Just Not Australian 

Abdul Abdullah, Hoda Afshar, Tony Albert, Cigdem Aydemir, Liam Benson, Eric Bridgeman, Jon Campbell, Karla Dickens, Fiona Foley, Gordon Hookey, Richard Lewer, Archie Moore, Vincent Namatjira, Nell, Raquel Ormella, Ryan Presley, Joan Ross, Soda_Jerk, Tony Schwensen

#JustNotAustralian 

Exhibition Opening
Friday 18 January, 6–8pm 

Exhibition dates
18 January – 28 April, 2019

Artist Talks
When
| Saturday 19 January, 2-4pm
Where | Artspace Gallery 
Abdul Abdullah, Tony Albert, Cigdem Aydemir, Liam Benson, Eric Bridgeman, Karla Dickens, Archie Moore, Nell, Raquel Ormella, Joan Ross and Soda_Jerk


TERROR NULLIUS (MA 15+) – Screening times
Mon – Fri | 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm, 4pm
Sat – Sun | 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm, 4pm, 5pm 

Extra Times:
Artmonth Sydney, Art at Night, Thursday 21 March
: 6pm, 7pm

Closed-Caption Screening times:

Saturday, February 9
Wednesday, February 13
Wednesday, February 20 
Sunday, 24 February
Wednesday, 6 March
Saturday, 16 March
Thursday, 4 April
Saturday, 20 April
Closed-captioning will play across all session times on these dates. Please contact artspace@artspace.org.au to request alternative options.

Soda_Jerk, 'TERROR NULLIUS', 2018, HD Video, 54 mins, courtesy the artists

Overview

Just Not Australian brings together 19 Australian artists across generations and mediums to deal broadly with the origins and implications of contemporary Australian nationhood. This timely thematic show will showcase the sensibilities of larrikinism, satire and resistance to interrogate presenting and representing Australian national identity.

The exhibition engages with the moral and ethical undertones of the loaded rejoinder ‘unAustralian’ – an increasingly pejorative phrase in our national lexicon that is instrumentalised for various political agendas. Employed often during the so-called ‘culture wars’ of the 1990s by both Prime Minister John Howard and One Nation Party Founder Pauline Hanson to spark Nationalistic ideals and grow political support, over the years ‘un-Australian’ has been pitched against striking workers, communists, antiwar protestors, monarchists, migrants, asylum seekers and just about anyone seen to be violating Australian cultural norms.

Predicated on an Us vs. Them dichotomy, at its core the term is intended to exclude; what's at stake is a sense of belonging. Yet far from a simple equation, a consideration of what's not Australian ultimately leads to questions of what is, and it’s here that many of the artists in Just Not Australian weigh in.

The exhibition takes place the year before the official 250th anniversary celebrations of Cook’s arrival. This is an opportunity to engage critically with this moment in Australia’s colonial history and the meaning of ‘arrival’ as a continuum within this country that has seen ongoing immigration historically and contemporaneously.

As its exhibition title suggests, Just Not Australian acknowledges that these issues do not just pertain to this country but are being addressed the world over.

  • Soda_Jerk, 'TERROR NULLIUS', 2018, installation view, Just Not Australian, Artspace, Sydney, 2019. Commissioned by the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Melbourne. Courtesy the artists. Photo: Zan Wimberley

  • Joan Ross, 'I Give You a Mountain', 2018, installation view, Just Not Australian, Artspace, Sydney, 2019, courtesy the artist, Michael Reid, Sydney and Bett Gallery, Hobart. Photo: Zan Wimberley

  • 'Just Not Australian', 2019, installation view, Artspace, 2019. Photo: Zan Wimberley

  • Liam Benson, 'Participatory community embroidery, You and Me', 2013–17, glass, sequins, cotton, organza, 148 x 170 cm. Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, gift of the artist, 2018. Photo: Zan Wimberley

  • Gordon Hookey, 'MURRILAND! #1', 2015–ongoing, installation view, Just Not Australian, Artspace, Sydney, 2019, courtesy the artist and Milani Gallery, Brisbane. Photo Zan Wimberley

  • 'Just Not Australian', 2019, installation view, Artspace, 2019. Photo: Zan Wimberley

  • 'Just Not Australian', 2019, installation view, Artspace, 2019. Photo: Zan Wimberley

  • 'Just Not Australian', 2019, installation view, Artspace, 2019. Photo: Zan Wimberley

  • Karla Dickens, 'Never Forget', 2019, installation view, Just Not Australian, Artspace, Sydney, 2019, courtesy the artist and Andrew Baker Art Dealer, Brisbane. Photo: Zan Wimberley

  • Vincent Namatjira, 'Australia in Black and White', 2018, detail, courtesy the artist, Iwantja Arts, APY Lands and THIS IS NO FANTASY, Melbourne. Photo: Zan Wimberley

  • 'Just Not Australian', 2019, installation view, Artspace, 2019. Photo: Zan Wimberley

  • 'Just Not Australian', 2019, installation view, Artspace, 2019. Photo: Zan Wimberley




Just Not Australian was curated by Artspace and developed in partnership with Sydney Festival. The exhibition is touring nationally with Museums & Galleries of NSW.