Diana Thater: Chernobyl

Saturday 22 October 2011 to Saturday 04 February 2012

Opening Saturday 22 October 2011 5-7pm
Los Angeles artist Diana Thater is famous for her audacious video installations that deconstruct the language and mechanics of video as a medium while exploring the relationship between human beings and the natural world (particularly animals). The highlight of our show is her new six-channel video installation Chernobyl (2010).

In 1986 the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the northern Ukraine exploded. It allegedly released 100 times more nuclear debris than the Hiroshima bomb and was responsible for the deaths and illnesses of thousands of people. Today, the city of Pripyat, where the
powerplant workers lived, is a ghost town. Although completely deserted by humans, wild animals are settling there. Przewalski’s Horses, facing extinction in their native habitat in central Asia, now roam freely in this post-apocalyptic, post-human landscape.
Thater filmed in Pripyat, within the forbidden ‘alienation zone’, observing animals against the decomposing architecture.

Thater writes: ‘Chernobyl is falling into ruins, but still looks like a city; there are stores, apartment buildings, schools. Even though it’s deserted and falling apart, animals are moving into the city. On the one hand, you have a perfectly preserved Soviet city from
1970; on the other hand, this post-apocalyptic landscape where animals are living. Chernobyl represents the failure of a massive political system, a way of life, and of science. Yet nature continues to persist. Not because it wants or chooses to, but because it must.’ In addition to Chernobyl, we will be showing Thater’s installations Peonies (2011), Untitled Videowall (Butterflies) (2008), and Pink Daisies, Amber Room (2003).

Diana Thater is represented by 1301PE, Los Angeles, and Hauser and Wirth, London.

Bio-Tech Evolution: Engagement with the Non-Human

Call for Submissions for Exhibition closes 4 November 2011 This exhibition will be used to examine interactions between humans, technology, and biology, with the aim of re-invigorating the social, cultural and environmental value of non-human life. Artworks that contain / deal with “wet biology” are encouraged, ethics /quarantine clearance must also be confirmed if this is required.  The exhibition will be held at the Spectrum Project Space, Edith Cowan University in Perth, Western Australia. Please email word documents and Jpegs  to Donna Franklin at donna_franki@yahoo.com,  including an Artist Statement, 300 word Biography, contact details and a photograph of proposed work or previous workt for further information.  The Exhibition will run for two weeks in either May or June 2012.

Wild. Amazing animals in a changing world. Melbourne Museum


Our planet is home to an astonishing diversity of animal life.

The exhibition Wild: Amazing animals in a changing world features more than 750 animals from around the world. It examines how they are affected by climate change and human activity, and what we can do to help them.

Discover which species are thriving and which are barely surviving. Explore by region or by animal group, and learn more about what you can do  in your local area to preserve Victoria’s unique ecosystems.

Wild: Amazing animals in a changing world is now showing in the Science and Life Gallery at Melbourne Museum.

Visit http://museumvictoria.com.au/melbournemuseum/discoverycentre/wild/

Walk Indigenous Melbourne

This Wondrous Land

Guide Melbourne’s Golden Mile Heritage Trail guide

When Europeans first settled the Port Philip region it was occupied by five Aboriginal language groups, which together formed the Kulin Nation. Join City of Melbourne guides for this city walk and discover more about the heritage and sites of significance of indigenous Melbourne.

Hosted by the National Gallery of Victoria

Date: Saturday 22nd October. 10.30am – 12.30pm

Information & bookings
Ph +61 3 8662 1555
10am-5pm daily



Floods don’t discrimate. Saving the Warmun Community Art Collection

On the 13 March 2011 after weeks of heavy rain the rivers and tributaries in the east Kimberley overflowed, sending a deluge across the land forming a torrent of water throughout the region. Nestled tightly on Turkey Creek, the Warmun community was ravaged. The community was declared a natural disaster zone and nearly everyone was airlifted from their homes to Kununurra 200 km away. The Warmun Art Centre, which held the Community Art Collection, sustained considerable damage to its buildings, equipment and its artworks. At least half of the items in the Collectin were submerged in muddy flood waters and all sustained mould damage due to humid conditions over the following days. With generous probono support from all around, and in particular from Argyle Diamond Mine and CCMC, and from ANKAAA the collection was helicoptered to an air-conditioned building and into the safe hands of CCMC conservators.  Toll Holdings provided a truck to bring the artworks to Melbourne.

The Warmun Community Art Collection holds the earliest art produced in the Kimberley containing significant works by the first generation artists of the east Kimberley painting movement: Paddy Jaminji, Rover Thomas, Jack Britten, Henry Wambini, Hector Jandany, George Mung and Queenie McKenzie. For many years, elders would congregate under a bough shelter and use these items to teach. The children who were taught with these items are now adults and practicing artists themselves. They too, now believe their children need to be educated in the same way. The survival of these artworks is in jeopardy and the Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation (CCMC) at the University of Melbourne is helping with it preservation. However, support is needed for the Centre to complete work on the most important and most badly damaged works.

From 17 to 21 October community elders will visit Melbourne to advise on the conservation program for the collection. To ensure this collection is returned to its rightful place, your help is needed. A fundraising dinner will be held at University House at the University of Melbourne on 21 October 2011.  Community elders and conservators will talk about the importance of this collection and about the conservation program that will see its safe return to Warmun. Tickets to the dinner are available at $150 per ticket, including three courses and wine. For bookings or information on how you can help support the conservation of this important collection please contact Director of the CCMC, Associate Robyn Sloggett on 8344 6455 or email: rjslog@unimelb.edu.au.

JILL ORR Between somewhere and nowhere.

Between somewhere and nowhere is Jill Orr’s new photographic series. This body of work explores society’s obsession with authenticity and further discusses photography as a means of illusion. We are surrounded by photographs which are based on false ideals or fictions and to some extent we accept them as truth.

The photographs exhibit a staged theatrical performance with dramatic scenes of ghost like figures emerging from a haunted wetland abyss. Elusive women wear costumes of lace and white linen while props such as canaries and canoes balance an ambiguous line between gravity and humour. The ominous background fades into smoke, while bringing to your attention the artificiality of the scene. The photographs revel in the past, appropriating a macabre 19th century daguerreotype portrait.

Since the 1970’s Jill Orrs work has grappled with psychological and environmental issues within contemporary society. Moving between performance art and photography, her works explain human intervention with the non-human environment. Orr’s previous and significant works such as Bleeding Trees,Faith in a faithless land and Southern Cross: to bear and behold explore Australian history and culture in the context of the natural landscape.

Jenny Port Gallery, Level 1, 7 Albert Street, Richmond, Victoria. Jill Orr, Between somewhere and nowhere. October 26 – November 19, 2011