How I See It: Blak Art & Film

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How I See It: Blak Art & Film

Today ACMI announces the full events program for How I See It: Blak Art and Film, a major summer exhibition featuring new visions from eight Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander creatives, opening 16 December 2022. Celebrating Blak artists and filmmakers reinterpreting the past and imagining limitless futures, the events program features lively artist talks, panel discussions, workshops and a film program all designed to extend the exhibition experience.

In One Night Only, dancer and choreographer Amrita Hepi will present music video-inspired dance workshops paying homage to the queens of rhythm, including Rihanna and Beyonce; the free GUCK: Game Art Workshop will give audiences the opportunity to create bold and bright artwork led by artists from Australia’s first-ever First Peoples driven videogame; and a free program of groundbreaking and experimental films, curated by ACMI’s Jenna Rain Warwick (Luritja) including the quintessential African road movie Touki Bouki (1973) – feature in How I See It: Film Program.

ACMI Curator, Kate ten Buuren, said: “The events program for How I See It: Blak Art and Film expands on the themes of the exhibition and brings even more voices and perspectives to the conversation. The program celebrates First Nations creativity from various practices, here in Australia and from around the world. People will have the opportunity to dance, listen, watch, make and imagine together in fun, creative and thought-provoking ways.”

ACMI Director of First Nations, Equity & Social Policy, Gavin Somers, said: “ACMI will be a hive of activity throughout summer when our communities come together to participate in the How I See It: Blak Art and Film events program. Through our combination of artist talks, panel discussions, workshops and film program, we want to give visitors an opportunity to reflect on Indigenous storytelling and the ongoing contribution of First Peoples to our shared culture.”

How I See It: Blak Art and Film is an ACMI exhibition, curated by Kate ten Buuren (Taungurung), featuring five new commissions by Amrita Hepi (Bundjulung and Ngāpuhi), Jazz Money (Wiradjuri), Joel Sherwood Spring (Wiradjuri), Jarra Karalinar Steel (Boon Wurrung, Wemba Wemba and Trawlwoolway) and Peter Waples-Crowe (Ngarigo), alongside works by Essie Coffey OAM (Murawari), Destiny Deacon (KuKu and Erub/Mer) and Steven Rhall (Taungurung).


How I See It: Blak Art & Film Book Launch
17 Dec 2022, 3.30pm
A free event to launch the publication of the exhibition catalogue, How I See It: Blak Art and Film. Hear from a selection of the catalogue contributors as we launch this new ACMI publication.

GUCK: Game Art Workshop
14 Jan 2023, 11am–4pm

Create bright, bold and colourful artworks based on the breathtaking art in Australia’s first ever Aboriginal-led videogame, Future Folklore. Audiences can add their creations to a communal wall to become part of a playful animation that sees nature burst forth within the ACMI building. 

How I See It: ACMI Curator Tour
14 Jan 2023, 1pm
Join Kate ten Buuren, curator of the How I See It exhibition, as they discuss the artists and works on display. Held in the gallery, this is an opportunity to dive deeper into the themes of the exhibition, the artists and their artistic processes.
Artist Talk with Peter Waples-Crowe and Joel Sherwood Spring
18 Jan 2023, 1pm  
Hear from artists Peter Waples-Crowe and Joel Sherwood Spring about their creative process and their new commissions featured in How I See It: Blak Art and Film, in a conversation with ACMI curator Kate ten Buuren.
Amrita Hepi: One Night Only
Supercut Dance Workshop
1 Feb 2023, 6pm and 7.30pm
Artist, dancer and choreographer Amrita Hepi’s popular music video-inspired dance workshops return to ACMI – for one night only across two sessions. This edition pays homage to Rihanna, Beyonce and other queens of rhythm where participants will learn to dip, twirl and whine with the best of them. Suitable for beginners of all bodies, shapes, sizes and genders – no experience needed.  
Artist Talk with Amrita Hepi and Steven Rhall
4 Feb 2023, 1pm  
Hear from artists Amrita Hepi and Steven Rhall as they discuss their creative practice and their works featured in How I See It: Blak Art and Film, in a conversation with ACMI curator Kate ten Buuren.
Artist Talk with Jazz Money
8 Feb 2023, 1pm  
Hear from artist Jazz Money as they discuss their creative practice and their new work featured in How I See It: Blak Art and Film, in a conversation with ACMI curator Kate ten Buuren.
Indigenous Futurisms – Linking the Past and the Future with Technology 
9 Feb 2023, 6–7pm
Explore the ways technology can be used to share Indigenous storytelling and imagine possible futures. Panelists including Kathryn Gledhill-Tucker and Ben Armstrong will discuss a range of topics related to the intersection between technology, Indigenous knowledge and digital decolonising.
How I See It: Film Program
18 Jan – 15 Feb 2023
Celebrating the films that exist in-between, that question the notions of place and national identity, and reflect on the historical representations of First Nations peoples and communities surviving colonialism. This film program subverts traditional Western storytelling, while acknowledging the limits in capturing the breadth of histories enacted upon First Nations and communities experiencing colonisation and forced migration.

The film program features five screenings:

  • Balangiga: Howling Wilderness
18 Jan 2023, 6.30pm
Directed by Khavn De la Cruz, Balangiga: Howling Wilderness follows eight-year-old Kulas as he flees a harrowing event that saw a ‘kill and burn’ order – an instruction to kill anyone over the age of ten years old – actioned by the American military during the 1901 ‘Battle of Balangiga’.
  • Touki Bouki
25 Jan 2023, 6.30pm

A groundbreaking example of avant-garde cinema, Touki Bouki tells the story of two young lovers, Mory and Anta, who dream of a new life together in France to escape the disenchantment of post-independence.

  • Tongues Untied

1 Feb 2023, 6.30pm

Marlon T. Riggs’ experimental film blends documentary footage with personal account and poetry. Tongues Untied provides a language for black gay identity in the US. Riggs states that the film hopes to “…shatter the nation’s brutalizing silence on matters of sexual and racial difference.”

  • Road + Mandem

8 Feb 2023, 6.30pm

Following a night in the life of four young Blackfullas from Redfern, Road depicts fleeting romance in the face of systemic oppression and violence – the solace they find in one another becomes a healing necessity.

Mandem follows a day in the life of two young black men making and selling drugs in South London. Contrary to popular depictions of similar scenarios in TV and film, the two men lead relatively mundane lives.

  • How I See It – shorts

15 Feb 2023, 6.30pm

A selection of four short films featuring stories of First Peoples.

How I See It: Blak Art and Film is supported by ACMI partners Creative Victoria and Blackmagic Design. Artwork Scripture for a smoke screen: Episode 1 – dolphin house is supported by Commissioning Partner, Samstag Museum of Art/University of South Australia.

How I See It: Blak Art and Film runs 16 Dec to19 Feb 2023 with an accompanying events program at ACMI, Fed Square, Melbourne. Exhibition entry is free. Visit the ACMI website for more info.