For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Isissa Komada-John
Tel: 718.230.0492 x114
The Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA) is proud to present the highly anticipated international exhibition entitled, Saying No: Reconciling Spirituality and Resistance in Indigenous Australian Art, curated by Bindi Cole, on view from mid-summer to fall, 2011
80 Hanson Place
Brooklyn, New York 11217
Brooklyn, NY, July 5, 2011 — Today MoCADA announces the opening of the highly anticipated international group exhibition entitled, Saying No: Reconciling Spirituality and Resistance in Indigenous Australian Art. The exhibition is guest curated by Bindi Cole, and will be on view from mid-summer to fall, 2011 in the museum’s main gallery at the James E. Davis 80 Arts Building in Brooklyn, New York. This is the first international group exhibition of this kind to debut in New York City and the United States. The show will feature an array of works in a variety of media from a group of contemporary, indigenous, Australian-based artists.
The word “No” does not exist in the majority of the over 200 Australian Aboriginal languages, and where it does exist, this powerful word is reserved for the elders and is used with great care and ceremony. As these languages reach the brink of extinction, indigenous Australian artists are using contemporary art to assert their identity and culture and say no to racism, land theft and colonialism in an urban world. Saying No features sculpture, installation, painting, photography, video and mixed media works that highlight the use of visual art as a form of social and political protest in the current Australian Aboriginal struggle for the right to representation. Exhibiting artists include Tony Albert, Daniel Boyd, Maree Clarke, Bindi Cole, Vicki Couzens, Fiona Foley, James Henry, Dennis Nona, Zane Saunders and Yhonnie Scarce and Oliver Winter-Irving.
Bindi Cole, the exhibition’s curator states, “the role of a contemporary Aboriginal artist, in my opinion, is to provoke.” The indigenous population has been subject to state sanctioned land displacement, ethnic cleansing and segregation – impoverishing their quality of life and relegating their culture to the margins of Australian society. Only recently has the government taken steps to apologize for the inhumane systems of oppression inflicted upon Australia’s native peoples. Saying No was organized through extensive travel between Australia and New York City to increase the visibility of contemporary Aboriginal artists and to reaffirm artistic practice as a site for civil dissonance for disenfranchised populations around the world.
About the Curator
Bindi Cole is a Melbourne based award-winning photographer and artist of Wathaurung and Australian heritage. Cole’s work exposes the latent and unspoken power dynamics of Australian culture in the here and now. She subtly but powerfully reveals some uncomfortable truths about the fundamental disconnection between who we are – the communities and identities by which we shape our sense of self – and how the prevailing culture attempts to place and define us. In 2011, Cole appeared nationally on Australian television (ABC) in the documentary, EYE that traced her journey creating a series of stylized portraits of a community of Aboriginal transgender women called the Sistagirls. In 2009, Cole won the Victorian Indigenous Art Award and has been a finalist in numerous art awards including the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards and the William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize. Recent projects include curating Nyah-bunyar (Temple) at the Arts Centre as part of the Melbourne International Arts Festival, projecting Whitewash onto the water wall at the National Gallery of Victoria, Not Really Aboriginal at the Centre for Contemporary Photography, Just Can’t Get Enough at Linden Gallery, A Time Like This at the Victorian College of the Arts Margaret Lawrence Gallery and Post Us at Boscia Galleries. In 2004, Cole completed a Diploma in Applied Photography at Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE (NMIT), and in 2008 she commenced a Bachelor of Visual Arts (Fine Arts) at Ballarat University. Cole is currently represented by Nellie Castan Gallery.
In conjunction with the exhibition, the museum will offer 8 public programs, all free and open to the public:
Children’s art making program, August 6, 1:00 – 3:00pm
Film screening at Big Screen Plaza, August 11, 7:00 – 9:00pm
Film screening, September 1, 8:00 – 10:00pm
Talk with artist and curator Bindi Cole, September 15, 6:00 – 8:00pm
Children’s storytelling program, September 24, 1:00 – 3:00pm
Nyah-bunyar adult educational program, October 4, 6:00 – 8:00pm
Panel discussion with international indigenous leaders, date and time TBD
Interview with artist and curator Bindi Cole on First Voices Indigenous Radio, date and time TBD
For updates and more information on public programming, visit MoCADA’s calendar online at www.MoCADA.org.
MoCADA works to rediscover valuable African cultural traditions that were lost through colonization and the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and to foster a dynamic space for the creation of the continuous evolution of culture. MoCADA believes that the concept of the museum exists within its people and it is the museum’s goal to serve as a conduit for African Diaspora forms of expression ranging from the visual and performing arts to film and television with the goal of repositioning the continent of Africa and its people in both a foundational and central role in world development.
$5 for adults, $4 for students (with valid ID) and seniors. Free for members and children 12 and under.
Hours of operation are Wednesday – Sunday, 11am to 6pm
The 2, 3, 4, 5, B, and Q stop at Atlantic Avenue.
The D, N, and R stop at Pacific Street.
The C stop at Lafayette Avenue.
The G stop at Fulton Street.
Saying No is supported in part by public funds from Arts Victoria, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, New York State Council on the Arts, and private funds from the Andy Warhol Foundation and Lambent Foundation. Operational support has been made possible through the generosity of the following public servants: State Senators Velmanette Montgomery, Eric Adams, Kevin Parker, John Sampson; City Councilmembers Letitia James, Charles Barron, Bill de Blasio, Albert Vann, David Weprin; Assemblymembers Hakeem Jefferies, Helene Weinstein, Annette Robinson, N. Nick Perry, Inez Barron & Karim Camara.