Paper short abstract:
Koori artist Maree Clarke will discuss her work to regenerate "culture" in an Australian urban. Through her work, "the archive" includes oral storytelling, museum objects, and traditional lands; it also points to the responsibility of intergenerational knowledge exchange.
Paper long abstract:
Multi-media artist/curator Maree Clarke will discuss her work to regenerate cultural practices among Aboriginal people in Australia's southeast. Her praxis—in photography, body adornment, and video/digital media—emerges from knowledge handed down by her Ancestors and older siblings; as well as research in museum/archival collections around the world. All of the works are embedded in Country, relying on the materials and designs that Aboriginal people have been using forever; and each involves intergenerational knowledge transmission at every stage of the making process. Creativity and experimentation abounds in her practice, as each new work critiques the reverberating effects of colonial dispossession, asserts the continuity of culture, and challenges artworld conventions, including the representative potential of the media in which she works. Additionally, Maree's work concerns ways of dealing with trauma and grief in the Aboriginal community - an ongoing effect of colonization - and she has developed unique models of mourning and healing practices through her artwork.
Clarke lives and works in the city of Melbourne—where Aboriginality is too-often assumed inauthentic and obsolete. Her practice is simultaneously collaborative and expressive; revivifying and innovative. Through her work "the archive," includes the storytelling of her forbears, the extant objects and photographs held in state galleries and museums, and the land from which she gathers her materials and inspiration. "The archive" is also a living/breathing thing, a way of talking about art/culture as inextricably linked and fundamental to the sustaining of hope and life, often against all odds.
Australian Aboriginal artists, the archive and cross-cultural collaborations