Free, bookings required
Bradley Forum, Level 5, Hawke Building
55 North Terrace, Adelaide SA 5000
Perspectives is a new initiative developed by ACE Open, Guildhouse and The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre, University of South Australia. This annual series of thought-provoking lectures invites leading artists, makers and thinkers to Adelaide to engage with the compelling ideas currently shaping our world.
Is the Gallery Enough?
In this presentation, New Zealand-based independent artist and curator Ema Tavola unpacks power and privilege in the South Pacific through the lens of the art world.
With the unbalanced power dynamic of the arts ecology ever-visible, and the experiences of art world Othering becoming increasingly clear, Tavola argues that moves to diversify arts programming are too often tokenistic and rarely representative of systemic change. Instead, confronting disturbing truths and creating space for uncomfortable conversations is a necessary part of challenging the value system and institutionalisation of arts and culture in the colonised South Pacific.
By considering the complex anthropology of race, class, intellectualism and privilege that is embedded within gallery walls, Tavola reflects on 15 years of practice-based research to discuss how enabling the genuine presence of Pacific art, artists and audiences in institutions is not a radical act, but rather a conscious decolonisation of the Gallery and its potential.
Ema Tavola (b.1982) is an independent artist-curator based in South Auckland, New Zealand. Having established her practice whilst managing Fresh Gallery Ōtara, a local government funded community art gallery, Tavola’s curatorial concerns are grounded in the opportunities of contemporary art to engage grassroots audiences, shift representational politics and archive the Pacific diaspora experience. Tavola has worked in galleries and museums throughout New Zealand and is committed to curating as a mechanism for social inclusion, centralising Pacific ways of seeing, and exhibition making as a mode of decolonisation.
Recent projects include, A Maternal Lens (2018) for the 4th International Biennial of Casablanca (Morocco), Kaitani (2017) for The Physics Room (New Zealand), Dravuni: Sivia yani na Vunilagi – Beyond the Horizon (2016/2018) for the New Zealand Maritime Museum and Oceania Centre for Arts, Culture and Pacific Studies, University of the South Pacific (Fiji)