Everything is Possibly An Oracle, at Milani Gallery, Brisbane


Exhibition at CARPARK, Milani Gallery, Brisbane, Australia.

Opening: Saturday, 7 September 2019, 5-7pm

Closing performance: Saturday, 28 September 2019, 2pm-4pm

What if, in times of uncertainty and doubt, we first turned to a rock, a tree, an ant, or the tides as a source of reflection and possible understandings? What if we understood that water is listening to our stories and water can also tell us what it needs? What if oracular utterances were central to societal and political choices? What if we were dedicated to feeling beyond our first perceptions? These are the questions that animate the exhibition Everything is possibly an oracle.

Nine months ago, on Karokynka, in the archipelago of Tierra del Fuego, some of the Ensayo #4: Coastal Curriculum researchers got into an accident. The result of this flip turn was the encounter with an oracular message, the complexity of which mobilised the swell of Ensayos’ coastal inquiry to the shores of Australia.

Taking a liquid, archipelagic approach to loosening the knot of the mystifying ways in which things come to matter, Everything is possibly an oracle unfolds the imaginative seeing techniques, languages and sensing practices that Caitlin Franzmann (lead of the Australia research pod), Christy Gast (lead of the New York research pod) and Camila Marambio (founder of Ensayos) have been exploring together and apart for years. This time, their felting, weaving, dyeing, drawing, singing, divining, drifting, crying, wailing, tuning, hosting, dancing, filming, falling, writing and macerating conspire to soften the portals that channel the aqueous knowledge of bodies of water on this planet.

This exhibition is a part of Ensayos, a nomadic research program initiated in Tierra del Fuego in 2010. Ensayo #4 (Coastal Curriculum) involves research pods in Tierra del Fuego, Norway, New York, and now, Australia. The artists, scientists and scholars who partake in Ensayos meet intermittently to cross-pollinate and share their experiences with archipelagic intersections of identity, history, geography, language and law. In the weeks leading up to Everything is possibly an oracle, Caitlin, Camila, and Christy, along with Sarita Gálvez and Carla Macchiavello (also of Ensayos) spent time on the isles of Minjerribah and Canaipa and later also consulted the Brisbane River and the Enoggera Reservoir on the question of how to turn from meaning to mattering.

Ensayos honours the traditional custodians of the lands and waters were we roam and learn, including the Selk’nam, Yaghan, Kawéskar and Haush peoples of Tierra del Fuego and the Jagara, Yuggera, Turrbal, Quandamooka people of South-East Queensland. We give special thanks to Freja, Sonja and Glynn Carmichael, Sharon Jewell, Dale Harding, Helen Franzmann and Denny Ryan, Kathy and Peter Franzmann, Kyle Weiss, Lawrence English, Christine Black and Mary Graham.

This project is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland.

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