Metro Video Exchange
7 November – 7 December 2019
Past, Place, Future
Libby Harward, Callum McGrath and Sancintya Mohini Simpson
Curated by Simone Hine and Kyle Weise
This exhibition brings together video work by three emerging artists based in South-East Queensland: Libby Harward, Callum McGrath and Sancintya Mohini Simpson. Each artist’s work emphasises place, and the specificity of the local sites where they were filmed and in which the works dwell. The works layer repressed histories over these landscapes, remembering forgotten stories, while looking to the future and transforming these places via the specific possibilities of video.
This exhibition forms the second-part of an exchange between MARS and Metro Arts, Brisbane. In May 2019, and follows a presentation of work by Stephen Haley, Hannah Raisin and Diego Ramirez at Metro Arts in May 2019.
Libby Harward is a descendant of the Ngugi people of Mulgumpin (Moreton Island) in the Quandamooka (Moreton Bay Area). Known for her early work as an urban graffiti artist under the pseudonym of ‘Mz Murricod’, and her performance-based community activism, Harward’s recent series, ALREADY OCCUPIED, engages a continual process of re-calling – re-hearing – re-mapping – re-contextualising -de-colonising and re-instating on country that which colonisation has denied Australia’s First Peoples. This political practice engages Traditional Custodians in the evolution of ephemeral installations on mainland country which has become highly urbanised and calls for an artistic response that seeks to uncover and reinstate the cultural significance of place, which always was, and remains to be there. Her current place-based sound and video work engages directly with politically charged ideas of national and international significance.
Callum McGrath produces research-driven video, sculpture, text, installation, sound, and images that reimagine institutionalised aesthetics of archives and historiography. McGrath’s work layers queer art and historical references to break with conventions of linear archives. Working against the grain of hetero-centric notions of time, McGrath’s work negotiates a complex net of queer cultural inheritance. Referencing the aesthetic legacies of cinema and public memorials, McGrath endeavours to reconceive time in a way where queer love, loss and desire is prioritised over existing hegemonies.
Sancintya Mohini Simpson is an artist and researcher based in Brisbane. Her practice addresses the impact of colonisation on the historical and lived experiences of her family, and more broadly traces the movements and passages of indentured labourers from India to South Africa during the late 1800’s and throughout the early 1900’s. Her interdisciplinary work draws on the archive to explore the complexities of migration, memory and trauma. Through narrative and ritual she creates spaces for ongoing resistance and healing.