Call for Papers

Australia and New Zealand Art Association Annual Conference, Sydney, 12-14 July 2012

Together <> Apart

 Relational Models of Curating and Art Making:  Local Histories and Indigenous Practices

The nature of contemporary biennales and large-scale recurring exhibitions is that they afford international curators, often from the global ‘North’, opportunities to arrive in cities and temporarily locate their practice within cultural contexts that can be new and unfamiliar.  This system produces and supports a whole spectrum of curatorial approaches, from the transitory implementation of pre-formed exhibition themes, to the close curatorial engagement with local histories, politics and ways of knowing.

The 18th Biennale of Sydney: all our relations ‘intends to focus on inclusionary practices of generative thinking, such as collaboration, conversation and compassion, in the face of coercion and destruction’ (de Zegher, 2011).  The curatorial emphasis on relationality as a mode of practice would seem to formulate strong connections to the local.  Given Australia’s own histories of colonial violence and resistance, relationality as an inclusionary mode of practice arguably has a significant part to play in the educational and reparative work already taking place with and by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

This panel therefore seeks to investigate relational models of curating, art making, and other collaborations, where they engage with, emerge from, or underpin local and Indigenous practices, both in Australia and internationally.  Where do relational curatorial gestures meet local histories?  What conversations do artistic practices reference or instigate, and how do these contravene, expand, or enrich existing traditions or ways of knowing?  What questions are raised by Indigenous and other practitioners who work collaboratively, and what lessons are to be learned?

Proposals due Friday 30 March, 2012

Please send proposals of 300 words and a brief CV (1-2 pages) to Sibyl Fisher at


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