Past News at Kluge-Ruhe

Portrait of a Distant Land Film Viewings to Celebrate LOOK3 • Tuesday June 7, 2011

Arthur, Wik Elder

From June 9 – 11th, Ricky Maynard: Portrait of a Distant Land will be a satellite exhibition for participants of LOOK3, the 3rd annual Virginia Festival of the Photograph.

Kluge-Ruhe will run free hourly showings of Portrait of a Distant Land, a film that accompanies the current exhibition on view at Kluge-Ruhe. The film is fifty minutes long and investigates Tasmanian Indigenous photographer Ricky Maynard’s journey to photograph the true story of his people. Maynard traces the history of Indigenous people in Tasmania by taking the viewer to sacred Indigenous sites around Tasmania that have remained concealed for many years. At its heart, the film Portrait of a Distant Land is about how one man has used art as the key to his own survival and to overcoming a political battle that began over 200 years ago. Showings of the film will run Wednesday, June 8th through Saturday, June 11th, and will be shown on the hour from 10am to 3pm.

Ricky Maynard: Portrait of a Distant Land • Thursday March 31, 2011

On April 15, the Kluge-Ruhe opened its newest exhibit, a collection of photographs by Australian photographer Ricky Maynard (Cape Portland and Ben Lomond people, Tasmania). Born in Launceston, Tasmania in 1953, Maynard is a self-taught documentary photographer whose images of Indigenous Tasmanians have helped to establish their identity as living people with a unique culture and history.

The exhibit Portrait of a Distant Land comprises two bodies of photographs by Maynard; a collection of five portraits of elders of the Wik-Klakan people (2000), and excerpts from his Portrait of a Distant Land project (2005).

The Wik-Klakan people of Aurukun in Northern Queensland have been fighting for land rights for decades, and Maynard asks the viewer “to identify in these pictures the existence of struggle below the surface, to see things that are not immediately visible and to see that what things mean has more to do with you the observer.”

In a related but different vein, Portrait of a Distant Land addresses the emotional connection between history and place. The photographs act as a visual diary, which show the physical and social landscape of people through songlines, massacre sites, meeting places, sacred sites and cultural practices.

Ricky Maynard’s work is held in the collections of the National Gallery of Australia, the National Gallery of Victoria, Art Gallery of New South Wales, the National Museum of Australia, and many state galleries and museums. His books include Reversing the Negatives (2000) and Portrait of a Distant Land (2009). He was the recipient of the Australian Human Rights Award in 1997 and was selected as one of 30 artists represented in the National Indigenous Artists Triennial – Culture Warriors in 2007.

During his two week residency in Charlottesville, sponsored by UVA Arts Council, Maynard will guest lecture to photography students in the McIntire Department of Art at UVa. He will also give the John W. and Maria T. Kluge Distinguished Lecture in Arts and Humanities on April 7th at 5:30pm in Campbell Hall 153. Entitled Picturing Ourselves/Creating a Visual History, Maynard will discuss his work as well as the photographic representation of Indigenous people throughout Australia’s history.

April 15 – August 14, 2011

Image: The Spit, 2005

Upcoming Lectures at Kluge-Ruhe • Friday March 11, 2011

The Kluge-Ruhe Collection has announced the lineup of lectures for the spring of 2011. Four lectures, by Grant Revell, Ricky Maynard, Ian McLean, and Erika Izett, will address a variety of themes around Aboriginal art, from photography to globalization.

Beginning on March 18th, Grant Revell, Associate Professor in Landscape Architecture at The University of Western Australia, will story-tell his long-standing ethical and conciliatory design, teaching, research and practice experiences working with Indigenous Aboriginal communities in Western Australia. Reservations are required for this lecture (434-244-0234).

On April 7th, Australian photographer Ricky Maynard (Cape Portland and Ben Lomond people, Tasmania) will give the Kluge Distinguished Lecture in Arts and Humanities by sharing his work and talking about the photographic representation of people throughout Australia’s history. This lecture will coincide with an exhibition of Maynard’s photographs in the rotating gallery of Kluge-Ruhe, which will open on April 15th.

Ian McLean, Professor of Australian Art History at the University of Western Australia and the University of Wollongong, will give a lecture entitled “How Globalization Made Aboriginal Art Contemporary” on April 20th. This lecture will discuss the ways in which Western Desert paintings unsettle familiar artworld categories, and will explore whether Aboriginal artists possess vernacular practices that were adapted to the cosmopolitan agendas of modernity and contemporary world art.

On April 21st, Erika Izett, who has a long history of engagement within remote Australian communities, will discuss the origins of Aboriginal art centers in missions compared to the current situation, in which there are about 100 centers autonomously managed by local Indigenous councils. The talk will also address historical differences between art centers in various regions of Australia. Reservations are required for this lecture (434-244-0234).

For more information on these lectures, click here

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