One Vast Library - Panel Discussion

One Vast Library - Panel Discussion

  • 19 May 2022, 4–5pm
  • MADA Gallery
    Building D, Caulfield Campus
    900 Dandenong Road
    Caulfield East, Victoria

Image: unnamed Victorian State Rivers and Water Supply Commission photographer, Dust storm, Red Cliffs, in the summer of 1938-39. Courtesy State Library Victoria.

Join us for a panel discussion presented on the opening day of A Diachronic Wind, the first exhibition in the One Vast Library program. Participants will reflect on the influence of atmosphere and time on their artistic and curatorial work, providing connections to the accompanying exhibition.

Curated by Tim Riley Walsh and presented at MADA Gallery, A Diachronic Wind presents the work of predominantly photographic, performance and video-based practitioners to examine art’s capacity to engage with the changing qualities of the atmosphere in an era of dramatic anthropogenic emission.

About One Vast Library curated by Tim Riley Walsh

One Vast Library (OVL) is a series of three exhibitions, accompanying events and publishing presented at MADA Gallery. The project’s title is drawn from the writings of the 19th century English mathematician and early innovator of machine computing Charles Babbage who represented the atmosphere as a shared repository of human memory, breath, and emission, “one vast library on whose pages are forever written all that man has ever said”. OVL aims to articulate a changing relationship with the atmosphere in the context of climate crisis by demonstrating its fluctuating representation across late 20th and early 21st century Australian and international art. By placing both recent and historical works in dialogue, the project intends to describe the air of the present as an increasingly precarious space, thick with social, political, economic, and cultural frictions and machinations.


Hoda Afshar was born in Tehran, Iran (1983), and is now based in Naarm (Melbourne), Australia. Afshar’s new exhibition Speak the Wind is presented at Monash Gallery of Art as part of PHOTO 2022. Through her practice, she explores the nature and possibilities of documentary image-making. Working across photography and moving-image, the artist considers the representation of gender, marginality, and displacement. In her artworks, Afshar employs processes that disrupt traditional image-making practices, play with the presentation of imagery, or merge aspects of conceptual, staged and documentary photography. She is a member of ‘eleven’, a collective of contemporary Muslim Australian artists, curators, and writers whose aim is to disrupt the current politics of representation and hegemonic discourses. Afshar is represented by Milani Gallery in Brisbane, Australia.

Tara McDowell is Associate Professor and Director of Curatorial Practice at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. In 2022, McDowell is co-curating Take Hold of the Clouds, an exhibition engaging with atmosphere as part of Open House Melbourne. Her research interests include contemporary curating, exhibition histories, art institutions, feminist and queer spaces of sociability and production, and the various support structures of art, including home, school, exhibition, labour, and friendship. Recent curatorial projects include the experimental symposium Shapeshifters: New Forms of Curatorial Research (2019); John Baldessari: Wall Painting (2017 and 2019); 124,908, for the 2nd Tbilisi Triennial, Georgia (2015); Nothing Beside Remains (2014); and The Land Grant: Flatbread Society with Amy Franceschini (2014).

Hayley Millar Baker is a First Nations artist (Gunditjmara, Djabwurrung), born in Melbourne, Australia (1990) and an exhibiting artist within A Diachronic Wind, the first exhibition in the One Vast Library program. Millar Baker completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts (2010) and Master of Fine Arts (2017) at RMIT University in Melbourne. Through examining the role our identities play in translating and conveying our experiences, the artist works across photography, collage, and film to interrogate and abstract autobiographical narratives and themes relating to her own identity. Her works are held in significant public collections across Australia and have been exhibited nationally and internationally. Prominent exhibitions and festivals include the Museum of Contemporary Art’s Primavera: Young Australian Artists (2018); the International Ballarat Foto Biennale (2017); Tarnanthi (2017); PHOTO 2021 (2021);and a new commission for the 4th National Indigenous Art Triennial at the National Gallery of Australia (2022). Millar Baker is currently the 2022 Artist-in-residence at Monash University Prato, Italy.

Tim Riley Walsh is a curator, art historian and writer based in Naarm Melbourne. Tim is currently Curator, Gertrude, and for 2022 is Curator in Residence at MADA Gallery, where he is curating the One Vast Library program. Recent projects include the exhibition and publication On Fire: Climate and Crisis (2021, Institute of Modern Art and Gertrude Contemporary) and the AAANZ and MAPDA award winning edited volume Gordon Bennett: Selected Writings (2020, Power Publications and Griffith University Art Museum). Tim is Australia Desk Editor for ArtAsiaPacific, Hong Kong and has previously worked at Milani Gallery, Brisbane; Camden Arts Centre, London; and the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane. He is a founding member of Kink, a collective developing a publicly accessible database cataloguing a history of queer Australian art.

Presented in partnership with PHOTO 2022 International Festival of Photography

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