The Shouting Valley: Interrogating the Borders Between Us
28 September – 14 December 2019
Lawrence Abu Hamdan (Lebanon) Hoda Afshar (Iran/Australia), Shahriar Asdollah-Zadeh (Philippines/Aotearoa New Zealand), Cushla Donaldson (Aotearoa New Zealand), Jun Yang (Austria/Taiwan/Japan) & Manus Recording Project Collective: Michael Green, Andre Dao, Jon Tjhia, Abdul Aziz Muhamat, Farhad Bandesh, Behrouz Boochani, Samad Abdul, Shamindan Kanapathi and Kazem Kazemi (Melbourne/Manus Island)
“I am a shadow of my former self. I no longer smile or laugh like I used to, or make others laugh.”
Displayed message from detainee, 501s by Cushla Donaldson
The Shouting Valley features artists whose politically motivating and activating work asks us to engage in urgent discussions of injustice in order to effect change.
The works in this exhibition highlight contemporary issues relating to borders and migration, questioning why freedom of movement often appears to be a Western privilege; a subject in the forefront of people’s minds following the tragic events in Christchurch and the controversy surrounding the treatment of refugees at Australian off-shore detention centres. As a country largely populated by migrants, the exhibition resonates with Aotearoa’s diverse history and asks us to think about our own whakapapa.
The exhibition’s title is informed by a work by Turner-prize nominee Lawrence Abu Hamdan called Language Gulf in the Shouting Valley (2013). Located in the Golan Heights, the shouting valley is an area of land with a unique topography that enables an acoustic leak across the border between Syria and Israel. Here, members of the Druze population meet on either side to hear each other’s voices and wave to one another across the divide.
Bringing together major new commissions and artworks never seen before in Aotearoa, the exhibition is intended as an open dialogue between individual perspectives and shared experiences. Through a fervent examination of the politics of the voice, the border and representation, The Shouting Valley foregrounds voices that would otherwise be unheard, and asks for us all to take the time to listen.