Dana Claxton: Stop(the)Gap International Indigenous art in motion

Stop(the)Gap: International Indigenous art in motion, Feb 24 to April 21, 2011.

2011 BigPond Adelaide Film Festival and Samstag Museum of Art present: Stop(the)Gap: International Indigenous art in motion

Moving image installations, screenings and discussions featuring works by Warwick Thornton (Australia), Rebecca Belmore (Canada), Dana Claxton (Canada), Alan Michelson (USA), Nova Paul (NZ), Lisa Reihana (NZ), r e a (Australia) and Genevieve Grieves (Australia) across various Adelaide venues.

Stop(the)Gap: International Indigenous art in motion is a major international Indigenous moving image project developed for the 2011 BigPond Adelaide Film Festival (BAFF) in partnership with the Samstag Museum of Art, University of South Australia. The exhibition is a highlight of the Festival’s Art and The Moving Image strand celebrating the moving image in visual art. Stop(the)Gap: International Indigenous art in motion is an ambitious and highly innovative exhibition program, bringing together moving image works by internationally acclaimed Indigenous artists from Australia, Canada, Aotearoa/New Zealand and the USA. The project has been put together by Brenda L Croft, one of Australia’s most esteemed Indigenous curators, who has selected works challenging preconceptions of contemporary Indigenous expression and addressing themes of human rights, environmental concerns, cultural security, and negotiating diversity.

Ms Croft said “Some of the most provocative and illuminating moving image work today is being created by Indigenous new media artists – yet there has been no international focus on this work until now. Despite physical distances, Indigenous communities around the globe are linked through their shared colonial histories, each bearing scars borne of dispossession, injustice, inequality, and misrepresentation.”

The project explores the fertile ground between cinema and the visual arts, and will feature moving image exhibitions, film screenings, outdoor projections and discussions to be presented across various Adelaide venues.

“The development and presentation of a major Indigenous new media exhibition is very timely,” said Erica Green, Director of the Samstag Museum of Art. “It contributes powerfully to the 2011 BigPond Adelaide Film Festival program while building dynamically – and with cultural/critical relevance – on the very successful 2009 exhibition Lynette Wallworth: Duality of Light which was also presented by the Samstag Museum of Art in partnership with BAFF.”

International award winning filmmaker Warwick Thornton (Australia) has been commissioned through the Adelaide Film Festival Investment Fund to create a new work for this project. Thornton’s short film Nana was featured at the 2010 Adelaide Biennial and his 2009 feature Samson and Delilah, which premiered at BAFF in 2009, gathered a swag of international awards including the Camera d’or at Cannes. Other participating artists include Alan Michelson (USA), whose work is held in the permanent collections of several institutions, including the National Gallery of Canada and the Smithsonian; Rebecca Belmore (Canada), Canada’s official representative at the 2005 Venice Biennale; Lisa Reihana (Aotearoa /NZ), whose work has exhibited internationally at Brooklyn Art Museum and the Art Gallery of NSW; and Dana Claxton (Canada), whose film and video work has been screened at the Sundance Film Festival, 2010 Biennale of Sydney and Microwave in Hong Kong. These artists will be joined by Australian artists rea and Genevieve Grieves who will screen their work outdoors at Port Adelaide’s historic Harts Mill.

The Stop(the)Gap program broadens out to include a program of significant films that relate to the representation of Aboriginal people in film since the mid 1950s to 2011, including free screenings of JEDDA, WALKABOUT, THE LAST WAVE and THE CHANT OF JIMMY BLACKSMITH at the Mercury Cinema, along with Tracey Moffat’s NIGHTCRIES at the Art Gallery of South Australia and the world premiere of AFFIF supported feature film, HERE I AM by Indigenous director, Beck Cole at the Piccadilly Cinema. These screenings will culminate in a forum exploring Indigenous identity in Australia cinema, chaired by Margaret Pomeranz and featuring actors Tom E Lewis (THE CHANT OF JIMMY BLACKSMITH) and Rosalie Konuth-Monks (JEDDA) and directors Rolf de Heer and Beck Cole. Screening times will be announced in January 2011.

Brenda L Croft is lecturer of Indigenous Art, Culture and Design at the University of SA. Prior to this she was the Senior Curator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art at the National Gallery of Australia from 2002-2009 and has worked extensively throughout the contemporary Indigenous and Australian arts and cultural sectors for two and a half decades. Also contributing to this project are international Indigenous curatorial advisers Kathleen Ash-Milby (USA), Associate Curator at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, New York; David Garneau (Canada), Associate Professor of Painting, Drawing and Theory, University of Regina, Canada; and Megan Tamati-Quennell (Aotearoa/NZ), Curator of Contemporary Maori, Indigenous Art, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

Winner of the 2007 IF Award for Best Film Festival and listed in Variety Magazine’s Top 50 Unmissable Film Festivals around the world, the biennial BigPond Adelaide Film Festival is an 11 day celebration of the moving image in all its manifestations. Established in 2002, BAFF is Australia’s premiere film event, celebrating contemporary screen culture from around Australia and the world.

For further information visit www.adelaidefilmfestival.org or www.unisa.edu/samstagmuseum

The BigPond Adelaide Film Festival full program will be launched in January 2011. For more information, special Xmas gift packages, opening night tickets and film passes go to BAFF’s NEW WEBSITE LIVE ON 30 NOVEMBER www.adelaidefilmfestival.org. You can also check out BAFF on Facebook www.facebook.com/BAFFestival and Twitter www/twitter.com/baff2011.

**This event could not take place without the underwriting partnership of BigPond and we ask that this is recognised by referring to the event in all coverage as ‘2011 BigPond Adelaide Film Festival’.