TINTIN WULIA: UNTOLD MOVEMENTS & NASIM NASR: ONLY FOR MY SHADOW

 

Tintin Wulia: Untold Movements

Untold Movements is a single-work exhibition that has been commissioned by 4A with the support of the Keir Foundation. Comprising thirty-two channels of synchronised and orchestrated audio, this sculptural platform premieres Tintin Wulia’s most ambitious sound installation to date, Act 1: Neitherland, Whitherland, Hitherland (2015).

Developed over the past eighteen months across several continents, this new work weaves poetic and abstract narratives of inhabiting the obscured networks of global nomadism as it amalgamates the artist’s personal anecdotes, intimate first-hand interviews, and sustained research on borders and forced migration. This narrative structure converges on Tintin Wulia’s personal experience of being deported from Germany after being accused of attempted illegal entry, whilst also touching on the lives of displaced individuals that the artist has developed relationships with. These include a taxi driver from Melbourne who aspires to live in the Middle East; stateless Arab émigrés living in the United Arab Emirates but without citizenship; and Sobron Aidit, a notable Indonesian poet and writer who became exiled whilst living in China during an abrupt shift of political power in Indonesia in 1965, whom the artist sees as key to understanding her own condition.

This elaborate sonic work plays through a system of synchronised speakers constructed by the artist as sculptural elements. In this way Wulia harnesses accessible technology and develops her examination of language as a political border as in recent works such as Babel (2013), a synchronised composition of poetry narrated simultaneously in Arabic, Indonesian and English featuring prominent Egyptian, Syrian and Palestinian poems about borders. In Untold Movements, Wulia develops her own platform by which individual experiences of living within the space at the border can be embodied and continue to be recontextualised locally, as the ongoing project travels.

Act 1: Neitherland, Whitherland, Hitherland references traditions of oral storytelling and poetry as a way of exploring languages and their potential as a conduit for universal experiences. Its translations and performances by over fifteen narrators in variegated languages (amongst others, English, Indonesian, Arabic and Vietnamese) are reverberated visually in a dynamic composition of shadows cast by sound-reactive small lights. In this, and in its exposed circuitry which bind the entire installation together, Untold Movements highlights the secretive systems of survival that these fictional characters perpetually inhabit within globally shifting boundaries.

 

Nasim Nasr: Only For My Shadow

Only For My Shadow is an exhibition of photography, video and sculptural works by Iranian-born Adelaide-based artist Nasim Nasr. Through her practice Nasr addresses biographical and social concerns in contemporary society by engaging with issues of censorship, the transience of identity, and civil and social turbulences. Only For My Shadow brings together a selection of Nasr’s recent works which articulate the complexity of identity within the context of cultural difference and global communities, as personally experienced between the artist’s past and present homelands.

This exhibition includes a new work, Ashob: Unrest (2015), which has been realised with the assistance of 4A. The single-channel video work takes as its focus the recital of a passage from twentieth-century Persian author Sadegh Hedayat’s seminal text, The Blind Owl (farsi) (1937). Although the image focuses only on the artist’s mouth reciting the passage, the audio soon becomes a cacophony of different languages, interweaving and competing to become a polyglot of both eloquence and confusion. While the spoken excerpt of Hedayat’s text speaks of the universal experience of an identity in flux, the barrage of voices is a reminder of difficulty of understanding across culture.

Earlier works by Nasr, including the photographic series Muteness (2011), the sculptural work Slow Burn (2013) and video What To Do? (2012), are also included here. Drawing on the artist’s emigration from Iran to Australia, this body of work focuses on gestures, actions or objects familiar to the artist reinterpreted in dynamic relationship to one other. In Only For My Shadow, Nasr reflects upon the challenges of articulating personal identity within a new cultural context, questioning what constitutes the boundaries of self and society.

Download the roomsheet for this exhibition here

Video & Edit: Dara Gill
Co-produced by and © Das Platforms and 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, 2015

 

Tintin Wulia (b. 1972, Denpasar, Indonesia) is an Australia Council for the Arts’ Creative Australia Fellow 2014-2016. Her art practice is a reflection on the border, seen through critical geopolitics. Wulia often stages interactive performances that serve as tactile playgrounds for her audience to take part in a process. Her work has been included in The 9th Istanbul Biennial (2005); Yokohama International Triennale of Contemporary Art (2005); The 13th Jakarta Biennale (2009); The 7th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (2012) and Sharjah Biennial 11 (2013) and museums and galleries around the world. She holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Architecture (Universitas Katolik Parahyangan, Bandung, 1998), a Bachelor of Music in Film Scoring (Berklee College of Music, Boston, 1997), and a Doctor of Philosophy in Art (RMIT University, Melbourne, 2014). Tintin Wulia is represented by Osage Gallery, Hong Kong.

Nasim Nasr (b. 1984, Tehran, Iran) explores and comments on both specific and universal cultural concerns in contemporary society through her art practice. She completed a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design at the Art University of Tehran, Iran (2006), and a Master of Visual Arts (Research) at the SA School of Art, Architecture and Design, University of South Australia, (2011). Since graduating Nasr has developed a body of work that has been featured in exhibitions, festivals and publications in Australia and internationally. Previous exhibitions include Redlands Konica Minolta Art Prize, National Art School, Sydney (2015); Art Dubai (2015); TarraWarra Biennial 2014: Whisper in My Mask (2014); Art Stage Singapore (with GAGPROJECTS) (2013 & 2015); and Landlocked, Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, Sydney (2013). Her work was also presented at the 2011 Boston Online Biennial Project, New York, which was later featured at the 54th Venice Biennale (2011). Nasim Nasr is represented by GAGPROJECTS, Adelaide/Berlin.

 

MEDIA COVERAGE

“Tintin Wulia: Untold Movements & Nasim Nasr: Only For My Shadow,” 2ser 107.3FM (radio and online podcast), 11 July 2015.

Tintin Wulia: Untold Movements is produced by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art and supported by the Keir Foundation.

Only For My Shadow is produced by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art.