Vivienne Dadour: Invisible Realm. Curator Elizabeth Ashburn — 9 October 2004

Vivienne Dadour: 'Invisible Realm' — 9 October 2004

Curated by Elizabeth Ashburn


Vivienne Dadour's shadowy artworks speak to important issues of our times. Invisible Realm honors the generations of her family who, in the late nineteenth century, settled in an area of Redfern and Waterloo, known as the ‘Syrian Quarter’.

These images are the result of the interplay between the artist’s imagination and information gained from family and media photographs and records of the period. The fragments of social life we see - street scenes, family celebrations, hospitality to visitors - are of a hybrid Arabic/English place in the colonial culture. At St Michael's Church in Redfern, mass was celebrated, according to Greek rites and with an Arabic choir of male voices.

 

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Vivienne Dadour, Invisible Realm - Elizabeth St, Waterloo 1926. 2004. Digital Print on 840 x 594 mm photographic paper. Edition 5. Photographer unknown. Digital rendering by Neil Smith.
Vivienne Dadour, A Syrian Quarter, Redfern 1912 #2 Ltd. Ed. 5 2004. UV Inkjet Print on Hahnemule paper 1188 x 840 mm
Vivienne Dadour, A Syrian Quarter, Redfern 1916. Ed. 5 2004. UV Inkjet Print on Hahnemule paper 1188 x 840 mm


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Vivienne Dadour, Nazlie, Hand Coloured 2004 UV Inkjet Print on Hahnemule paper 800 x 952 mm Vivienne Dadour, Elias, Hand Coloured 2004 UV Inkjet Print on Hahnemule paper 800 x 952 mm Vivienne Dadour, Emily, Hand Coloured 2004 UV Inkjet Print on Hahnemule paper 800 x 952 mm  

 

Dadour contrasts such intimate and inclusive gestures with the brutal self-interest articulated in the White Australia Policy and its race-based parallels a century later: selective migration policy and ‘patriot’ legislation; the endless ‘war on terror’ and denial of human rights.

Vivienne Dadour's art and curatorial work, from 1992 to 1998, has, almost uniquely in Australia, sought answers to wars, like Sarajevo, defined by ethnic essentialism, cultural intolerance and the politics of identity.

In 1997 she curated Sarajevo for Ivan Dougherty Gallery, and tour. She is active in anti-racist campaigns and, as a member of AAAR! (Australian Artists Against Racism!), co-curated Co-Existence (Hogarth Galleries, Sydney). Dadour’s recent group exhibitions include Mum Shirl Tribute Exhibition (Boomali, Sydney, 2000), Contagion: Australian New Media Art and the Centenary of Federation, New Zealand (2001) and Borderpanic, (Performance Space, Sydney, 2002).

 

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Invisible Realm, Installation view, 2004      

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Invisible Realm, Installation view, 2004 Invisible Realm, Installation view, 2004    

 

Exhibition catalogue > Download pdf