Curated by Nanette Orly
Opening 07.02.18 6-8pm
Artist Talks 1.03.18 6-7pm
Get to Work (performance on opening night, 7pm)
The premise of a blurred cultural identity resonates with many mixed heritage individuals living in countries or regions that have shared histories. Interracial relationships were particularly topical at the beginning of the twentieth century with some of that stigma still lingering in society today. In the past, it wasn’t uncommon for mixed-race children to have been categorised as monoracial, which is limiting to identity development. The formation of cultural identity, as a mixed race person, is continuously shaped by social interactions and environmental factors. This process can span across a lifetime due to shifting internal and external forces such as family structure, physical appearance, geographic location and cultural knowledge. A biracial or multiracial individual may go through stages of racial ignorance and ambivalence before moving towards appreciation. In this final stage of transcendence there is an apparent shift towards emotional reconciliation and solidification of cultural identity, that can be both public and private. Once chosen, this unique identity then becomes cherished.
‘Transcendence’ considers how artists of mixed backgrounds utilise their practices to negotiate and deconstruct their own identities: if they identify more firmly with one particular culture, the perception of being in two places at once, or combining their own cultural histories to construct their own unique self identity. This exhibition brings together the work of local and international artists who reference their mixed heritage in a variety of mediums ranging from installation, video works, sculptural pieces and performance. Each contribution draws from personal experience and offers some insight on how to navigate through a medley of cultural backgrounds.
Nanette Orly is an emerging curator based in Sydney, Australia. Her curatorial practice is deeply engaged with themes surrounding identity development and offering alternative perceptions on contemporary society. Drawn to fine techniques and research-based practices to form interdisciplinary group or collaborative exhibition concepts, Orly has curated exhibitions in artist run galleries across Sydney. She is a Co-Director of artist run initiative Cold Cuts in Petersham and in 2018, will complete her Master of Curating and Cultural Leadership at UNSW Art & Design.