Museum of Contemporary Art Australia

Museum of Contemporary Art

Made in Birmingham/Made in Sydney: Screening + Artist Talk

Salote Tawale

Friday 26 August 2022 (opening 7:00 pm)

at MCA ( venue info )
140 George St, The Rocks, Sydney NSW

All Ages

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Join us for a special Made in Birmingham/Made in Sydney screening of two newly commissioned artworks by Fijian-Australian artist Salote Tawale and British-Afghan-Pakistani artist Osman Yousefzada that explore questions of identity and belonging.

Following the screening artist Salote Tawale will be in conversation with Megan Robson, Associate Curator, Exhibitions.

About the films

Salote Tawale's work YOU, ME, ME, YOU (2022) features footage made by the artist, family and friends. It is a montage of imagery that combines role-play, television reenactments, social media posts and an imaginary pop music video. Exploring themes of proximity, distance and friendship, this cast of collaborators includes Tawale's relatives, her artist friends, the queer community in Australia and a chosen family of individuals brought together by diasporic contexts, living and working away from homelands. Re-performing aspects of their shared experiences, the participants depict the loneliness, comfort, inspiration and support found within these familial and friendship networks during a period of isolation and restriction due to COVID-19.  Tawale’s video is a dedication to these important relationships in all their forms and a celebration of how our differences can unite us during difficult times.

Osman Yousefzada’s new digital commission, Spaces of Transcendence (2022), is a story of environments, characters and gestures. Set in the Makli Necropolis in the Sindh province of Pakistan, it reimagines the 14th-century burial ground as a site of Sufi science fiction. The complex geometry of the film is derived from the sandstone architecture of the burial ground, carved with a myriad of Muslim, Hindu and Persian motifs. Connecting the worlds of the living and the dead, the site contains a secret language, protected by the wrapped figures carrying alams (pennons/flags) and requiring a marginalised voice to decode it. Divine access is granted by the khawaja sara (an umbrella term that encompasses all gender variant identities) whose ritualised bathing in milk and repetition of the hand and head leads to spiritual ecstasy. The circular sounds of singing bowls and solar activity are carried in the whorl of a shell and the whirl of dyeing cloth, opening portals onto Sufi cosmology and consciousness. Spaces of Transcendence calls forth an Islamic Futurism that promises to free the oppressed from social and political realities.

All Ages