TRANS VERSA: Conversing Across the South
TRANS VERSA: Conversing Across the South was an exhibition of visual artworks by Chilean, Australian and New Zealand artists in Santiago.
TRANS VERSA: Conversing Across the South. Selina Ou at work, Santiago 2006 and Artlink, The South Issue: New Horizons June 2007
TRANS VERSA: Conversing Across the South was an exhibition curated by Dr Zara Stanhope and Danae Mossman. The exhibition featured the work of 13 artists at three different venues in Santiago: Fiona Jack (Centro Cultural Matucana 100); Daniel Malone and Tom Nicholson (Galería Metropolitana); and Brook Andrew, David Clegg, Lonnie Hutchison, Maddie Leach, Andrew McQualter, Dane Mitchell, Raquel Ormella, Selina Ou and PVI Collective (Museo de Arte Contemporáneo). The exhibition took place in Santiago over one month in 2006, as part of The South Project.
TRANS VERSA: Conversing Across the South reflects the historical, geographical and botanical similarities between Australia, Chile and New Zealand, which all have a Pacific Ocean coastline and were colonised by a European country. As the curators, Zara and Danae wanted to create an exhibition of new art that involved the Chilean, Australian and New Zealand artists working together. They aimed to stimulate dialogue about cultural similarities and differences, and encourage the artists to form new relationships and networks.
One of the exhibition artworks was the performance installation “Sweet Potato” by New Zealand artist Daniel Malone. The installation included a series of clay replicas of sweet potato (kūmara) that Daniel made in Chile and a performance of preparing a hāngī (traditional Māori method of cooking) in a hole that Daniel had dug outside Galería Metropolitana. As sweet potato is a staple food in Chile and New Zealand, the installation highlighted the links between the two countries, and the impossibility of determining which country it originates from.
The South Project was set up in 2004 to bring Southern Hemisphere artists together, through four annual forums and accompanying exhibitions. The project focused on visual culture - including photography, video, printmaking, collective art, design and craft – and paid particular attention to the culture and ideas of indigenous peoples. The South Project provided a platform for artists to look at common elements that influence their art but not that of Northern Hemisphere artists, such as Southern Hemisphere flora, fauna and constellations, and weather events.
Published 02 November 2023
“As a curator, the proposition of working between New Zealand and Chile was one of conversation and listening, facilitating artists while also finding ways to introduce ourselves to a Santiago community without imposing."
5 October to 3 November 2006
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