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Precarious Movements: Conversations – Session 1. Points of Tension: Presenting Work Within the Museum Space

Tuesday 20 October, 8pm

Hannah Mathews
So thank you for joining us this evening. This is the first session in Precarious Movements Conversations, a three part program of live online talks with artists, curators and conservators that reflects on what happens when works of a choreographic nature enter into the museum. We are pleased to have tonight's session live Auslan interpreted by Tyson and Dave and this session will also be recorded and available via MUMA's website as of today hopefully.

My name is Hannah Mathews, I'm senior curator at Monash University Museum of Art in Melbourne and part of the Precarious Movements: Choreography and the Museum Research Group, a project which is led by a team of artists, curators, conservators and academics, affiliated with the University of New South Wales, Art Gallery of New South Wales, MUMA, the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne and the Tate in London.

As we begin this program, I'd like to acknowledge the Kulin Nation as the sovereign custodians of the land on which MUMA stands and from which I'm speaking this evening. I pay my respects to ancestors and elders past, present and emerging of the Kulin Nation and of all the lands from which you are joining us today. I also extend these respects to all First Nations people who are generally participating in tonight's conversation and those in our audience.

Co-presented by Precarious Movements and MUMA, this online program of talks has been structured to reflect on the various types of knowledge transmission that take place between artist and museum and how choreographic practices themselves might change the structural and material form of the museum. It advocates for the centrality of the artist voice and the capability of the museum to listen.

Each of the three sessions focuses on a particular phase of a work's lifecycle once it enters the museum, how its presentation challenges, existing display systems and program infrastructure, how its ephemerality and mutability confront current collection and acquisition frameworks and how choreographic works' particular relationship to body, memory and social networks might shift institutional practices of archiving and preservation.

Tonight's session brings together the voices of three artists who each work with choreography in distinct ways and who are regularly invited to work within the space of the gallery. Joining me tonight is Agatha Gothe-Snape, Amrita Hepi and Latai Taumoepeau. The works of these artists have challenged how institutions produce and present art, encouraging museums to be more adaptable to artists whose works fall outside the modes of art making they traditionally hold.

I'll be facilitating the conversation over the next hour so that we can hear from this incredible panel of women. Each artist will speak for approximately 15 minutes on an institutional experience or relationship they have chosen to share with you. Then we will follow this up with a Q and A towards the end of the session, so please feel free to use the Q and A function at the bottom of the Zoom panel to post your questions.

Before I introduce our panel, I'll quickly provide a visual description of myself for those audiences who are blind or low vision. I am in my early 40s. I identify as female. I'm of Nordic heritage, long red hair. I am sitting in my living room with some art on the walls and I'm wearing a relatively loud shirt. It's the first time I've put on a face since March, so it's a bit of an evening out for me and those in Melbourne.

Tonight's session will begin with Agatha discussing her recent Kaldor Public Art Project, Lion's Honey, which was presented as part of Making Art Public: 50 Years of Kaldor Public Art Projects at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney in 2019. Agatha is a Sydney based artist, whose practice criss-crosses performance and visual art to engage with the politics and poetics of language and other embodied knowledges.

Spanning performance, drawing, sculpture and experimental uses of technology, her works feature an idiosyncratic use of colour and text and are often created in collaboration with others. Earlier this year, MUMA had the pleasure of working with Agatha to present a mid-career survey of her practice, which was titled The Outcome is Certain, and I encourage you to find that publication because it is a stand out. Agatha, thanks for being here. Could I ask you to give a visual description of yourself for our audience?

Agatha Gothe-SnapeYes, hello. Thank you so much, Hannah. Hello, everyone. I am 40. I identify as female. I am sitting in my mother's studio with a lot of books behind me that I don't necessarily know what they are and I'm wearing a pink T-shirt and a blue jacket with shoulder pads, because I thought that would up the ante a little.

Hannah Mathews
Appreciate that. Thank you, thank you. Amrita Hepi will then speak to two recent commissioning experience that she has had within visual art contexts. The first is part of Gallery 4A's performance program at Gallery 4A's performance program at Art Central Hong Kong, during the southern hemisphere's largest art fair week, I am tipping, in 2017. And more recently, for the National Exhibition at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in 2019.

Amrita is a First Nations choreographer and dancer from Bundjulung and Ngapuhi territories and I quote, "Her work has taken various forms, film, performance, sculpture, text, lecture and participatory installation, but always begins from working with the body as a point of archive, memory and resistance." Amrita is currently an artistic advisor to the Council of Good Ideas for RISING, which is formerly the Melbourne Festival, for those that don't know about the name change, and a Gertrude Contemporary studio artist.

She was recipient of the people's choice award for the Keir Choreographic Awards in 2018 and 2020 and relocated to Melbourne in the COVID pandemic. I apologise, Amrita. It's great you could join us tonight. Could I ask you to give a visual description of yourself for our audience too?

