April 2016 – Sept 2017

The second edition of this series will feature 18-24 artists drawn from these regions.

The final list of artists will be announced in August 2015.

SOUTH_2: Língua Equatória3

The second exhibition in the SOUTH series takes as its starting point the many aspects of the Lusophone4 world and its most populous country, Brasil, as a means to explore myriad artistic cross-currents both historical and contemporaneous, and their relationship to Australia and our Oceanic and South Asian region. Several artists from Francophone West Africa are also included. The equatorial latitudes have their own shared experience.

Common to the Southern zones is the colonial experience, and many Southern artists and thinkers continue, in the postcolonial era, to probe this recent history, even as they power forth, asserting vigorous, confident and urgent new perspectives on global art practice. The Portuguese language alongside English, Spanish and French, is inseparable from this history, and from the cultural experience of young artists working today across the Lusophone sphere.

Despite (or perhaps because of) disrupted relationships to ‘country’, the work of Southern artists frequently embodies powerful personal and group narratives, a passionate sense of place and belonging, and a marked urge towards social and environmental engagement, often with real-world outcomes within communities. The South is also where many of the world’s first peoples continue to have strong, if disrupted, links with their ancient cultural heritage, and a non-exclusive focus on global Indigeneity is threaded through this research.


Research and development is well underway, with a final proposed selection of 6-8 Australian artists, 4-6  Brasilian artists, 4-6 African artists (drawn from Angola, Moçambique, Nigeria, Ghana, Benin, Côte d’Ivoire), and 2-4 artists drawn from across Indo/Melanesia (India, Sri Lanka, Java, Muluku, Timor Leste). In each case these numbers will be increased for any local (touring) edition, with local curatorial input.


2. The Australian/American writer Terry Smith has suggested that ‘contemporaneity’ and ‘planetarity’ are more useful terms for discussing art from what he calls “a multiscalar perspective of worlds-within-the-world … at the same time and to specific degrees local, regional and international – that is to say worldly – in character”. See SMITH, T. ‘World Currents Beyond Globalization’ in BELTING, H., BUDDENSIEG, A., WEIBEL, P. & ZENTRUM FÜR KUNST UND MEDIENTECHNOLOGIE KARLSRUHE 2013. The global contemporary and the rise of new art worlds, Cambridge, Massachusetts, MIT Press. p 186-192.

3. There is no direct transaltion for this Latinate title, which plays on the term Lingua Franca to imply a widely-used ‘language of ‘exchange’ (not necessarily text-based or verbal) that connects the equatorial South.

4. Portuguese speaking.