February 24, 2023
Tina Havelock Stevens and Ali Tahayori are part of the National Art School’s group show ‘Braving Time: Contemporary Art in Queer Australia’ at the NAS Galleries from 3.02. – 18.03.23. Curated by Richard Perram OAM, the exhibition platforms the diverse voices of LGBTQIA+ people in 21st century Australia and reflects the breath of genders and sexualities within the community and their experiences.
‘Braving Time’ highlights “that queerness is intersectional … capturing the optimism of change, of acceptance and the pure joy that will be felt by all during the Sydney WorldPride celebrations in 2023. The key themes and connections that flow and overlap throughout the exhibition are richly complex and represent issues that have been and remain central, to LGBTQIA+ lived experience including Our Queer Ancestors, Queer Worthies, Death and History, Feminist Expression, Family and Community, Maleness and Power, Humour, Gender and Sexuality.”
Ali Tahayori’s interdisciplinary practice ranges from conceptual photography to the moving image, and installation. Tahayori uses archival materials, narrative fragments and performative modalities to explore themes of identity, home, and belonging. Translating the traditional Iranian craft of Āine-Kāri (mirror-works) into a contemporary visual vocabulary, his practice combines a discourse about diaspora and displacement with an exploration of queerness – in both cases, poignantly testifying to his experience of being othered.
Tina Havelock Stevens has re-staged the installation ‘A Burst of Boiling Rage’ from exhibitions at Bundanon Museum and Dominik Mersch Gallery. The work draws on Malcolm Arnold’s original orchestral music for Robert Helpmann’s Elektra ballet performed at Covent Garden, London, in 1963 through a striking video portrait. The Elektra program’s 1960s design, the bold colours of Arthur Boyd’s set, and the dance reviewer Richard Buckle’s description – “it opens with drums and brass in a burst of boiling rage” – come together to re-construct the drama of the Elektra tragedy. As stated by the Bundanon Trust: “Havelock Stevens’ no stranger to the task of ‘taking up male’ space and re-inhabits the wrath of the Furies in her performance.”
Image caption: Ali Tahayori, ‘There is no Queer in Iran’, 2022, Hand cut mirrors and plaster on Aluminium Di Bond, 90 x 60cm
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