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WE ARE HERE: contemporary artists explore their queer cultural heritage

19 January 2018, 12:00am01 April 2018, 12:00am
Location Palmer Hall
Entry 2, La Trobe Street, Melbourne
Accessibility Has wheelchair access

Reimagine queer histories through new, original artworks created by five contemporary local artists. Combining photography, video, visual art and performance art, these challenging works shine a light on secret histories and hidden voices to reinterpret queer identity and cultural heritage.

Drawing on archival material from State Library Victoria and the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives (ALGA), WE ARE HERE activates a queer gaze of LGBTIQ histories that have been forgotten or excluded from the Australian social narrative.

This display is curated by Angela Bailey and features artists Archie Barry, Susan Maco Forrester, Briony Galligan, Peter Lambropoulos and Peter Waples-Crowe.

Presented by Midsumma Festival and State Library Victoria in association with Australian Lesbian & Gay Archive, and supported by the City of Melbourne Arts Grants Program.

Special dates & times

Archie Barry Performances:

  • Friday 2 February, 5pm
  • Friday 16 February, 5pm
  • Friday 2 March, 5pm
  • Saturday 17 March, 5pm.

Description Victoria will conduct a described exhibition tour on Saturday 3 February, 4.30–6pm.

About the artists

Archie Barry’s performative and video work centres on a photograph from the State Library collection of Edward De Lacey Evans (a gender non-conforming person in Victoria during the late 19th century) and considers the complexities of the visibility/invisibility of transgender identity. Barry’s practice centres around investigating embodiment as a highly politicised and complex phenomenon.

As a Somali Australian LGBTIQ artist Susan Maco Forrester looks for evidence of herself within both collections and provides a contemporary response to archival colonial imagery. An accomplished sound and visual artist and creative producer, Susan specialises in community-based, contemporary arts and cultural projects.

Briony Galligan references and responds to Monte Punshon’s scrapbooks held in the Australian Gay and Lesbian Archives, as well as David McDiarmid’s poster works. Monte Punshon was an out lesbian and adventurous, flamboyant icon who lived to 106. Working with textiles, installation and video, Galligan explores points where personal, social and art histories overlap.

Peter Lambropoulos’ video work challenges social and political heteronormativity by recollecting memories from his queer past and matching them with documentary evidence from existing collections. Lambropoulos is an award-winning visual artist who has been exhibiting since the late 1980s, often working collaboratively across multiple disciplines.

Peter Waples-Crowe is a Ngarigo man whose collage work, The natives rallied for love, uses a mash-up of illustrative colonial flora and fauna to speak to lived experience, identity and Indigenous interconnectedness. Waples-Crowe has been a multiple finalist for the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards, the Victorian Indigenous Art Award, and received the Koori Heritage Trust Acquisition Award.

About the curator

Angela Bailey is a photographer and curator who has worked on a range of creative community cultural projects with a particular emphasis on working with collections and their contemporary interpretation – both within larger cultural institutions and smaller archives and collections. She has a Postgraduate Degree in Fine Art from VCA and a Master in Curatorship from the University of Melbourne.