A selection of Prototype works, curated by Lauren Carroll Harris.
Works in which people link their histories to those who came before them. Familial ties, bonds to home and migration pathways unravel; new biographies are uncovered. Artists draw on their parents and ancestries – often with a sense of belatedness – to find what preceded their own lives. Filmmakers highlight the labour of their family and collaborators, negotiating family stories to give voice to muted histories. New eras begin; family trees grow new branches.
Missing (Allison Chhorn) 2021 (07:07 mins) In an oblique, impressionistic story of lingering intergenerational trauma, a mother and daughter struggle to connect across timezones and geographical distance, decades after immigrating to the US from Cambodia.
La Maruja (Pilar Mata Dupont) 2021 (11:48 mins) A matrilineal mystery unfolds against the backdrop of Argentina’s complicated and violent history, as Pilar Mata Dupont investigates the life, illness and death of her great grandmother María Cristina.
Remain (Gabrielle Brady) 2021 (11:15 mins) A counter-history and portrait, in triptych, of Christmas Island, one of last places on earth to be settled by humans. Etched onto its emotionally fraught landscape, we find the traces of exploited Chinese labourers, beneficiaries of the British empire, and reminders of the asylum seekers held in detention by the Australian government.
Tarun (Tiyan Baker) 2020 (15:36 mins) Darwin-born artist Tiyan Baker returns to her mother’s birthplace in Sarawak, colonised first by the British then by Malaysia, to learn the Bidayūh language, religion and culture that might have been her own.
Qiuzhuang (Katie Mitchell & Sari Braithwaite) 2020 (15:53 mins) Acclaimed artist Li Mu returns to his hometown with a wild creative ambition: to bring his most beloved modernist artworks by canonical Western artists to his village of 1500 people. With the help of his often bemused family, he tries to bring to his townspeople the profundity of Andy Warhol, Sol LeWitt and Marina Abaramovic, in a romantic, impossible mission that speaks to the borderlessness of home and art, family and community.
Is Anybody Coming Over to Dinner (Audrey Lam) 2021 (09:10 mins) A free-flowing, empathetic diary portrait of the life of seven-year-old Yoki in the months following the birth of his baby brother Otto, in a multilingual family in Melbourne’s suburbs.