Thresholds of Tolerance

Gough, Julie (2007) Thresholds of Tolerance. [Show/Exhibition]

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Abstract

Seeing the ways in which histories take shape, the possibilities that remain outside what is passed down and what is left unexplained, requires a certain sort of trigger. Asking how narratives of survival and loss, of ownership and reclamation, of travel and displacement, wrap around our lives (and our memories), involves a certain sort of reassembling. Artist Julie Gough offers viewers a peripheral vision, a view through which the language of history might be examined in the landscape of Tasmania or through kitschy Aboriginal dolls or the problematic lyrics of Rolf Harris. These kinds of views are unsettling: like the crazy mirrors at Luna Park they twist and turn into eerie shapes. Comprehension becomes a process: a slow or sudden realisation that we are within her works, our deciphering effecting the reconfiguring of voices elided and pasts subsumed. In these optical re-workings the key to the puzzle lies in acknowledging the ways in which (other) histories resurface, reclaim and reorder the pieces.

Research Statement

Research Background Caroline Turner and David Williams, from the ANU Research School of Humanities, invited me to participate in Thresholds of Tolerance exhibition, School of Art Gallery, ANU, 10 May - 5 June 2007. This was part of the ‘Art and Human Rights’ research program at the Research School of Humanities. Exhibiting artists were John Cattapan, Dadang Christanto, Pat Hoffie, Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook, proppaNow (Richard Bell, Vernon Ah Kee, Tony Albert, Jennifer Herd) and ‘We refuse to become Victims’ (Culture Kitchen, Gembel, Taring Padi).
Research Contribution The installation Forcefield was created for the exhibition, onsite over a week residency at ANU. The piece explored how histories recorded under duress can result in fabricated pasts. Forcefield incorporated depositions from three witnesses on 1825 VDL to the shooting of an Aboriginal girl, Dalrymple Briggs, an ancestor. Dalrymple’s statement to a JP was the only one that registered the event as an accident. The work’s primary concern is to expose subjectivity in the access of inherited histories. The major contribution of this work is its inclusion of multiple versions of a narrative to demonstrate that approaches for processing history need constant reappraisal.
Research Significance Curators Turner and Williams brought experience and the support of ANU and the Freilich Foundation, resulting in an adequately funded project. The exhibition was aligned with a conference: ART AND RE-ENACTMENT (5-7 June 2007) and an 82 page publication. Active participation in the exhibition and conference resulted in the invitation to reconfigure Forcefield for the Clemenger Award at NGV-Australia in August 2009.
Item ID: 5086
Show/Exhibition: Thresholds of Tolerance
School of Art Gallery, ANU, Canberra, ACT, Australia
10 May - 5 June 2007
Keywords: art exhibition
Media of Output: Mixed
Related URLs:
ISBN: 978-0-9803673-0-0
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2009 02:55
FoR Codes: 19 STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING > 1905 Visual Arts and Crafts > 190502 Fine Arts (incl Sculpture and Painting) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9501 Arts and Leisure > 950104 The Creative Arts (incl. Graphics and Craft) @ 100%
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