Foreign LandsKarolina Partyka
26 April - 12 May 2018
Opening night Tuesday 24 April 2018, 5 - 8pm.
By interrogating our relationship with place and land, Foreign Lands looks at utopias, frontiers, and what it means to be ‘native’. Belonging and foreignness are explored through technological and science fiction tropes, transposing the lived experience of migrants, refugees and ‘others’ into the currently developing narrative of humanity’s next frontier and imagined utopia - Mars.
Literally meaning ‘no place’, the idea of Utopia has enthralled humans throughout history. As an Australian-born child of Polish refugees, Partyka’s work draws upon the experience of navigating between cultures whilst carrying inherited traumas, many of which directly resulted from the failures and distortions of attempted utopian ideologies (Nazism and Socialism). Her work also speaks to the persistent Australian attachment to a mythologised Anglo utopia of the ‘good old days’, a time before non-British immigrants or Indigenous citizenship.
Mars, myth, and science fiction act as allegorical mirrors of Earth-bound migrations, colonialisations, and the generational impacts thereof, as well as examining the implications of placing a human presence on Mars, and how it may evolve our understanding of our humanity. The gallery space itself is treated as a frontier for exploration, strategically placing and lighting works to form a cohesive sense of place.
Image: Karolina Partyka, Land Mythology (#2), 2017 Digital Photographic Print, 420 x 594 mm
Images courtesy of the artists and Kudos Gallery. Photos: Nicholas Aloisio-Shearer