Chips Mackinolty, The first pandemic, 2020, digital print on archival paper, 40 x 36 cm, ed. 12/19, © Chips Mackinolty 2020
In the hold
Hosted by Flinders University Museum of Art and College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences in partnership with University of Tasmania Cultural Collections
The virtual symposium recordings will be available online until 30 March 2021.
On 29 April 1770 British explorer and navigator James Cook and the crew of the Endeavour made first landfall on Dharawal Country, also now known as Kurnell, on the southern headland of Botany Bay. In the grand narrative of white Australia, Cook’s landing 250 years ago is heralded as the point at which the nation’s history ‘officially’ begins: the moment of ‘discovery’ and first step towards the foundation of a Greater Britain in a Southern World.
With the onset of British settlement this story of Cook became the country’s organising historical narrative and, over time, has been deeply etched in Australia’s collective consciousness. Yet the formulation of the nation’s genesis in this way is problematic. The continent had been long ‘discovered’ and inhabited by the time of Cook’s arrival, with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples living on this land for more than 60,000 years. In failing to reconcile this fact, the Eurocentric and linear narrative of Australian history that starts with Cook, smooths over the complexities of the nation’s recent past, with the effect of silencing the perspectives and experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples before, during and after his expedition.
Building on the exhibition of the same name presented by Flinders University Museum of Art (FUMA) and in response to exhibitions on the same theme presented by the University of Tasmania (Too Many Cooks curated by Professor Greg Lehman and Rachael Rose) and Queensland University of Technology (Rite of Passage curated by Shannon Brett), In the hold symposium seeks to explore and interrogate Cook as an idea, and a myth that continues to grip the public imagination. Cook is all at once a gathering point of narrative: a story, a symbol of colonisation, a contested site of ruptured histories and culture, a temporal order, a flash point of both dissent and nationalism. Cook perpetually forces pressing questions around matters of memory and memorialisation, Indigenous sovereignty, official histories, decolonisation, belonging, and of time.
This symposium brings leading Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists, curators, and academics into conversation to consider untold and alternative visions of Cook through film, performance, re-enactment, song, artwork, text and the archive. Like the artists whose work demands a truthful reckoning with the nation’s colonial past, In the hold symposium seeks to defy traditional representations of Cook and unsettle the reductive colonial discourse that follows his advent. In doing so, the symposium aims to contemplate our collective responsibility to our histories and how we grapple with their meanings and effects now and into the future.
The virtual symposium recordings will be available online until 30 March 2021.
Acknowledgment of Country
Ali Gumillya Baker, Penny Edmonds and Fiona Salmon
Turning the Tide
The intensity of the unknown for the Badtjala people and the English, I imagine, would have created a heightened sense of curiosity upon seeing one another. In May of 1770, many Aboriginal sovereign nations watched a foreign vessel, the Endeavour, sail up the eastern coast for days, passing nation after nation, who communicated with one another about its progress. The Badtjala people were unique because – as not many people in the world would be aware – they created a song recounting what happened when the ship passed by our country on May 20th of that year. The gaze went both ways.
This lecture reflects on the encounter that took place between the Badtjala and the English in 1770. It includes the screening of Foley’s 2019 film Out of the Sea Like Cloud (10min) and song performed by Teila Watson.
Ali Baker and Fiona Salmon with Greg Lehman and Rachael Rose
Curators discuss their respective Cook-inspired exhibitons – In the hold and Too Many Cooks – reflecting on their approaches to charting multiple Cook narratives in visual culture, and how they have foregrounded creative responses to narratives of history, time, and possession/dispossession.
Introduced by Penny Edmonds I Facilitated by Katrina Schlunke
Revisiting Kealakekua Bay, Reworking the Captain Cook Monument
Drew Kahuʻāina Broderick and Healoha Johnston
Johnston and Broderick address histories of Kealakekua Bay, Hawaiʻi, while considering the Captain Cook Monument located there. This conversation centers on provocations offered by four artists of Hawaiʻi, Gaye Chan, Sean Connelly, Lawrence Seward, and Cory Kamehanaokalā Holt Taum, all of whom responded to a 2018 call for unrealized interventionist proposals that “revisit Kealakekua Bay and rework the Captain Cook Monument.”
Introduced by Caine Chennatt I Facilitated by Greg Lehman
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Ali Gumillya Baker, Natalie Harkin, Faye Rosas Blanch, Simone Ulalka Tur (Unbound Collective)
Unbound Collective speak about their video installation Tall Ships and the motivation and the craft of making these powerful shadow plays in the context of embodied sovereignties and the reworking of entrenched historical narratives of Cook and possession.
Introduced by Fiona Salmon I Facilitated by Penny Edmonds
Sovereignty, Performance, and the Colonial Archive
Darren Siwes, Natalie Harkin, Julie Gough
This conversation explores the way artists and writers creatively engage with the colonial and visual archive, through embodied performance and sovereignty, and it considers “archival-poetics” as creative praxis.
