Exhibition reactivates multicultural arts scene

BY DANICA STREADER

South Brisbane will transform into a plume of colour tonight as art lovers come together for Brisbane’s first cross-solidarity cultural art exhibition.

Ctrl+Alt+Del: Systems Shut Down is a pop-up art exhibition

Ctrl+Alt+Del: Systems Shut Down will be held at Outerspace art centre. Photo: Conscious Mic

Ctrl+Alt+Del: Systems Shut Down is a pop-up art exhibition hosted by Conscious Mic, who are focused on reactivating Brisbane’s multicultural creative arts scene.

It is a free event at Outerspace on Montague Road, South Brisbane, that promises audiences group exhibitions, live music, spoken word performances, dance and culture.

Conscious Mic event organiser Timothy Harm said tonight’s inaugural event was run by a group of volunteers from different cultural backgrounds.

Ctrl+Alt+Del reinforces the idea of who is running the event – we have a very dynamic cultural team volunteering their time to project the vision we hope to achieve,” Mr Harm said.

“We not only cover Pacific Islander, Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and people of colour, but it is about us mobilising support for our communities through activism,” he said.

Tanya Sinha artwork

Sixteen individual artists will exhibit original artworks at the special pop-up art exhibition. Photo: Tanya Sinha

Exhibiting artist Tanya Sinha, who identifies as Bihari-Indian, said the event was created in the concept of taking back control of Brisbane’s cultural and arts space.

“We think we are the first event, perhaps in the world, to be doing a cross-solidarity art exhibition that is bringing in different communities of colour together in a space that is being run by people of colour for people of colour artists,” Ms Sinha said.

“We thought about what we wanted to achieve through this event; our objective was to take back cultural spaces, to decolonise them in a way,” she said.

The Conscious Mic team established the moniker Ctrl+Alt+Del: Systems Shut Down as synonymous with the Windows computer system command pressed by a user at any time to terminate an application and shut down the operating system.

“Our thinking was Ctrl+Alt+Del is a way for us to regain control of our cultural and arts spaces, decolonise what is a very white colonial settler landscape, and figure out what it would look like if we put people of colour together to reboot the system,” Ms Sinha said.

Mr Harm said the pop-up art exhibition was focused on recognising talented people of colour and creating a platform to connect them with creative industry institutions.

“Something we identify in our minority groups is that there are minorities within the minorities; an idea of being alternative within our mainstream communities,” Mr Harm said.

“We want this event to be an opportunity for emerging artists to network because we’ve realised that a lot of the young talents exhibiting haven’t necessarily been immersed in these art spaces before or haven’t been given an opportunity to share their work.

“It’s an ideal way to welcome them in and express themselves through art.”

Serge Ah Wong Ctrl+Alt+Del: Systems Shut Down

The Conscious Mic event aims to create an inclusive arts space for emerging creatives who identify as Indigenous, Pacific Islander and people of colour. Photo: Serge Ah Wong

Mr Harm said he was confident the event would be a success and said his team would grow on the momentum to bring about similar events in the future.

“We know you and we want your work exhibited, and we want you to share your culture with us and have your people come along,” he said.

Conscious Mic event logistics organiser Lisa Viliamu Jameson said the artwork displayed had been strategically positioned to create an interactive cultural journey.

“We hope that this will be a space connecting the arts and activism, and sparking discussions on what cross-solidarity can look like; how can we uplift and empower each other’s communities through creative arts?” Ms Viliamu Jameson said.

“People of colour are stronger when they support and stand by one another, and in today’s hyper-racialised climate that message is more important than before,” she said.

Ctrl+Alt+Del: Systems Shut Down runs from 6pm to 10pm tonight at Outerspace art centre, 1/170 Montague Road, South Brisbane.

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