Amrita Hepi
Sure. I am 30 years old. I am wearing red lipstick. I identify as a female. My hair is pulled into a centre part into a low bun. I am in my bedroom with a mirror behind me and a plant to the right side of my head. Yeah.

Hannah Mathews
Thanking you. Welcome. Latai is a Tongan woman based in Sydney. She will speak to her relationship with the Australian Museum in Sydney, where she has participated in various programs. Generated from her body centred performance practice that is focused on Tongan philosophies of relational space and time. Latai's live art works to cross pollinate ancient and everyday temple practices to make visible the impact of climate crisis in the Pacific.

Latai is currently working with Arts House on the five year project Refuge, an artist led community preparedness program, in collaboration with Emergency Management Victoria and others. And earlier this year, Latai also presented her work, The Last Report, as a part of NIRIN, The 22nd Biennale of Sydney and at Cockatoo Island. Latai, thanks also for being with us tonight. Could I ask you too to give us a visual description of yourself for our audience?

Latai Taumoepeau
Hi Hannah and hello everybody. Thank you very much for having me, MUMA and Precarious Movements. I am joining you all from Gadigalngurra, also known as Sydney and I am wearing a dark grey boiler suit with white glasses. I have salt and pepper coloured hair, a dark complexion and I am two years away from being half a century and really look forward to.

Hannah Mathews
Yep. That is a true achievement. It's an absolutely wow panel this evening of talent, ideas, experiences and opinions. I have to say I have been really looking forward to this evening a lot, so thank you for being with us, the three of you. Really very much appreciate you putting some time aside to reflect on your practices and experiences and share those with our audience.

So Ags, I'm going to begin with you. Could I ask you to perhaps begin things by describing how your work relates to choreography and then sharing with us your recent Lion's Honey project, which I know is important because it synthesises many of your thoughts about live bodies occupying the gallery space as part of an artwork.

Agatha Gothe-Snape
Yes. Thank you, Hannah. And yeah, it's amazing to be here with Latai and Amrita and a great honour for me and thank you for everyone being here together. I'd also like to respectfully acknowledge the Gadigal and Wangal people of the Eora, the traditional custodians of the lands and waters on which I live, love and work. I pay my respects to elders, families and forebears or all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and recognise their continued connections to country, language and culture.

I also wanted to acknowledge the MUMA team, who are bringing this to us tonight, Charlotte, Hannah and Larissa. But before I begin, Hannah, I also just wanted to say quickly that I really recognise the ongoing work of Erin, Hannah, Pipa and the continuing rigour of the Precarious Movements: Choreography and the Museum Research Group and how that work at this and the last, you know, maybe what's it been, nine, five, 10 years, I'm not sure, as these edges are generating so much energy. This edge of the conditions of the gallery and this edge of the conditions of choreography are kind of always having some kind of relation, irritation, exchange, generation of incredibly new ideas. It's amazing to have this research group there observing, reflecting and being led by artists. So we really appreciate that, so thank you. Thank you, everyone.

So I think with that in mind, I just wanted to start by saying, I don't - and I know I'm not, I don't see myself as someone specifically connected to choreography or dance and yet my practice has incidentally led me to the idea of choreography but also to choreographers and dancers for the past nine years. It was in 2011 when I first worked with Brooke Stamp, Lizzie Thomson and Tim Derbyshire at Tin Sheds Gallery on a very early work of mine Three Ways to Enter and Exit, where I invited each of those incredible choreographers and dancers to find a way to come into the gallery and leave the gallery, based on a kind of personalised score or painting I'd made for each of them. And those performances took place over a three week period throughout the duration of the exhibition. I think they were on Saturday afternoons and they created a kind of temporal rhythm within the frame of the whole exhibition, which was a group exhibition called Rules of Play, curated by Cathy Gray.

So I just think - yeah, I wanted to say in some ways it's kind of since that point it's almost my continuing dalliance and kind of dancing around the territory of choreography, it's not incidental but I have had to lean heavily on incredible collaborators to have this access to this knowledge that I know is so rich and so deep and so beyond my specialty or my disciplinary knowledge. And so I'd just at this moment like to acknowledge Brooke Stamp, Brian Fuata, Lizzie Thomson and Sarah Rodigari for being so generous and I mean, many, many others but particularly them in the duration of my work in the last nine years.

As Hannah said in the introduction to me, my work is always drawing in others and always very reliant on that relational space between me and others to really generate its energy and I think it's - I think sometimes even it's new thinking and those edges, just like the edge between choreography and the gallery are volatile, they are precarious, they are risky and they're interpersonal and yeah, I'm just incredibly grateful to the generosity of the people that I've had the chance to work with.

So I think just talking about Three Ways to Enter and Exit then, it really draws into my mind the fact that my work is always, even though incidentally concerned with choreography, it's because I'm always concerned with the temporal duration of the exhibition period as the frame for presenting work. Soit's always I take the duration of exhibition period, whether it's three weeks or three months, as a temporal edge to a stage and I create things that unfold throughout that duration.

