The Poetic Every Man Project: Exploring Mythology in the Contemporary Context

Part 2: These Inhabitants of the Human Body (working title)

Visiting artist Amina McConvell (Darwin, NT) is the co-curator of a cross-cultural research collective, The Poetic Everyman Collective: Exploring Mythology in the Contemporary Context. Amina co-curates this ongoing project alongside Indonesian artist Lashita Situmorang (Yogyakarta (Jogja)This project looks broadly at ideas surrounding mythology, belief and spirituality from multi-faith and cross-cultural perspectives.  The research group currently includes six artists: Amina McConvell (Co-Curator| Darwin, NT), Lashita Situmorang (Co-curator | Yogyakarta, Indonesia), Dyah Purwitasari “Tata” (Jakarta Indonesia), Briony Galligan (Melbourne, VIC), Sadat Laope (Yogyakarta, Indonesia), Sonja Dahl (San Francisco, USA). The artists in the collective come from diverse artistic backgrounds including installation, music, dance, textiles, film, painting and printmaking. The project began through a shared interest in mythology and narratives of a supernatural or mystical nature. The integral premise of the project is that artists can take on the role of contemporary mythmakers, inventing new mystical narratives for the contemporary context.

The project began with Part 1: Micro-Cosmos/Macro-Cosmos looking at concept from Javanese religious philosophy. Part 1 took place predominantly in Jogja where the collective formed and consequently developed a body of in-country research and a traveling exhibition accompanied by a bilingual exhibition catalogue that was presented both in Jogja at Sangkring Art Space in May 2013 and in Darwin at the Darwin Visual Arts Association in Feb 2014.

In 2014 the collective will commence the second phase of this ongoing project.  This time addressing a new theme Part 2: These Inhabitants of the Human Body – in this phase of the project the artists are asked to consider the relationship of the human body to mythological, spiritual concepts.

While based at Gertrude Amina will conduct preliminary curatorial research as a grounding for Part 2.  This will be comprised of multi-faith conversations around of the role of the physical body, as well as related non-physical or spirit-based notions associated with the human body. Amina will visit spiritually significant places in Melbourne to meet with spiritual practitioners from all walks of life, and conduct a series of recorded interviews with people from diverse cultural and religious backgrounds. The idea then is to begin a dialogue with the other members of collective to kick off this new chapter in the project.

Review by Sonja Dahl: