Terra Nullius - Exhibition, Squatspace in Weimar, Germany

www.kegdesouza.blogspot.com January 26, 2009

To coincide with “Australia Day” 26 January 2009, an exhibition called “Terra Nullius” was launched in Weimar, Germany. It’s a show of Aussie artists curated by Frank Motz and Deborah Kelly.

Squatspace's piece for the show encompasses contributions from the German students who came on our most recent Redfern Waterloo Tour of Beauty in August 2008.

Here’s a roundup of what the show is all about:

The double exhibition with the name “TERRA NULLIUS - Contemporary Art from Australia” will be seen at ACC in Weimar (Germany) from January 26 (Australia Day) til March 22, 2009 and from May 1 til July 26, 2009, at Halle 14 in Leipzig (Germany) - co-curated by the Australian artist Deborah Kelly. The latter space is located at the Leipzig Cotton Spinning Mill, the new epicentre of contemporary art in East Germany (with 13 galleries and our non-for-profit Halle 14).

Approximately 45 works of art (installations, photographs, mixed media works, paintings, moving images, and other forms of presentation) from approximately 20 artists and artists groups will be shown on an exhibition area of about 300 square metres
(Weimar) and 1,500 square metres (Leipzig).

The artist include
Tony Albert, Claire Healy and Sean Cordeiro, Jon Campbell, Destiny Deacon, Merran Sierakowski, Squatspace, Richard Bell, Brook Andrew, boatpeople.org, George Gittoes, Dianne Jones (see flyer above for complete list)

The exhibition might become a process-based project, developing further from station one to station two of the exhibition, from Weimar to Leipzig, or might even change a bit on each of the specific locations. Here are some more information about the show:

Exhibition rationale

The 17th century British Crown considered Australia to be an empty, uncultivated land which could be claimed without impediment.

Indigenous peoples were denied rights to their land, using “terra nullius,” a legal principal only finally overturned in 1992. The ensuing conflicts between settler and indigenous peoples remain unresolved to this day.

When former diplomat Kevin Rudd defeated long-time conservative prime minister John Howard, an era came to an end – and with the withdrawal of troops from Iraq, ratification of the Kyoto Protocol, and the Australian government’s formal apology to the “stolen generation” a period of change began. Perhaps, even hope. Nevertheless, terms like the “stolen generations,” “the intervention,” and “mutual obligation” persist as political realities.

Art is a civilising force that negates physical and psychological boundaries, undercuts the idyllic construction of the multicultural nation, calls into question political complexities and incongruities in Australian society, interrogates social exclusion, representation of Aboriginal people and interests, historical and current immigration and refugee politics.

The exhibition “TERRA NULLIUS,” with diverse contributions from contemporary Australian artists across media, is co-curated by Galerie ACC founder Frank Motz with artist Deborah Kelly from Sydney. It opens on
the 221st anniversary of the European invasion of Australia, Australia Day: 26 January 2009.