Every Inch: the bureaucratic effect in colonisation — 15 October to 12 November 2022
Kush Badhwar, Alana Hunt, Sohrab Hura and Mabel Juli with Mr R Peters
Curated by Jasmin Stephens
With additional contributions from James Nguyen and Veeranganasolanki Kumari
Saturday 15 October, 3 pm
The exhibition will be opened by lawyer Teela Reid. Teela is from a proud Wiradjuri and Wailwan family of advocates in the NSW land rights movement and is a campaigner for the Uluru Statement from the Heart.
Tuesday 1 November, 6pm
Through thick and thin: considering the opportunities and pitfalls associated with transnational transcultural exhibition making
Alana Hunt, art historian Ian McLean and Jasmin Stephens in conversation
Saturday 5 November, 5pm
With Kush Badhwar and Alana Hunt followed by refreshments
Monday 7 November, 6pm
Film screening and discussion led by Kush Badhwar
Viewing of Kush Badhwar and Renu Savant’s Brave Revolutionary Redubbed (2020) (20 mins) and Sohrab Hura’s The Lost Head and The Bird (2017) (10:13 mins)
Saturday 12 November, 1pm
Led by curator Jasmin Stephens
For viewing outside gallery hours and sales enquiries contact Jasmin Stephens M 0437 782 720.
The exhibition Every Inch: the bureaucratic effect in colonisation seeks to make legible the role of administrative and media systems in colonial process. Stemming from Alana Hunt’s pursuit of legislation that permits the destruction of Indigenous cultural heritage, the exhibition considers the operation of bureaucracy in local, national and global contexts. Informed by the possibilities of friendship, Every Inch engenders a field of connection across localities in Australia and India subject to the violence and absurdities of development and modernity.
In this exhibition, Kush Badhwar responds to the construction of the Navi Mumbai International Airport and the sweeping aside of the city’s residents and their existing cultural infrastructure. Sohrab Hura deflates the Modi government’s increasingly sinister use of social media to advance religious fundamentalism. Painting by Gija artists Mabel Juli and Mr R Peters transcends Alana Hunt’s images of a granite mining camp abandoned after the halting of illegal mining on Country. In an accompanying video Hunt chronicles the 967 applications made under the WA Aboriginal Heritage Act (Section 18) (1972, 2021) between 2010-20 ‘to destroy, damage or alter an Aboriginal site’. Of the 3300 applications since 1972, only three have been declined. A fourth site, The Cross Art Projects, presents the exhibition as part of the gallery’s history of championing activism in metropolitan, regional and remote contexts.
Alana Hunt, Nine Hundred and Sixty Seven, 2021, video with sound, 2h 41m, narrated by Sam Walsh AO, former CEO of Rio Tinto
Alana Hunt, Bridge for an imaginary destination, 2019-ongoing
Alana Hunt, They cut without hesitation, 2021, 35mm film archival digital print, 120 x 79.58 cm
Mabel Juli, Wiringgoon, 2021, ochre and charcoal on canvas, 75 x 100 cm, courtesy John Kavanagh and Jenna Price
Mabel Juli, Garnkiny Ngarranggami / Moon Dreaming, 2016, natural earth pigments on canvas, 45 x 45 cm (WAC322/16)
Mr R Peters, Garnkiny, ochre and pigments on Belgian linen, 30 x 30 cm, courtesy Alana Hunt
Sohrab Hura, Scramble, 2020, digital print, 25 x 19 cm
Sohrab Hura, Scramble, 2020, digital print, 25 x 19 cm
Sohrab Hura’s glitch in the ultranationalist Modi’s government’s media system – ‘Scramble’ 2020, invoking Jawaharlal Nehru (1889-1964), leader of the Indian nationalist movement (left); B R Ambedkar (1891-1956), jurist who headed the committee that drafted the Indian Constitution (right); and Narendra Modi, India’s Prime Minister since 2014 (both); in digital space.
Kush Badhwar, CITY ON THE WATER // WATER ON THE CITY, 2019, video with sound, from Charles Correa’s film produced for the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) and the Government of Maharashtra by the Indian Government Films Division, 1975.
Kush Badhwar, We Make Cities, 2013, archival digital print, 30 x 46 cm
Kush Badhwar, 33 attempts (to record a blast), 2019-ongoing, sound, timed to coincide with the blasting schedule at the Navi Mumbai International Airport construction site, documentary photograph
Exhibition view of images by Sohrab Hura with notation by contributors Veeranganakumari Solanki (left) and James Nguyen (right)
Kush Badhwar (left to right), CITY ON THE WATER//WATER ON THE CITY 2019, The Same Sign 2022, We Make Cities 2013
Exhibition views: silversalt photography
Cups of nun chai (2020, reprinted 2021) – available for purchase
All the Violence Within: Conversations and Correspondence (2022) – edition of 112, available for purchase
Sohrab Hura (Ugly Dog Books)
Life is Elsewhere (2015)
Look It’s Getting Sunny Outside!!! (2018)
The Coast: Twelve Parallel Short Stories (2019)
The Levee (2020)
The Lost Head and the Bird, short story, published in The Coast and online (2019)
Warmun Arts Centre
Jadagen Warnkan Barnden, Changing Climate in Gija Country (2013)
Garnikay, Constellations of Meaning (2014)
The Cross Art Projects
Green Bans Art Walk (2011)
Curating Feminism (2014)
Future Feminist Archive (2015)
Connectedness1, The Cross Art Projects 2003-2021 (2021)
Power to the People (2022)
The Yellow Vest Syndrome (2009)
Composing Archipelagos (2021)
Every Inch reading area, The Cross Art Projects, 2022
Alana’s video has been developed during a residency with the Kimberley Land Council via SPACED’s Rural Utopia’s program which is supported by the Government of Western Australia through the Department of Local Government, Sport and Creative Industries, and the RISE Fund – an Australian Government Initiative. Special thanks to Alex Romano.
