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About | Dusk of Nations and Vibrant Matter

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Introduction: Wall text

Dusk of Nations

16 July 2024 – 14 December 2024

 
Artists: Brook Garru Andrew, Cigdem Aydemir, Fiona Foley, Jack Green, Vanessa Inkamala, Kathleen France Inkamala, Rosemary Laing, Archie Moore, Sally M. Nangala Mulda, Raquel Ormella, Gloria Napurrurla Pannka, Kenny Pittock, Luke Roberts, Arthur Streeton and Keemon Williams 

Level 3, Gallery 1 & 2

Curation: Isabella Baker, Jocelyn Flynn, Sachi Orrock, Peta Rake, Kyle Weisse

Dusk of Nations features selected works by leading Australian-based artists drawn primarily from The University of Queensland Art Collection. With the works spanning painting, photography, sculptural objects, and moving image, these artists explore ideas of national identity and nationhood, and how these concepts are defended and maintained, resisted and subverted. References to ‘Australian’ national mythology—including the outback, the national flag, a day at the beach, and a much-loved snack food—are invoked in ways that problematise the authority of their ‘sunny’ connotations. Exhibited artworks bring this symbolism into conversation with the messy complexity and physical reality of ongoing colonialism, and the nation’s imbrication within global histories of migration, exploitation, and extractive capitalism.

The exhibition exposes fears regarding a supposed diminishment of national identity and traditional institutions in the face of intellectual, social and demographic shifts. Dusk of Nations suggests that imperial forms of nationhood have some responsibility for our dying world and looks towards the closure of this traditional world order. The exhibited works emphasise that national identity is an always-contested space, and that hopeful futures emerge from dismantling dominant nationalisms. To this end, many of the artists included in the exhibition appropriate existing symbolism and national icons in subversive reconfigurations that undermine their authority. Dusk of Nations complicates understandings of nationhood and its vestiges, in favour of recognising the nation as a site of heterogeneity and multitudes.
 

Vibrant Matter

16 July 2024 – 14 December 2024 


Artists: Susan Jacobs, Ross Manning and Simone Slee 

Level 3, Gallery 3

Bringing together works from The University of Queensland Art Collection and beyond, this exhibition is attentive to the agency of materials and to the vibrancy of matter.


The artists included in Vibrant Matter have co-produced their work with the material components of drawing, sculpture, and sound art. Welcoming the active participation of these more-than-human materials and beings as co-creators, the works move away from notions of the singular intention of authorship. Artistic control over the final outcome is balanced with chance, accident, and collaboration with the more-than-human as a creative driver: the gravitational force of volcanic rocks; the will of a snake; and the sonic potential of consumer detritus from the urban world. By establishing the parameters for the unexpected to occur and embracing the performative nature of materials, Jacobs, Manning, and Slee animate the drama of our tumultuous ecological present: a time when matter means more than ever before.
 

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