I think of my other very early work, Every Artist Remembered, where the gallery - the exhibition opened with nine blank pieces of paper and throughout the duration, throughout the nine relationships I had with nine different artists, that world and that universe began to grow and accumulate. And I'm often reminded that even though my work seems very disparate, it is often connected through this acknowledgment of the temporal space that an exhibition, in the condition that we've set up in the 20th century, opens up.

And having said that and having said that I'm not a specialist in choreography, which I'm certainly not, I do think because I'm always thinking about that duration, all the elements of choreography are very important to what I'm doing. Entrances, exits, sequencing, staging, energy transmission, syncopation, repetition and difference, delegation, collaboration, instruction, trust, love, tempo, shape, form, all these elements that are the choreographer's material are the things that I'm always drawing on.

I'm also really interested in I guess the ambiguous threshold spaces of work. So understanding the temporal edge of the work as the durational edge of the museum or the site of the gallery, but also those edges where the work starts to seep out and I like making them visible. Soin some instances these seepages, like today, when I tell you the story I'm about to tell you, they're designed and they're intentional. But in other instances, these seepages are - reflect my lack of control over the edges of the work and create a certain acknowledged anxiety and vulnerability in the work that I am actually very grateful because I think it's when those moments when the edges become unruly that, you know, really thrilling things can happen.

But having those threshold spaces where the seepages occur are also house the support structures of a work. They enable the work to be materialised and held and I'm actually referring to something that I guess for many is those like really logistical and boring and bureaucratic but it's actually - they're actually the support of the work in the same way that the canvas is supported by the frame behind it or the, you know, the scaffold is always there to support. And these are the things like the gallery's infrastructure, the people I work with at the gallery, the staff, the commissioner's infrastructure, the staff, how we manage the flow of money into and out of the work, how we manage the logistical arrangements of the work.

And most importantly, all these structures, all these support structures are there to support the people in the work because so often animating my work are not just dancers or choreographers or performers, these are people that I've built a relationship with and if I don't care for all those structures around and find ways to connect very clearly with the institutions presenting the work, then it's flawed and my most - I'm most preciously concerned about the tone of the work and I think the tone does travel through the performers and if they're unhappy or have had a bad experience, I really think that is something that, as the artist, I must manage.

Yeah, so since 2011 I've been slowly working through all these issues, coming to terms with them through trial and error, making very big mistakes, which have, you know, been very challenging interpersonally. And I'm trying now to continue to have really strong conversations and be a medium between all these different parts of the work, which are people, and that's kind of what I wanted to talk a little bit about today, but especially through my work Lion's Honey.

SoI'm just going to share my screen. So Lion's Honey was a context responsive work and I have to give a little background before I fully go into the work because I think the context of this work was really the generating factor of it. So Lion's Honey was produced in response to the 50 year Kaldor Public Art Project celebration at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. The exhibition was called Making Art Public and in that exhibition, Michael Landy was commissioned to present the archives, the Kaldor Public Art Projects archives within the Art Gallery of New South Wales. And John invited me and also another - and Emily Sullivan, the curator, and also a group of other amazing artists, including Alicia Frankovich, Ian Milliss, Lucas Ihlein, amongst many others, to produce kind of responsive works that responded to the archive and this presentation of 50 years of very ambitious and significant public artworks that have, you know, in Sydney.

At the time, I was incredibly - like to be completely honest, I think I was quite overextended. I hadn't worked out how to - and still quite haven't, how to manage my workflow and timelines and I presented a few different ideas to John and nothing was sitting properly and I'd been thinking about how to respond and thinking about this idea for so long. And to really frame this whole work, I just want to tell you a short story that is really about - that really introduces the work.

I hope there's not terrible banging upstairs. There may be. John sat before me in the space adjacent to the Art Gallery of New South Wales Café. Emily, that's Emily Sullivan, the curator, sat beside me. We ordered tea. Small white pots arrived on black plastic trays. Thick rimmed hospitality style saucers and jugs of white milk. The escalators were beside us, people's bodies levitating in and out of our peripheral vision.

John looked unwell. His age, normally sitting somewhere in the background of his charismatic presence, had seeped forwards. The preparations for Making Art Public had really been very all consuming and demanding and I'd gone to this meeting on the edge of refusal, in fact, I'd gone to tell John, no, I didn't want to do this project. I've tried to think of a good idea, a very good idea, and I can't and I'm overextended and I can't find a space to find a really good response to this incredible archive of work. I'm drawn into so many spaces of criticality about the archive and I couldn't find the right time to respond with.

