The National Art School (NAS) is welcoming a provocative exhibition that challenges representations of First Nations affairs in the media. Occurrent Affair is the brainchild of seven Meanjin artists, including Vernon Ah Kee, Tony Albert, Richard Bell, Megan Cope, Jennifer Herd, Gordon Hookey and the late Laurie Nilsen who, together, form the proppaNow art collective.
Following a successful run in proppaNOW's hometown of Brisbane at the University of Queensland, Museums & Galleries NSW have brought the exhibition to NAS in Darlinghurst as part of a national tour.
After winning the prestigious Jane Lombard Prize for their work in the arts and social justice spaces, proppaNOW’s current exhibition is a curation of multimedia pieces that criticise Australian media’s sensationalism of First Nations affairs and topics. In addition to shining a light on the impacts of inappropriate coverage and language, the exhibition aims to reshape the moulds of what it means to be a contemporary Aboriginal person.
Over the exhibition’s six-week run, NAS is encouraging the public to get involved by offering a range of panel discussions, tours, talks and interactive art-making.
“It comes at a crucial time to critique the influence of media around First Nations issues in Australia, the response to truth-telling, who is allowed to speak, and how social media impacts critical and civil debate,” said Steven Alderton, NAS CEO and director.
Occurrent Affair is running from June 24 to August 5 at the National Art School.