ATONG ATEM | UNEARTHING: DIGITAL PROGRAMS25 September 2021 — 24 October 2021
Video stream: Atong Atem, her skin is a mountain, 2016. 4 channel HD video. Image: Atong Atem, Untitled, 2021. Courtesy of Atong Atem and Mars Gallery, Melbourne.
Despite COVID-19 meaning we’re not able to physically host Unearthing, a solo presentation by artist Atong Atem, Cement Fondu is excited to announce a series of digital programs expanding and responding to Atem’s work.
Atem is an Ethiopian born, South Sudanese artist and writer living in Narrm/Melbourne, primarily known for her photographic portraiture practice that explores migrant narratives and postcolonial identities of the African Diaspora.
Unearthing features videos self-portraits, delving viewers intimately into Atong’s experience of selfhood. Voyaging us into Atong’s past through descriptive memories, South Sudanese styling and a visit to her ancestral land via Google Maps, they trace the unearthing of displacement from any singular sense of home. The works directly and metaphorically articulate the historical and ongoing realities of colonialisms, patriarchies and inherited griefs. They also speak of a desire for the future that is inspired by Octavia Butler, sci-fi and afrofuturism. Unearthed from temporal, geographic or anti-black limitations and constrictions, this future both frees and connects people, near and far, in a shifting cosmos of constellations.
Over the duration of these digital programs, select Atong Atem videos will become available to stream on our website for limited 2 week periods, courtesy of MARS gallery.
On the 9th of October Atem will speak to these videos, and her practice more broadly in a live-streamed artist talk.
We’re also engaging a series of partners and artists with a series of workshops, digital artworks and a newly curated art store to respond to Atem’s work. These will include;
2 Sydney Stylists will lead a head wrapping workshop, exploring the African Diasporic experience through the Art of Head Wraps.
Studio A artist Katrina Brennan has collaborated with Paula Do Prado on a series of colouring-in PDFs
KUDOS gallery will present a series of UNSWAD student responses to themes of self-portraiture, self-expression, poetics and diaspora.
Along with works by Tanika Jellis, Alix Higgins, Silkensap Studios and Studio A, our Art Store presents a series of new self-portrait video still prints by photo artist Maya Kilic.
These diverse events and programs will become available online across our website, social media and mailing list. The best way to keep in the loop about their releases is to follow us on Instagram, @cementfondu, or sign up to our mailing list here.
Atem is represented by Mars Gallery, Melbourne.
[Currently postponed due to COVID-19]
ATONG ATEM VIDEO DROPS — 25 SEPTEMBER, 2 OCTOBER, 9 OCTOBER
STUDIO A: KATRINA BRENNAN X PAULA DO PRADO COLOURING IN PDF PACK —3 OCTOBER
ARTIST TALKS —9 OCTOBER
2 SYDNEY STYLISTS ZOOM HEAD WRAPPING WORK SHOP —10 OCTOBER
KUDOS GALLERY X UNEARTHING: DIGITAL RESPONSES — 14 OCTOBER
This project is supported by the NSW Government through Create NSW