I, you know, I exhaled and as the air filled my lungs, I began to say, "No", but at that very moment I began to say, "No", John reached his hand out and he said, "Agatha, let me tell you a story." And he said, "There was once this very, very strong man. He was the strongest man in the whole universe and he wanted to cross this desert to see this beautiful lady. And this lady, she was in this town on the other side of the desert. And to get to this town, he had to cross this very hot, very dry desert. So he ventured across the desert and as he was trying to reach the town where his girlfriend lived, he came upon many obstacles and one of them was a huge lion that reared up to attack him. And this lion was rearing up on its hind legs and this man was so strong that he teared the lion limb to limb and murdered the lion. It was nothing to his desire to get to the other side of the desert. And he continued to walk and he finally arrived at the village."

And I'm thinking, looking at John, thinking, "What is going on? Why is he telling me this story?" "And this man arrives on the other side of the desert and the village is there and his girlfriend's there, but something doesn't seem right with the girlfriend, the village is not quite right as he imagined it, he was an outsider. He wasn't happy there. So he decided to walk back to his family, walk back across the desert. And he arrived at this scene as he was going back to his family, this scene of this murder of this lion. And by this stage in the hot, hot sun, the lion's body had decomposed and it was now just all the flesh had kind of rotted away and the lion's ribcage was exposed. And in the lion's ribcage, bees had made this very productive beehive and there was golden honey dripping through down into the beehive through the ribs of the lion.

"And this man, this very strong man, he reached his hand into this cavity, believing in some way that this honey was his and he had created the event that created this space for the beehive to exist. And he scooped out a handful of this rich golden honey and he kind of" - and suddenly I was back in the gallery café and he was offering - John was kind of offering me this handful of honey and he was saying, "Take the honey, Agatha, take the honey." And suddenly I was shocked back into reality and I was existing in the café again and I had no idea what had happened and Emily and I were both very confused. But we asked - John said, "I read this in a book last night and I wanted to tell you the story." And he said, "I'll bring you the back tomorrow and you can read it."

So the next day at my studio, I sat in my studio on this green chair with this sheepskin and read the whole - this book, that was actually - it's a retelling of the fable of Samson. But in this moment and the book wasn't of that much interest to me, but this moment that time opened up and for some reason I fell into the act of reading for the first time in so long and all the kind of the difficulty and the impediments to me reaching an idea for this work disappeared. And I decided I wanted to find a way to give this gift, this resource of being able to have space and time to read to others.

So I wanted to find a way in this work, in Lion's Honey, as the work has became to be known, to distribute John's resources as generally as I could with the same generosity John seemed to be reaching across the table towards me with. But the question is: how is this choreography and how did this manifest in a gallery? So the work was called Lion's Honey and you can see here the very reductive way we describe a work. "Performers, green vinyl chair, a letter from the artist, the artist's sheepskin rug, books and wall-mounted shelf."

The work itself, very simply, was the idea that throughout the duration of the exhibition at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Making Art Public, we would employ - Kaldor would employ a reader, one person to be sitting in the gallery at all times, reading a book of their choice. And so the whole - during the whole duration of the exhibition, we found a way to have someone sitting there, reading to themselves, not out loud, a book. And we employed seven readers, one for each day of the week, and a group of floating readers. The floating readers would step in as substitutes, understudy readers when the other readers couldn't appear. And the readers all received this letter.

And just quickly I want to say, to find the readers was Emily Sullivan and I did a beautiful job of trying to think about who would most benefit of this waged active reading. We were very clear, working with Kaldor and Kaldor were very generous to try and create a situation where the payment of the readers was at an award rate that included a lot of fat, so and that the shifts would not be overly demanding.

I also made sure, and you can see here, we had some beautiful workshops with the readers where we talked about the complexity of this apparently very simple task, reading a book in public. But what that means when it becomes - when it comes into the frame of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, when you're being objectified as an artwork, when you're subjectivity is constantly made very vulnerable, how you can negotiate with the public. And we did these workshops together.

We found all these people by - we wanted to find people that weren't necessarily dancers or performers or actors but were very comfortable to occupy the space. I just - I really - I know we're - Hannah, how's time? Time is of the essence. Two mins.

Hannah Mathews

Agatha Gothe-Snape
Just saw the text. So I prepared them all for moving the chair around and they would move through the space, sitting on the chair wherever they want each day. And you can see here the chair itself came into relationship with different parts of the archive. You can see Sherry here. This is Hannah reading. They're allowed to become comfortable, Stella, in whichever they want. It was really important that they had complete command over how they were allowed to occupy the space. There's Bree. And the kind of document - and there's beautiful Cynthia. And Anne-Marie. And the documentation of the work - there's Ellen - consisted of their books being placed on the shelf as they read them. So the books that they chose to read became like a daisy chain of knowledge that they chose to put within the frame of the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

I might just end there. So at the conclusion of the work, the books occupy the space rather than the readers. The work is always ultimately inaccessible to the viewer in some ways but in others they have the most vulnerable encounter with the performer because they're faced with someone who is both entirely present and, in a sense, personally inaccessible. I always described it as a kind of sheer curtain, the face is a kind of translucent curtain between the audience and the reader.