Introduced by Penny Edmonds I Facilitated by Kate Darian-Smith
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Cook 250: Navigating Discourses Past and Present
The closing address reflects on the themes of the symposium, offering a poetic interpretation and elaboration on the shift in cultural, artistic, and historical work and creative practice on Cook, and how these have shifted over the last two decades
Introduced by Ali Gumillya Baker
Ali Gumillya Baker
Ali Gumillya Baker is a Mirning woman from the west coast of South Australia and multidisciplinary artist and educator. She was awarded a PhD in Cultural Studies and Creative Arts with Flinders University in 2018 and is currently a Senior Lecturer in the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences at the same institution. Baker’s research, concerned with colonial archives, memory, and the intergenerational transmission of knowledge, informs her work as an academic, independent artist, and member of Unbound Collective.
Drew Kahuʻāina Broderick
Drew Kahuʻāina Broderick is an artist, independent curator, and educator from Mōkapu, Kailua, Koʻolaupoko, Oʻahu. He completed an MA at the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, New York, in 2019 and currently serves as director of Koa Gallery at Kapiʻolani Community College. Previously, he worked in the Hawai‘i-based art collective PARADISE COVE (2015–2018), operated an artist-run initiative SPF PROJECTS (2012–2016), and co-founded an annual open-call, thematic exhibition, CONTACT (2014–2019), with community arts organizer Maile Meyer.
Gaye Chan is a conceptual artist and educator in Hawaiʻi recognized for her solo and collaborative work. She is co-founder of Eating in Public, an anti-capitalism project nudging space outside of the state and commodity systems in order to reclaim the “commons.” Following the path of pirates and nomads, hunters and gathers, diggers and levelers, they gather at people’s homes, plant free food gardens on private and public land, and set up free stores, all without permission.
Sean Connelly is a Pacific Islander American architect, artist, and urban ecologist living in Hawaiʻi. His practice moves seamlessly between sculpture, installation, and digital formats including projects such as Hawai’i Futures, a virtual intervention for island urbanism, and Hydraulic Islands, an architectural history and theory of Ahupuaʻa. Connelly holds a Doctorate of Architecture from the University of Hawai‘i and a Master of Design in Landscape, Urbanism, and Ecology from Harvard University.
Caine Chennatt is currently Associate Director of Cultural Collections at the University of Tasmania where he is focused on the transformative capacity of collections in teaching. A Churchill Fellow on inclusion, he has previously curated, produced or delivered programs and exhibitions at Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, Mowanjum Aboriginal Art & Culture Centre, TEDx, and the School of Life.
Kate Darian-Smith is a Professor of Australian Studies and History. Passionate about understanding the social and cultural changes that have shaped Australian peoples and places, she publishes in Australian and imperial histories; memory studies and oral history; histories of childhood, war, media, and migration; and public history and cultural heritage. Kate worked for many years at the University of Melbourne prior to taking up the position of Executive Dean and Pro Vice Chancellor, College of Arts, Law and Education at the University of Tasmania. Kate recently contributed to The Conversation’s series on Cook’s 250th anniversary. See https://theconversation.com/au/topics/captain-james-cook-64162
Penny Edmonds is a Matthew Flinders Professor and Dean (Research) in the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences at Flinders University. She is passionate about creative and interdisciplinary work in the areas of empire and colonialism, transnational Australian and Pacific-region histories, performance, gender, and visual culture. Penny has a professional background in museums and heritage, and a PhD in History from the University of Melbourne. She recently wrote on Cook’s 250th anniversary for Island magazine: ‘The View from the Shore: Cook 250, the Killora Medal and Pacific Sovereignty Performances’, 2019.
Multidisciplinary artist Fiona Foley is a Badtjala woman from K’Gari (Fraser Island), Queensland. She co-founded the Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Co-operative in 1987, the same year she completed a Diploma of Education at the University of Sydney. Foley’s PhD thesis, completed with Griffith University in 2017, examined Queensland’s legislation, The Aboriginals Protection and Restriction of the Sale of Opium Act, 1897. Her art practice – encompassing photography, public art, installation, and, recently, film – is often focused on decolonizing images of Aboriginal people and of reasserting Indigenous cultural identity and sovereignty.
Julie Gough is an installation, sound, and video artist, writer, and curator who lives in Hobart, Tasmania. She is a Trawlwoolway woman whose traditional homeland is Tebrikunna in the far northeastern region of the state. Gough’s research and art practice involves uncovering and re-presenting subsumed and often conflicting histories, and frequently draws on her own and her family’s experiences as Tasmanian Aboriginal people. She completed a PhD with the University of Tasmania in 2001.
Natalie Harkin is a Narungga woman and activist-poet in Adelaide. She is a Senior Research Fellow at Flinders University with an interest in decolonizing state archives, currently engaging archival-poetic methods to research and document Aboriginal women’s domestic service and labor histories in South Australia. Her words have been installed and projected in exhibitions comprising text-object-video projection, including creative-arts research collaboration with the Unbound Collective. Harkin has worked in the Aboriginal higher education sector since 1995. She completed her PhD in 2016 with the University of South Australia.
