Three years ago I curated this show at Mayfair, a disused commercial space in Harriet Place. I gathered a stellar group of local Darwin artists: Franck Gohier, Chayni Henry, Jonathon Saunders and Emma Masters.
We met regularly at each other's homes and talked about Darwin, its changing urban and suburban morphology. We formed a collective, "Group 5", and I asked the artists to read seminal art history texts including Walter Benjamin's "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction", Guy Debord's "The Society of the Spectacle", Venturin&Scott Brown's "Learning from Las Vegas", and of course, Charles Darwin's "The Origin of the Species".
The result was "D.evolution", a seminal exhibition in which local Darwin artists turned to art history as a collective, to interpret their immediate surroundings and represent the swirling forces of modernity and post-modernity making their impact on their home town at the edge of the frontier, where subjectivities collide, where modernity and post modernity is most acutely felt!
On the other side of the city, I curated "Origin of a City" with the NT Library. I worked with the NT Librarians, and three other key Darwin artists: Garry Lee, Regis Martin and Michelle Culpitt, and devised a show on how the city of Darwin got its name.
In doing so, I developed my curatorial objective: to open the city of Darwin, its history, its architecture, its public planning, its social networks, its mapping, its people, its artists as subject matter worthy of cultural and visual scrutiny, interpretation and representation. I am thrilled about this place and I want to use the art valorisation processes to invoke and invest it with the aura that it deserves.
Eileen Song, Cliffside, on violence as a work of art
June 25, 2019
Flash Art, Darwin Landscapes Part 1- The Don Hotel