And I just wanted to end quickly, Hannah, with one little sentence. So Lion's Honey formed over this time and place is no longer limited to any singular physical place and time. It has many hands and many heads, many ears and many eyes, skin that is not a boundary or edge but rather an open event with leakages and punctures, flows and ebbs, voices and imaginings. It speaks many languages and is not limited to any singular classification. It both agrees and disagrees with itself. It is sometimes irritated, sometimes moved, sometimes sleepy and other times restless. It is a body that holds many conscious and unconscious thoughts. It has stories of its own making and growing, some are shared, others will remain eternally private. In many ways, this body made of countless images, voices, conditions, instructions, directions, contracts, situations, exhibitions, archives, hours, weeks and months was momentary. It is now a body dispersed, divided and yet complete. A story that's reached its end but continues to linger as an afterthought, like here tonight. Thank you, Hannah. Sorry that was so long.

Hannah Mathews
Agatha, thank you very much. It's a major work. There is a lot of elements to it and I know, you know, we'll get time to get more into it when we get to the questions. But I think something very specific about your practice in the context of three of you speaking this evening is your desire and ability to absorb the institution and its bureaucracies and resources and set the bar high in that regard and it's very important. And I think Lion's Honey is a very good example about how you've kind of brought what the art gallery tends to do and shifts it a little bit and also even within Kaldor Art Projects, you know, the way you work and the conversations you have with people gets them thinking - rethinking what they do and how they do. And I think that's very much about what we're talking about this evening, is how artists can lead institutions into better practice. So thank you very, very much.

Agatha Gothe-Snape

Hannah Mathews
We will now move on to Amrita, because I'm conscious of the time but we certainly will have questions towards the end. So Amrita, you work in many spaces, including a recent commission as part of ACCA's online program, ACCA Open. I have to say, I enjoyed quite a lengthy chat with your bot only a week ago and did seriously begin to wonder if it shouldn't start scripting its own television show. It was so fast and snappy and citational and anyway, I really enjoyed.

when we spoke in preparation for this panel, you ran me through a variety of projects leading up to the now and I was really taken by your desire to mark out space. So whether that be in the gallery, online, the theatre or in public, there was something about demarcating through the material of bodies and sound and audiences that you kept returning to in your description of different works. So creating space within a space. You spoke of the maire and every space having its own energy and how artists also bring this or make this and this made me think about the importance of care when institutions are inviting artists into those spaces. So I'm wondering if you could please speak to your experiences of this within the visual arts context?

Amrita Hepi
Thanks for such a beautiful introduction.

Hannah Mathews
I enjoyed our conversation a lot.

Amrita Hepi
Me too, me too. So fittingly, I've called this talk today Space Within Space and yeah, I guess I did want to start with, when speaking to Hannah, it became really clear that there was a pattern emerging about spaces within space because why take - like for somebody who has mostly begun by working in theatres and had a real desire to stay working in theatres, why then move into a gallery context. And I think it is the desire to think about recontextualising or the power of context and to demarcate something and to take it with you.

So I think that I just want to say that mostly when I'm making work, it's characterised by hybridity and I think this began with a fascination with the idea of duality but then I soon realised that either end of a dual existence is held through an essentialism that can be unbearable. And the middle ground is sometimes unattainable and so it blooms under hybridity. Mostly in my practice, I'm committed to the project of loving and doing dancing. And dancing I've found is ideal for a kind of instant autonomy over making. The tool, like Agatha was saying, is repetition, sometimes confusion. And the crafting is a type of enigma that doesn't yet have to exist and could come to being through the mechanics of handling hybridity and duality.

I also just want to site some people that I've looked to over the years, that have crafted things in such a manner and in particular people like Vicki Van Hout, Marrugeku, Latai, who is about to speak, and a recent, Ligia Lewis.

I'm going to try and talk to the topic of developing protocols to guide visual arts institutions as much as possible and professionals who work with choreographic practices. And then also think about that in a kind of reciprocity. I also want to acknowledge that experimental practice is always in the mode of learning, thank god, and more often adapt and deeper listening.

I also want to say that acknowledging that a space within a space or the cordoning off of it and responding to the tangible and the incredible adaptability of artists, of being able to create context wherever they are and I think that of recent - and I was saying to Hannah, something that I have been noticing is that there is this incredible capacity for artists to be nimble, adaptable, but it's also then just going, well, where is it that we stand, and especially in emergent practices. What is it that won't give? What is it that you will stand for?

I also want to say that give a little context for those that I haven't met and I want to do this by saying that recently I've been given the task, and it's a little bit ridiculous, but I think that it's kind of - it's been quite a fun task, to think of a glossary of terms that is in some ways in relation to my practice. And it's how I want to introduce myself today, with a few of these terms.

