From Stella Rosa McDonald…
South is not just a cardinal point on the compass. Historically, the Global South has always been politically, socially and economically disadvantaged in comparison to its northern counterpart. South is the perpetual and unfortunate victim of geography and nomenclature. South is rarely where you’d rather be. It is no surprise then that artists living and working in the relatively remote Southern climes are makers that are preoccupied with the personal, the political and the social conditions of their historically disadvantaged regions. South, at Hazelhurst Regional Gallery,brings together thirteen artists from manifold positions below the equator, including Africa and Mexico as well as work from Australian artists with indigenous, South African, Papua New Guinean, Columbian and Mauritian backgrounds.
Though diverse, the common thread between all the artists in South is their striking exploration of identity in a postcolonial context. In a nod to the pomp and ceremony of colonialist settlement, there is a noticeable penchant for costume and role-playing in the work of the Australian artists in South. The High-Vis twists to Joan Ross’ colonial landscapes and Eric Bridgeman’s performances as The Black Clown in his In The Project series both act to recalibrate the notions of Southern identity and difference. Eighty photographic portraits by the South African photographer Zanele Muholi, of Zulu descent, document the ‘invisible sisterhood’ of South Africa’s lesbian community. The series creates an archive that challenges notions of race, sexuality and gender that, en masse, read as a powerful contemporary litany.
Until October 6th
Hazelhurst Regional Gallery & Arts Centre, Gymea
Pic: Zanele Muholi Bakhambile Skhosana Natalspruit, 2010, silver gelatin print.