6 February -
28 March 2021
Gertrude Contemporary21-31 High St, Preston VIC 3072
Opening: Friday 5 February, 6-8pm
Monuments are dialectical. Central pillars that seep into the periphery. Like the horizon line they are steadfast informants of space - stable, grand, expansive and looming. Continuously being built, and yet continuously being rinsed out by retrospective, inertia and rain.
Monumental is a new suite of works by Amrita Hepi that casts a central colonial figure within a continual sunrise... or is it a sunset? Through performance the monument is serenaded by sound and dance, then destroyed by paddles and cricket bats, and finally replaced by seven people. By creating a dreamscape of dance and demise, Hepi sets her sights on the historical archive of colonial monuments, making them bodily once more.
Monumental was made in January 2020; and kept alive in spirit, action, song and dance through a pandemic; while other monuments around the world began to fall and were decommissioned.
Amrita Hepi is an award-winning First Nations choreographer and dancer from Bundjulung (Aus) and Ngāpuhi (NZ) territories. Her mission as an artist is to push the barriers of intersectionality in form and make work that establishes multiple access points through allegory. Her practice at present is interested in forms of hybridity - especially those that arise under empire. An artist with a broad following and reach, her work has taken various forms (film, performance, sculpture, text, lecture, participatory installation), but always begins with the body as a point of archive, memory, dance and resistance.
This project was supported by the Australia Council for the Arts.