So the first is an anti or anti dancer. Noun. Dancer who is preoccupied not with the expressive notion of dance but possibilities, communities, kinships and images hat emerge from the pursuit of pleasure and rigour through dancing.

Authenticity. Noun. A dilemma to be inspected in dance as much as in handbags. The anti-dancer moves towards the dilemma of authenticity, rather than the possibility of it.

And the last one I'll read is magpie hymn. Noun. The complex hum, song or words sung to oneself out loud or whilst rehearsing to remember the actions one is doing. Example. To be read to the tune. Angle, angle, expose leg to hiding touch to right cheek, elbow exposed to whip, whip, whip on angle grind, outright sun, remember horses, Britney to Justin, where denim shake, stomp, bitch, right, left turn, exit. So I - from those definitions, I hope I can kind of land you into a part of my practice.

I want to talk to two works today and I think the most important thing to acknowledge in both of these works is that I had a really close - I was fortunate enough to have a really close relationship with a curator and that is one of the things that was driving both of these works. So I'll start with the most recent and that was a work that was commissioned for the National Art Gallery of New South Wales and Isobel Parker Philip. In it, I worked with dancers, Ivey Wawn, Rhiannon Newton and Zachary Lopez. I really like this anecdotal or word to describe The Tender from Tongan writer Winnie Dunn and please forgive me if I'm saying it wrong but [Anga via vai] is a Tongan word for tender and it translates to something like being soft hearted in a hard body and is a word that she so generously kind of put towards the tender.

I'm not going to share my screen because I've found that it's kind of more engaging to have me talking directly to you. So and I - but I will put my website in so that you can have a look at what these works look like, but I will describe them too. For TheTender, it was performed by those three dancers that were mentioned before and their movements and interactions were modulated to a kind of aberrant rhythmic scheme of the choreography. And the routine revolved around rope as a motive, as a way to provoke tension and really while there was a few things that were coming out and that were studied through algorithms and also through my interest in social skipping and weaving, the gestures that we really stuck to and were working through were to buck, to skip, to embrace and to relinquish.

Now, when I was first coming up with the idea of the work, there was definitely like for me a tension between how and why in the gallery, what is the potential of that space and me and Isobel talked at length quite a few times and at first it felt like we were both talking to each other in riddles. She'd asked me to think about how the work could have future iterations that could potentially be collected and I was like kind of spiralling, going why I am never really necessarily always considering that, even though I like more and more increasingly am working with objects and static objects as well as emergent technologies, which I'll talk about later.

Between Isobel and I, at first I felt like there was a feeling of like testing each other and then it felt like we were speaking in riddles. But then it's like we finally got like the finally the tension between us, which was necessary, dissipated and we were really able to work with thinking how to make this dance work and to respond to these tensions, you know, to buck, to skip, to embrace and to relinquish and what needed to be demarcated on the space to be reflective of not only the dancing that was happening, but also to engage people in a kind of interpassivity that could happen around the space and around the choreography. I'm talking today more to, yeah, I guess more to my experience with working with curators and with the gallery and with the objects than to the work itself.

There was obviously inherent difficulties. The lack of rehearsal time in the space due to certain kind of bureaucratic processes, which I feel are shifting. The conditions and always considering the conditions of the audience. But in doing that, there was also, while standing firm, there was still a beautiful adaptability that was happening within conversation with me and Isobel and I think it was tantamount to having her kind of act as this producer for the work, but then also to - in some ways she became the dramaturg as well.

Okay. I'm going to just leave that there for the second. Next work I want to discuss is an older work called An Occupation and it was commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art and the curator that I was working with was Mikala Tai. An Occupation was part sculpture, part performance, using a six metre wide inflatable structure and a heart rate monitor to inflate and deflate, while questioning modes of occupation and structural systems, a desire to override the dominant power structures, whilst still being deeply within and dependent on them.

And it kind of also examines my own preoccupation with the phantom body and different phantom bodies that emerge out of mythologies that I'm interested in, like the taniwha and how in the light that shakes - how in the light that it shakes the moss of its scales with a flick of the sixth paw and tendrils as well, that make floating uncomplicated. And so taking these kind of poetic cues, how can I then formulate a performance that originally is meant to sit within an art fair, a phantom body within an art fair was, yeah, an interesting proposition, especially when thinking about the labour conditions around and then also thinking about Hong Kong and then thinking about the site and all of these things are wrapping out of it.

And it not only became a conversation with me, it then became a conversation about labour conditions with the person that I was working, who was the building the inflatable in China to kind of - in China to talk about, well, what would a phantom body look like. And I was talking to this fella on AliExpress, by the way.

This performance, after many conversations with Mikala and then performing it within the art fair, then changed a lot. The infrastructure of the heart rate monitor was put in later and it was that, you know, the more effort that was applied, the more that the inflatable would go up and then the less, it would deflate. And then that would switch as well. It would also then take into consideration my own heart rate, my own murmurs that had happened before and then would be able to stay in the space for longer.

