THE QUIET SLAVE: Thoughts on curation and history from the edge of the Indian Ocean
October 22, 2014 at 6pm FCSH, Avenida de Berna, 26C - Edifício ID, Sala Multiusos 2, Piso 4
The South African-born writer and curator John Mateer will present a talk about his project The Quiet Slave: an history in eight episodes. The project is currently in development as part of SPACED2: Future Recall, an Australian biennale of internationally socially-engaged art which aims to bring artists into rural and remote communities. The Quiet Slave records the early history of the settlement of the Cocos-Keeling atoll, a small group of islands mid-way between Australian and Sri Lanka. Produced in association with the Cocos-Malay people of the islands and the Australian mainland, the project uses historical investigation, sound/performance, radio broadcast and a rare Malay script to reanimate the largely unrecognized history of slave trade in the Indian Ocean. The completed project will be a installation with documentation presented at the Western Australian Museum.
John Mateer has for two decades written on art, mostly for Australian publications but often with an interest in South-East Asia and South Africa. In the early 2000s was on the steering committee of the Melbourne-based venture The South Project, which over five years aimed to develop links across the Southern Hemisphere, and he was the Australia Council's inaugural art writer-in-residence at ACME, London in 2012. More recently he has presented a seminar series on the metaphor of the museum at the Maumaus School for Contemporary Art, Lisbon, and convened the international symposium The Ambiguity of our Geography at Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, in association with In Confidence: Reorientations in Recent Art, the Indian Ocean-focused exhibition he curated for that institution. Organização projecto Modernismos do Sul/Southern Modernisms Instituto de História da Arte - Fcsh/UNL