Cory Kamehanaokalā Holt Taum
Cory Kamehanaokalā Holt Taum is an artist and practitioner from Hawaiʻi. His multidisciplinary practice is influenced by his ancestors, the moʻolelo of his home, and the value systems of the communities he is part of. Drawing on cultural knowledge, Cory often incorporates pattern and ritual into his work, which takes the form of public murals, paintings on canvas, large-scale installation, and tattoo. His approach has been honed by mentors including ʻĪmaikalani Kalāhele and Keone Nunes.
Healoha Johnston lives in Kaiwiki, Hawaiʻi and is Curator of Asian Pacific American Women’s Cultural History at the Smithsonian Institution. Her research explores connections between historic visual culture and contemporary art with a particular focus on the sociopolitical underpinnings that inform those relationships. As an art historian, Johnston has worked in contemporary art galleries, non-profit arts-and-cultures organizations, NOAA’s Pacific National Monument program, and the Honolulu Museum of Art before joining the Smithsonian Institution.
Catherine Kevin is an Associate Professor in the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences at Flinders University where she teaches Australian histories of colonialism, gender and sexualities. She has published articles and book chapters that address cultural histories of colonialism, domestic violence, reproductive politics, and migration. Her recent book is Dispossession and the Making of Jedda: Hollywood in Ngunnawal Country (Anthem, 2020). Kevin was awarded a PhD in History from the University of Sydney in 2004.
Professor Greg Lehman is an art historian and Pro Vice Chancellor of Aboriginal Leadership at the University of Tasmania. He recently curated The National Picture: Art of Tasmania’s Black War at the National Gallery of Australia with Tim Bonyhady. Greg is a descendent of the Trawulwuy people of northeast Tasmania and writes extensively on Tasmanian colonial history and visual representation of Aboriginal people.
Faye Rosas Blanch
Faye Rosas Blanch is a Murri woman from the Atherton Tablelands of Yidniji/Mbarbarm descent. Her MA thesis, ‘Nunga Rappin, Talkin the Talk n Walkin the Walk: Young Nunga Males and Education’, was completed in 2009 with Flinders University where she is currently Senior Lecturer in the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences. Rosas Blanch is committed to Indigenous education and decolonizing and collaborative research methodologies. She is also a rapper and member of Unbound Collective.
Fiona Salmon is a curator, educator, and arts administrator who has worked in the public sector since 1995 including for an extended period with Aboriginal communities in Arnhem Land (1997–2002). Currently the director of Flinders University Museum of Art, she is interested in the power of visual language in teaching and learning, and role of university art collections in cultivating cross-disciplinary thinking. Salmon holds a BA (Hons) and MA from the University of Melbourne and Grad. Dip. (Museum Studies) from Deakin University.
Katrina Schlunke researches and writes across the areas of cultural history, fictocriticism, and material cultures within diverse sites including colonial Australia and Indigenous art. Schlunke has recently published on art in the anthropocene in a special issue of Australian Humanities Review (2019) and is co-investigator on the ARC Discovery project “Beyond Extinction: Reconstructing the Thylacine (Tasmanian Tiger) Archive (2020).” She is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Universities of Tasmania and Sydney.
Lawrence Seward is an artist and organizer living in Hawaiʻi. His understated work, whether drawings, paintings, sculptures, installations, or videos, often deploys tropical kitsch aesthetics against themselves in order to earnestly and playfully interrogate Euro-American desires for “Paradise.” His work has been exhibited and collected nationally and internationally. Seward received a BFA from the University of Hawaiʻi and an MFA from New York University.
Darren Siwes is an artist and educator based in Adelaide who is descended from the Dalabon people of Arnhem Land. He completed a BA (Hons) in 1996, a Grad. Dip. in Education in 1997 at the University of South Australia, and an MA at the Chelsea School of Art, London, in 2003. As a self-described “hypothetical realist,” in his photographic practice Siwes blurs the boundaries between “true” and imagined worlds to interrogate colonial narratives, cultural stereotypes, and racial hierarchies.
Simone Ulalka Tur
Simone Ulalka Tur is Associate Professor and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous) in the Office of Indigenous Strategy and Engagement at Flinders University. She is from the Antikirinya/ Yankunytjatjara community on the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) lands. Tur was previously Director of Yunggorendi, First Nations Centre for Higher Education and Research at Flinders University, where she began working in 1998 and later completed her PhD. She publishes in Indigenous Education and Indigenous Knowledge and is also trained as a singer and performs as a member of Unbound Collective.
Teila Watson is a Birri Gubba and Kungalu Murri woman born and raised in Brisbane. An established performing artist – singer, poet and lyricist (known as ‘Ancestress’), Teila is also a writer, actor and youth arts professional. Her respect and understanding of Murri knowledges, First Nations self-determination, and the preservation of culture, informs her artistic endeavours and fuels her many passions.
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