Please Explain: ‘Census, Map, Museum’


| Moderator: Pedro DE ALMEIDA

| Speakers: Rushdi ANWAR; Alana HUNT; Associate Professor Phillip GEORGE; Djon MUNDINE, OAM; Sarker PROTICK

| 4A’s series Please Explain invites presenters to rethink, recharge and reimagine contemporary issues through the arts and academia. Responding to Temporary Certainty presented at 4A this edition of Please Explain seeks to examine ideas and issues around nationalisms, sovereignty and memorialisation.

Join artists Rushdi Anwar, Alana Hunt and Sarker Protick alongside speakers Associate Professor Philip George and Djon Mundine OAM who will take a key premise articulated by political scientist and historian Benedict Anderson in his seminal text Imagined Communities (1983) as a jumping off point for a broad discussion.

Reading Recommendations:


Speaker Profiles:


| Pedro is Program Manager at 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art and exhibition curator, Temporary Certainty.

| Rushdi ANWAR 

| Rushdi Anwar (b. Halabja, Kurdistan) is a Melbourne-based artist, currently working between Australia and Thailand. His installation, sculpture, painting, photo-painting and video work often reflect on socio-political issues relating to Kurdistan, Iraq and the Middle East. He explores these issues through an investigation of form, utilising a material vocabulary and different processes of making. Anwar was educated in Kurdistan and Australia, studying at the Institute of Kirkuk- Kurdistan and Enmore Design Centre/Sydney Institute. He holds a Master of Fine Art (2010) and a PhD in Fine Art (2016) from RMIT University, Melbourne. He has held solo and group exhibitions widely in Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, Finland, France, Japan, Kurdistan, Norway, Switzerland, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and USA. Recent and upcoming exhibitions include 12th Gwangju Biennale, Korea (2018), and the 13th Havana Biennial, Cuba (2019). Anwar’s works are held in the collections of the Australian War Memorial, the Kurdistan Regional Government, and in private collections. He has curated exhibitions in Kurdistan (2010), Thailand (2012, 2015), and Australia (2013). Following several artist-in-residence programs in Thailand, he co-founded and co-coordinated the Australian Thai Artist Interchange, Melbourne (2012–2016), an organisation founded to enhance cross-cultural exchange, awareness and appreciation of art and culture between Thais and Australians. Rushdi is a founding member, with Brook Andrew and Shiraz Bayjoo, of the artist collective The Working Collection.

| Alana HUNT 

| Alana Hunt (b. 1984, Sydney) makes contemporary art, writes and produces culture through a variety of media across public, gallery and online spaces. She lives on Miriwoong country in the north-west of Australia and has a long-standing engagement with South Asia. The politics of nation making and the colonial past and present of Australia and South Asia are central to her practice. Since 2009, she has orchestrated participatory art and publishing projects that have activated different media forms in the public sphere to shed light on Kashmir. Paper txt msgs from Kashmir (2009–2011) prompted media in India and Pakistan to speak about a state-wide mobile phone ban they had previously been silent on. This work won the Fauvette Laureiro Artist Scholarship. In 2016, the seven-year participatory memorial Cups of nun chaicirculated as a newspaper serial in Kashmir, reaching thousands of people on a weekly basis during a period of civilian uprising and state oppression. This work won the 2017 Incinerator Art Award. Her essay, A mere drop in the sea of what is, published by 4A Papers (Issue 1, November 2016), explored the art circulating on the ‘streets of social media’ in Kashmir and made it into the Hansard Report of the Australian Parliament. In 2018, Alana undertook a residency in Sulawesi with Rumata Art Space & the Makassar International Writers’ Festival and will present Cups of nun chai at Tufts University Art Gallery, Massachusetts, and a series of artists presentations at Tufts, Brown, and Parsons universities. Her work is held in both public and private collections including Artbank and the Macquarie Group Collection.

| Associate Professor Phillip GEORGE  

| UNSW’s Associate Professor Phillip George’s practice operates across zones of cultural difference, exploring and making connections between the complexities that exist between East and West. His work draws connections between Australian beach culture and the fractured, turbulent zones of the Middle East. George has exhibited widely over the past thirty years with exhibitions throughout Australia, Europe, America and Asia. In 2008 George produced his seminal exhibition, Borderlands at the Casula Powerhouse in Sydney, NSW. His work is in private and public collections in Australia and internationally.

| Speaker: Djon MUNDINE OAM  

| Djon Mundine OAM, member of the Bandjalung people of northern New South Wales, is a curator, writer, artist and activist. He has held prominent curatorial positions in many national and international institutions, including the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney and Queensland Art Gallery. Between 1979 and 1995 he was the Art Advisor at Milingimbi and Ramingining in the Northern Territory. He was the concept artist of the Aboriginal Memorial at the National Gallery of Australia in 1988. In 1993 he received the Medal of the Order of Australia for service to the promotion and development of Aboriginal arts, crafts and culture. In 2005-2006 he was Research Professor at The National Museum of Ethnology (Minpaku) in Osaka, Japan. He is currently an independent curator of contemporary Indigenous art.

| Speaker: Sarker PROTICK

| Sarker Protick (b. 1986, Bangladesh) is a Dhaka-based artist whose work explores the possibilities of time, light and sound. His portraits, landscapes and photographic series engage philosophically with the specificities of personal and national histories. Sarker’s approach across various mediums incorporates detailed observations and subtle gestures as a means of creating personal spaces, often minimal and atmospheric. He was named in British Journal of Photography’s annual ‘Ones to Watch’ and Photo District News’ (PDN) 30 emerging photographers of the year. Sarker is the recipient of Joop Swart Masterclass, World Press Photo award, and Australian Photobook of the Year grand prize. His body of work Exodus was awarded the Magnum Foundation Grant 2018. Sarker’s work has been shown in museums, galleries and photo festivals internationally, including Art Dubai; Paris Photo; Singapore Art Week; Dhaka Art Summit; Chobi Mela International Photography Festival, Dhaka; Latvian Contemporary Museum of Photography, Riga; and Noorderlicht International Photofestival, Netherlands. Sarker is a faculty member at Pathshala South Asian Media Institute, Dhaka, and currently represented by East Wing Gallery, Dubai.