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Centre of Visual Arts, University of Melbourne

APARN 2020: Rebordering the Archipelago — Asia Pacific Exchanges

Featuring: Raqs Media Collective and Moonis Ahmad; Léuli Eshr?ghi and Lisa Hilli, Victoria Hunt; Yuki Kihara and Natalie King; Nuraini Juliastuti and Sutanto Mendut; Helly Minarti and Tamarra, Ginoe Ojoy, Mark Teh, Iriano Yedija Petrus Awom

Presented by the Centre of Visual Art, University of Melbourne in association with the Asia Pacific Artistic Research Network (APARN), a joint project of Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne and Indonesian Institute of the Arts, Yogyakarta.

3-6 November 2020

Sign up to attend the event at Eventbrite to receive updates and Zoom links to the presentations.

“The entire world is becoming an archipelago” - Édouard Glissant

The efforts of oppressed peoples to survive in settler-colonial and postcolonial nations build on regional alliances that precede and exceed the colonial imaginary. Rethinking the “graph” in geography, the decolonial enterprise refuses the synoptic nationalism of territories bordered through colonial diagrams.

The late Tongan artist and scholar Epeli Hau’ofa proposed that the Pacific is best understood as a “sea of islands” - an oceanic continent, rather than small island states sorted into the European categories of Micronesia, Melanesia and Polynesia (small, black, many). He notes that Pacific peoples have traversed the Pacific for hundreds of generations in tune with its winds and currents. Such critical interrogation of how taxonomies shape our intergenerational experience forms an important part of research methods in the arts today, with artists critiquing both extractive neo-colonial economies and isolating neoliberal aesthetics.

Thinking the politics of critical regionalism from Asia, Yogyakarta-based curator Brigitta Isabella has noted that after the 1955 Bandung Conference the associated Afro-Asian Writers Bureau were not able to perform the critique of the nation-state structures that governed the Non-Aligned Movement’s political imaginary, and this placed them on the back foot in relation to intergovernmental politics across the Indian Ocean. At a time when the policing of borders is being renewed across the world, and cultural nationalist state activism and fundamentalism rises again, it is timely to revisit the Asia Pacific’s legacies of rethinking borders and territories through artists and cultural workers.

APARN 2020 presents a range of public panels and presentations as part of a regional exchange of artistic enquiry that can activate solidarity in our fields.

Artists of all disciplines, academics, students, and organisers who are actively involved in artistic research in the region — whether working inside an institution or independently — are also encouraged to register for the APARN meeting on Friday 7th November to participate in the network. Please submit an expression of interest with your registration if you wish to share a five minute presentation to the network. A parallel First Peoples' forum in the network (open to identifying participants only) will also meet on Friday 7th of November, convened by Dr Léuli Eshr?ghi.

Affiliated with APARN 2020 is Archipelagic Exchanges, a postgraduate research symposium and exchange between research students at McNally School of Fine Arts, Lasalle College of the Arts, Singapore, and University of Melbourne, Australia. The symposium features public keynote presentations by Sopheap Pich and Professor Claire Bishop - details here.

For the schedule and details visit:

Image: Léuli Eshr?ghi, re(cul)naissance, 2020. Installation view for the 22nd Biennale of Sydney (2020), Cockatoo Island. Commissioned by the Biennale of Sydney. This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body. Courtesy the artist. Photograph: Jessica Maurer.




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