidson is Curator, Indigenous Australian Art, QAGOMA

Film System

In conjunction with ‘Embodied Knowledge’, collaborating artist Callum McGrath has curated a cost-free film plan ‘In Queer Time‘ screening in the Australian Cinémathèque, GOMA from 12 to 24 August 2022.

Advertising still from Wildness 2012 / Director: Wu Tsang / Picture courtesy: Digital Arts Intermix

‘Embodied Expertise: Queensland Up to date Art’ is in Queensland Artwork Gallery’s Gallery 4, Gallery 5 (Henry and Amanda Bartlett Gallery) and the Watermall from 13 August 2022 to 22 January 2023.



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