Unsettling Queenstown

Exhibition: Unsettling Queenstown - Open Archive 18th International Architecture Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia

Creative Directors: Anthony Coupe, Julian Worrall, Emily Paech, Ali Baker, Sarah Rhodes

Location: 20th May 2023 - 26 November 2023, Australian Pavilion, Venice Future Exhibition, 2024, National Tour, Australia various

Digital Location:         https://unsettlingqueenstown.org/

Phase:Current Exhibition

Paying attention is a form of reciprocity with the living world….*

Australia and its architecture tends to transplant ideas of place, form & seasonality from afar; privileging a Western world view rather than perceiving what is really here. This tactic forms a concerted project to learn by collecting hundreds of minute long video and sound recordings.

They capture movement & sound; light interacting with landscape; the glittering of a spider’s web in the sun; the play of the breeze over drifts of native grass. They become an archive, reflecting seasonal temporality and embedded knowledge systems. They seek to record what actually occurs here across the year; to understand local micro-ecologies; to preserve a memory of what Here is, before it likely sustains radical change as the planet warms.

The video pieces act as a tangible provocation – where exactly are you standing, gazing, all senses alive, for this minute? Whose traditional lands are you standing on? What names were it known by? What knowledge is embedded in this landscape? What were its seasonal, cyclical, interconnected constructs? Each piece locates spatial coordinates; time & date stamps - Cartesian markers acting as portals to alternate perspectives.

Each piece demands questions that start to articulate both a pre-settler experience as well as the consequences of colonisation on First Peoples. The simple act of researching an original place name reveals truth telling & deeper knowledge of this place. 

Special thanks to the endlessly generous Adam Magennis
@kaptify_art www.kaptify.com.au
Lloyd MST, Graphic Design

*Kimmerer, Robin Wall. Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants. Minneapolis: Milkweed Editions, 2013.

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Various, 1996, The AIATSIS Map of Indigenous Australia, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS).

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Various, accessed 2023, Tasmanian Aboriginal Place Names, Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre.

Various, 2020, This Place - the Story Behind Aboriginal and Torres Strait Place Names, ABC Indigenous.