The Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund has announced visual artist TextaQueen as the recipient of the inaugural Copyright Agency Partnerships (CAP) $80,000 commission to develop and exhibit a major body of work with the 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney.
In April this year, the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund announced the launch of the CAP three-year commission series in partnership with leading Australian arts institutions 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art (Sydney), the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (Melbourne), and the Institute of Modern Art (Brisbane), to support mid-career and established visual artists with an $80,000 artistic commission and solo exhibition opportunity.
As the inaugural partner organisation in the CAP series, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art will champion the development of TextaQueen’s Bollywouldn’t project, culminating in a significant solo show across two floors of 4A’s Haymarket gallery.
“We are incredibly excited about CAP and the establishment of this competitive commission that will offer vital mentoring and financial support to artists such as TextaQueen,” said Adam Suckling, Copyright Agency CEO. “The commission will afford them the time and space to create, as well as supporting them with appropriate resources to ensure their work is curated and, importantly, exhibited and promoted to Australian audiences.”
“Through this commission, my work will be able to reflect on and celebrate queer South Asian diaspora on a literally huge scale,” said TextaQueen. “This project has decolonial motivations and being awarded this opportunity with 4A reflects global shifts started by grassroots Black and Indigenous led movements.”
“I’m honoured to have this support to creatively contribute to important conversations happening beyond the arts, and within. Bollywouldn’t is a catchphrase decolonised; it is an imagining of utopia and reclamation of power.”
“This work is an energetic offering that will inspire us South Asians to think about our relationship with the white gaze, how each of us can anchor in our subtext or prejudice and what we can do to dissolve it,” said TextaQueen.
TextaQueen’s commission will be created as small works on paper of queer and trans South Asians reclaiming the Bollywood movie poster format, based on portrait sessions whilst on residency at ACME, London.
These portraits will be projection-mapped onto photographs, to create the illusion that they exist as actual murals that intervene with colonial structures and sites. It will be presented at 4A’s Haymarket, Sydney gallery on an epic scale.
“This idea is influenced by the experience of the pandemic, living life through the simulation of the digital screen as well as anticolonial, abolitionist, and Black Lives Matter movements, and the dethroning of colonial statues and reclaiming of colonial sites,” said TextaQueen.
“The use of projection mapping and documenting in the gallery expands my practice into murals and contemplates the impact of images outside of institutions.”
To create Bollywouldn’t performances, TextaQueen will engage four trans and queer South Asians to interact with the works and projections in the exhibition. The performances will interpret the Bollywood genre in queer and decolonial ways, reclaiming colonial space and asserting identities usually marginalised.
“TextaQueen’s work is influenced through their lived experience as a person of South Asian heritage, and we’re privileged to be able to support them in the creation of their visionary work through this notable commission,” said Amrit Gill, 4A’s Artistic Director/CEO.
“Our organisation has been a leader in Asian contemporary art in Australia since 1996, and this opportunity with TextaQueen is significant, as their work makes invaluable cultural contributions with comments on broader structural contexts and representations of marginalised identities.”
TextaQueen’s work is held in collections at Artbank Australia, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Cruthers Collection of Women’s Art, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Patrick Corrigan Collection, Monash University Museum Art, National Gallery of Victoria, University of Queensland, Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery, and National Portrait Gallery of Australia.
“The CAP commission echoes my constant intentions of connecting with community and using texta as a mechanism to bring people together,” said TextaQueen.
TextaQueen’s Bollywouldn’t exhibition will be shown at the 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art in late 2022.
For more information on the Copyright Agency Partnerships, visit: www.copyright.com.au for details.
Image: TextaQueen – photo by Leah Jing Mcintosh