This project has then kind of gone on in different iterations. It's had different performers perform it and there's different prompts. It's changed every time and I like - I very much enjoy that. I think that then it kind of speaks to this idea of this phantom body and mind extending itself outside of itself. It's also - I've also been lucky enough to then kind of take it into context, especially within America, so The Kennedy Centre and The Menil Collection, Kluge-Ruhe. And then reimagine it in outdoor spaces and reimagine I guess what the site then means in relation to this performance that is about I guess what an occupation could be with this phantom body. But then also what's happening in relation with my body and how that is also occupying a space.

So yeah, and this - yeah, this work is still continuing now and it's always kind of being renegotiated in some ways with different gallery contexts or different performance contexts. And that because in and of itself it's created a space within a space that sits within the body of the performer, that it's able to have that recontextualisation every time anew.

The last project I want to talk about - or the last two projects I want to talk about quickly. Hannah, how much time do I have left?

Hannah Mathews
You've just got over two minutes, Amrita. Go for it.

Amrita Hepi
So the last two projects I want to talk to that kind of involve this thinking of a space within a space is Cass is the first one, which was again me working with Isobel Parker Philip and having a lot of conversations about where the staging site of a performance could be, of a script could be that felt relevant, that felt intimate. And at that time, I was thinking a lot about devotion, longing and I mean, I still am, devotion, longing and the syntax of intimacy.

And this has kind of come out in these two chatbot works that I've made, one in collaboration with Samuel Lieblich, which was Neighbour, as part of ACCA Open. And also Cass. And Cass was a chatbot that was programmed by myself via a third party software host, called Twilio, and basically it was a script that would interact with the user. And it's interesting, I think, that whenever we are in - like the potential for performance, especially on phones, now sets this tone for an immediate kind of stage for an immediate intimacy.

On our computers, I feel as though the fatigue there is a different thing but especially within that context, and then kind of having the institution a part of it as well, it sets up this feeling of okay, I know that I'm talking to a bot that's run through this institution and through this artist, but even that process of observation or even that knowing, still didn't stop people from interacting in these really intimate, intimate settings or intimate ways, where they would then say - they would then become the performers themselves.

And it became this kind of confessional, even though - which kind of - even though, I mean, I'm not sure if they knew that their responses were being looked at, even though that was in the contract that they agreed to. It then makes me question, well then what can - yeah, what can performance be in these different modes and how do we set up spaces within spaces where there can be, yeah, modes of intimacy, the potential to be, I guess, passive, active, but also to just know that like - that there is this kind of - yeah, there is this demarcation and whether that's happening in I guess a physical space at the gallery or whether that's happening in a digital sphere which I think we tend to think of as like in the ether, when really it's like in the water and in our deep sea networks and all around us and it actually is a very physical space within a space.

So yes, I - look, I will stop. I will stop there. But yeah, I'm very, very much interested in continuing to discuss the notions of how institutions can think about choreography within algorithms, within the body, within the phantom body, within the imaginary body, within other audiences' bodies and how that can invite participation in varied ways.

Hannah Mathews
Yeah. I think this idea of what can performance be in these different modes is a really key question, particularly in a - you know, particularly sort of physical and temporal contexts that we are in at this moment. And I know when I was engaging with the work through ACCA Open, I sort of alternated with my daughter, who's eight, like just to see - and it was really performative to see what we could elicit in terms of like the type or detail or knowledge that would come back to us. So I think, you know, also this idea of reciprocity that you brought up early on in your talk is really important. And it's not only just about like responsibility, but as you say, you're kind of generating a creative space –

Amrita Hepi

Hannah Mathews
What seems key with these things and the making and doing of these things, both passively, actively, audiences, artist, all those things. I mean, that's definitely a world that I want to be in. So thank you for your talk, Amrita, we really appreciate it. We'll have questions in just a little bit.

Latai, I'd like to now turn to you. So we talked about the pragmatics and logistics of bringing live art and bodies into museum and there are familiar problems with this, some that Amrita has talked about, like lack of changerooms and rehearsal times and appropriate flooring and things. And they're things I think, I hope institutions are learning to provide as they become better hosts to performers and dance and bodies and space.

But what we also spoke about was your relationship with the Australian Museum in Sydney. It's a collecting institution that holds, I think you said, about 80,000 objects in their Pacific collection. And you spoke about the first time you were invited to show work within that space and how that relationship has evolved over a decade now. You also spoke about the importance of people understanding that that collection, you know, understanding that collection as a living culture and something that is alive to many communities, here in Australia and abroad. And how important it was to you to have access to those materials for cultural connection.

You spoke to the importance of inserting yourself into that space and its timeframes in order to speak to its values but also to juxtapose your own. So I see this as a really positive approach to acknowledging the past and modelling the way for better futures and it's a productive mode of existence, which is a phrase that an artist like Dale Harding also uses and I think he's thinking about futures in a similar way. And I wondered if this evening you could speak more about your relationship with this collection?

