Talkback  | Events Calendar

Tania Ferrier, Laura Mitchell, Yulissa Morales, Mirla Jackson


Opening from

On View

A.I.R. GALLERY | 155 Plymouth Street

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the Nigerian writer, in her TED Talk, The Danger of a Single Story, offers this as something to contemplate, “Many stories matter. Stories have been used to dispossess and to malign but stories can also be used to empower, and to humanize. Stories can break the dignity of a people but stories can also repair that broken dignity.”

In the Talkback exhibition the artists have created the opportunity for each individual interviewed to tell her or his story, stories that empower the individual and humanize the groups to which they belong.

Talkback is a mixed media installation incorporating video projections, sound, photography, concrete poetry and text based artworks by artists, Tania Ferrier, Laura Mitchell, Yulissa Morales and Mirla Jackson. In the centre piece, a video work, sixty-six Americans and Australians, including prominent artists, discuss race and identity and the areas where these intersections have impacted their personal histories.

The American interviews in Talkback were conducted by Ferrier towards the end of President Obama’s first term in office; in these, aspiration emerged as a dominant theme. The Australian participants reveal a similar preoccupation with race and identity, albeit one that is shaped by a history of colonialism and the White Australia Policy. In both sets of interviews the notion of belonging is highlighted, as it is performed on a daily basis by many who considered themselves ‘othered’ in an often hostile terrain of bigotry and exclusion. The proliferation of police violence and hate crimes in United States cities such as Ferguson and Orlando with continuing Indigenous disadvantage in Australia inform this exhibition.

The Talkback artists share an interest in social justice and their critical approach is shaped by the discourses of race, class, gender and the ways in which palimpsests of the past and its residues remain. The project seeks to encourage a dialogue about belonging, blackness, whiteness and intergenerational continuity and change.





Wed - Sun 12:00 PM - 6:00 PM