Magic ‘Gathering’ of artists

Gathering 2013 presented by Kultour was a landmark meeting for 19 artists from across Australia to meet over a few days and work with 8 arts provocateurs who posed questions about our intercultural practices, on how we present and re-present ourselves in the product driven market.

Right Here/Right Now was the final piece of picture where we had the opportunity to open up the minds of presenters and producers about our practice… and in the words of Teresa Crea we bring our own “cultural aesthetics” to any particular program. Rather than perceiving a “problem” of understanding and programming “multicultural work” we have the enticing opportunity of opening up programs to artists and audiences with a different “cultural aesthetic” to our own.

Magic.  Thanks to Kultour for an amazing experience. 

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Gathering artists, L to R: Liz Lea, Chi Vu, Jade Dewi, Katrina Lazaroff, Annalouise Paul, Maitland Schnaars. Photo by Panos Couros.

“Breaking out of the Multicultural Ghetto”  Arts Hub, Wednesday 11 September, 2013

Choreographer, dancer and actor Annalouise Paul, who has been creating intercultural dance theatre since 1988, agrees that ‘multicultural’ has become a loaded term.

‘Back in the Seventies, or the Sixties, when it was basically put into legislation, back then it was actually a really positive term, but through the breakdown and the removal of the word from legislation – this is what came out of somebody’s speech [at the Gathering] today – it’s become a dirty word,’ she said.

‘And for us as artists, that’s kind of filtered down; you don’t want to be labelled as this thing, you just want to do your work … make work [that is] recognised as being good art, as opposed to multicultural art.

‘Having said that, as a devil’s advocate, I personally don’t have a problem with [the word] because going back to the original intention of what multiculturalism was about for Australia, I think it’s a joyful thing that we have this kind of a culture where we can actually embrace that and explore that, and I do that in my work. But on the whole, the consensus or the feeling is that if you’re labelled, labelling is the bad part of it,’ Paul continued.

Right Here/Right Now is enabling us to get back to what is really important, and that’s our art practice. All artists have to deal with this; all those labels and boxes and gymnastics around language that we have to do in order to get out work funded and seen, validated or whatever; it slows down the process of actually making the work, and that’s what’s coming out of these three days.’

Full article http://www.artshub.com.au/news-article/features/arts/breaking-out-of-the-multicultural-ghetto-196584

Other Arts Hub Articles on ‘Gathering’ http://www.artshub.com.au/news-article/news/all-arts/reframing-the-cultural-aesthetic-196620
http://www.artshub.com.au/news-article/features/arts/breaking-out-of-the-multicultural-ghetto-196584

KULTOUR is the national advocacy body for culturally diverse arts.