Kush acknowledgements Amrita Gupta and the Council for Art and Social Practice, Anant Jain, Shubhangi Singh, Bahbak Hashemi-Nezhad, Paribartana Mohanty, Phil Newman and the Hornsby Men’s Shed, Ankur Badhwar, Neena Badhwar, Vijay Badhwar, Alana Hunt and Jasmin Stephens.
Sohrab thanks Tristen Harwood, James Nguyen and Veeranaganasolanki Kumari for extending the notational aspect of his practice. Scribe Anna Pettifer is also thanked.
Jasmin is presenting the exhibition as a UNSW Scientia PhD researcher and with additional support from UNSW Art & Design. Jasmin acknowledges Warmun Art Centre and the support of Mr R Peters’ family. Together with the artists and The Cross Art Projects – Diana Baker Smith, Belle Blau, Simon Blau, Phillip Boulten, Harry Cope, Suzi Gilligan, John Kavanagh and Jenna Price, Emma McLean, Ian McLean, Elizaveta Proiaeva and UTS Gallery and Art Collection are also acknowledged. Sincere thanks to Teela Reid for opening the exhibition.
Printing sponsored by Pixel Perfect.
Kush Badhwar is an artist and a filmmaker interested in collaborative practice, improvised and informal political engagement and the ecology of sound and image across time. Australian-born, while living in Navi Mumbai and Helsinki, he studies art and urbanism at the Estonian Academy of the Arts in Tallinn and is a board member or in the parlance of Frontyard Projects in Marrickville – one of its janitors. For some time Kush has been working with CASP (Council for Arts & Social Practice) and photographer Anant Jain to understand the complexities surrounding the construction of Navi Mumbai International Airport. He has recently exhibited with e-flux Video & Film (2020) and Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen, Innsbruck (2021).
Alana is an artist and writer who lives on Miriwoong Country in north-west Australia. Through her interdisciplinary practice, Alana examines the violence that ensues from the politics of nation-making and the impact of colonisation on daily life. Alana’s long-standing relationship with South Asia – and with Kashmir in particular – has informed her widely-circulating artist’s book Cups of nun chai (2020). Alana’s work was last seen in Sydney at Carriageworks for The National last year and will be exhibited in Goa, India, at Sunaparanta Goa Centre for the Arts and in Nepal, for Photo Kathmandu in 2023.
Sohrab Hura is a New Delhi-based photographer who is a full member of Magnum Photos. His autobiographical journal-like approach percolates through publications (Ugly Dog Books), photography, film, text and sound. Cultivating a scepticism about the photographic, his concerns centre on images as systems with afterlives. In the Indian electoral context, Hura is increasingly turning his attention to images that are ‘enabling’ rather than disruptive through their beautifying and aspirational tactics. His film The Last Head & The Birdwas recently screened at the Oberhausen International Short Film Festival and has been collected by MOMA New York.
Ian is Hugh Ramsay Chair of Australian Art History at the University of Melbourne. He has published extensively across cross-cultural terrain – his most recent books include Indigenous Archives: The Making and Unmaking of Aboriginal Art, with Darren Jorgensen (2017); Rattling Spears: A History of Indigenous Australian Art (2016); Double Desire: Transculturation and Indigenous Art (2014) and How Aborigines Invented the Idea of Contemporary Art (2011).
James Nguyen is an artist living on Boonwurrung Land. He uses conversations and drawings to think through his relationships with his family, friends and diasporic histories. In 2023 James is presenting a major exhibition at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA) in Narrm/Melbourne as a recipient of the Copyright Agency Partnerships (CAP) Commission.
Renu is a filmmaker based in Mumbai and Ratnagiri in India. She works with non-fiction as personal ethnography to insert herself as a woman filmmaker in her time and space. She has been documenting people and political contexts in the western coastal region of Konkan, India, for the past few years. Her fiction and non-fiction films have received various awards and recently – her long duration film of 3 hrs 50 mins Many Months in Mirya was screened in the Yokohama Triennale in 2020. Renu was chosen by BAFTA in the UK as a honoree for their Breakthrough India programme in 2021.
Veeranganakumari Solanki is an independent curator and writer based in Mumbai who explores how interdisciplinary forms and practices merge to create dialogues in public and private spaces. Veeranganakumari is Program Director with Space Studio, Baroda. She teaches in the MFA in Curatorial Practice course at Kathmandu University and was the Brooks International Research Fellow at the Tate Modern in 2019. She is also a core member of Art Chain India.