Finding a Voice exhibition explores the idea of the transformation and disruption of an identity. It questions a physical and psychological gap and conflict between the mind and body in order to grow into another self. The exhibition presents video works by Australian artist Nina Ross titled “Finding a Voice (2012)” and “The Foreignness of Languages (2011)” as well as video work “Gaza Zoo/Bath Time (2012)” by Palestinian video artist, Sharif Waked.
Finding a Voice (2012) draws on Ross’ experiences of learning a second language. There was a momentary pause, a gap between the mind and body which made Ross question herself before speaking. This disconnection was physical and psychological. Her practice examines the body as the living container of actions, thoughts and desires which actualize themselves into words in our throat through the articulation of sound (which causes the voice folds to produce vibrations). This video explores such experiences on the body as a metaphor for the repercussions on one’s sense of self; playing on the process of trying to own a foreign language.
The Foreignness of Language (2011) draws on Nina’s experience of learning Norwegian to explore how second language acquisition influences and disrupts identity. The process of learning a second tongue involves adapting and adjusting to knowing and not knowing oneself in an unfamiliar language. The foreignness of language investigates the duality of having two languages sitting inside oneself and as a result having one’s identity in a constant state of flux. The video examines the tension of being caught between two languages represented by the experiences on the body as a metaphor for the repercussions on a sense of self.
Gaza Zoo/Bath Time (2012) is a video work of a donkey transformed into a zebra in Gaza. The cross-dressing of the species variety took place at the hands of an entrepreneur whose zoo was badly damaged in the Israeli incursion earlier that year in order to draw the crowds back. In the video “Bath Time” a donkey takes a good shower after a long day saturated with the spectator’s gaze and laughter at the Gaza Zoo. Gaza Zoo explores the industry of amusement. It ponders the politics and aesthetics of role-play and performance, the penal colony and the wild; the make-up artist and his muse; and the original and its copy.
'It is our haunted and resistant sense of place that allows for both a form of belonging that is forever seeking to be elsewhere, and a unique aesthetic that anticipates the many returns of a repressed past’
is always a missing and unfinished piece in one’s life which yearns to
be fulfilled. The Ferry Gallery launch exhibition Here and There
explores the journey through, and observation of, natural habitats and
environments as a component of our search for the needed parts and
undiscovered instruments of our lives. Through one’s journey and
experience intertwined relationships, between the disappeared past and
the incomplete present, between one world and another, are formed and
Here and There consists of video, sound and photography
work by Thai and Australian artists, including Suttirat
Supaparinya (TH), Scott Morrison (AU), Thomas Breakwell (AU) and Nikki
Lam (HK/AU). The selected artworks have an historical relationship and
intricate connection to the gallery’s natural and synthetic
“My Grandpa’s Route Has Been Forever
Blocked”, a two channel video, captures Supaparinya’s journey through
the Ping River to follow her grandfather’s route where he transported
teakwood from Chiang Mai to Bangkok. Uniting history and present, she
develops an understanding of her grandpa’s mysterious and enigmatic
experiences and life, as well as observing other contemporary
environment, including the blocked river-scape. This is a journey
motivated by a personal history, with far-reaching implications.
“We Fell out of This Together” dwells in quiet reflections amongst a
layered and dense interweaving of sound and vision. Capturing moments of
deep bushland prior to a storm, Morrison uses the sounds and sights of
the calm before the approaching downpour and creates a circular and
enveloping collage of natural abstraction. The act of ground-rooted
nature standing resolute amongst the growing and developing forces of
change acts as a challenge and testament to love, memory and the
embracement of shared history.
In the photographic series, “There
There”, Breakwell guides viewers through a dark natural environment
where the spaces are manipulated and extravagant. The spaces become
unreal and the humans represented in the photographs are shifted and
transported into a secretive, imaginary and hidden place. In reference
to Radiohead’s song “There, There (The Boney King of Nowhere)”,
Breakwell describes the invisible illusion and confusion within human
experiences of space.
Lam’s “Another Place” explores our longing
to be elsewhere. A block of frozen seeds, a symbol of a rooted place, is
dissolved into the ocean, an ambiguous in-between place, which connects
every place and which is also a symbol, and historical site of, the
desire for continuous movement. The work takes the form of the shape of
the moon, a Chinese analogy that alludes to the moon gathering family
and friends, despite them scattered across the world. The moon unites
all individuals, reminding us who we are, where we belong. Similarly,
the seeds are linked by the ocean but also scattered and opened up to
the unknown, some lost and some destined to grow in distant lands, some
returned and others dispersed.
Bound together and propelling us forward, our links to the past and our unknown future, places visited and places that await, together form our ever-shifting identity at a particular moment. Here and There explores this state of becoming and, in turn, reflects on the particular in-between space that is the Ferry Gallery: an interstitial space, neither here nor there, it brims with the possibilities of the journey, of the ‘yet to come’.
THE FERRY GALLERY IS SUPPORTED BY