Latai Taumoepeau
Yeah, sure. Yeah, so I've had a very long relationship with the Australian Museum, probably more than a decade now. But and I've been engaged on various capacities as a performer, but also as a member of the Pacific community, to access the collections. As Hannah mentioned, they have about 80,000 objects in their collection from many places in the Oceanian region.

And so they established many programs for communities to visit these objects and connect with them, language schools have been in to understand certain cultural concepts through their access to many things, fish hooks, weapons, drums, a whole range of things. But the very first time - I think maybe I'll speak to a few examples of when I've worked at the museum and in chronological order, I think that will probably help with less confusion, mainly for me.

So I think - well, according to Facebook, it was 2009, because I couldn't quite remember when I had first worked at the museum on a project, and I was invited to perform at a seminar. It was a Pacific collections seminar and at the seminar they had several Pacific Island experts, some artists from the region, who were speaking about various material culture as well as just things that they knew about.

And so when I was invited to perform, I thought that was a really good opportunity for me to explore something that I had just learned when I had just returned recently prior to that from a trip home to Tonga where I had learned how to wrap the body, to make a shroud of barkcloth, which is made of mulberry bark, it's made by collectives of women and it's something that I'm very familiar with, you know, I've watched my grandmothers, my grand aunties, my village making these beautiful, beautiful ceremonial cloth pieces.

And so I had just learnt how we wrap the dead and prepare the body for burial with this barkcloth and I think I had just been to visit the collections and I was a bit disappointed in something that they had in the collection which I think were some objects that were not meant to be kept. They weren't meant to be permanent. So they're supposed to be destroyed after they are used. And so these were in the collection and it really conjured up some strong emotions for me about the difference in cultural values around permanence and impermanence.

So when I performed - when I was asked to perform, it was during the lunch break and so I, you know, had the usual problems around working in various cultural venues that aren't actually equipped for all types of performance. And so I went in - I had my cousins wrap me in my own barkcloth, which is called ngatu, and so I had them wrap me and then take me into the space and leave me in the room, wrapped in this barkcloth, just as I had learned. And I started to dance inside this barkcloth until it unravelled into a flat piece and I was underneath it and not visible.

And so then this dance became more and more aggressive underneath the barkcloth, where this huge 50 foot piece of barkcloth was just like moving around the room and I wasn't visible and it made this really loud sound and then I think the performance went for maybe 10 minutes and then I finally emerged from under the barkcloth and folded it up into a nice, neat package with some white gloves that I had and then I left with my own barkcloth.

And so it was - I really wanted to convey something about the culture that is valuable to this institution is equally, if not more, valuable to the people that these objects belong to and if we want to destroy our cultural material, we can and we will and we do. And I felt that was - you know, I really felt that that was something that I needed to express at that time and I guess it went really well, so I got a lot of interesting responses, particularly from anthropologists who are quite well known in the region and actually have been commissioned to write on all sorts of dance and choreography from Tonga and things like that. And so yeah, it was very interesting to place my performance inside this exchange, this transmission of knowledge from the region.

So that was in 2009 and then in 2010, the Australian Museum was collaborating with an art centre in Western Sydney called Casula Powerhouse and they were creating a contemporary arts exhibition, where they had invited five or six artists to visit the museum and make and look at the objects in the collection that were related to body adornment and to create an artwork for exhibition at Casula Powerhouse. And at that time, it was - I was trying very hard to work out how I would be able to make a work that remained in the venue for three months because I - it wasn't something that I was able to perform daily and nor was that something that they wanted. So it became a real exciting kind of investigative process for me to work out how my work could sit inside the white cube.

But something that I had been exploring prior to that was that - was how dance and cultural performance from the Pacific is not something that sits inside a theatre, a black box, a white cube or anything. It's actually always presented out in the open. You know, so we have sites called [Mulae] 01:00:23, which is the same word that is a field used for sport, a ceremonial ground, you know, so our performance sites are these open spaces.

And so I started to think about my work that way and also revisit the collection at the Australian Museum and look at their collection of barkcloth. And so became interested in looking at this material as being a vessel that - where some form of like a body transformation happens when it is used as a shroud and I started to imagine what kind of actions, what kind of processes the body is experiencing, whether it be decomposition or something even more enlightening than that and how that's been transformed within this material culture of material barkcloth.

And so I collaborated again with those same cousins, who I should name at this stage, one is - they're brothers, Taliu and Tevita Havea. They're brothers and they're both artists and we grew up together and we grew up dancing in Kings Cross underage actually. And so we sometimes refer to ourselves as the little pigs when we collaborate, but Tevita is a glass blower and Taliu works in design and somehow we have these practices and we collaborate.

And this year - that year, 2010, Body Pacifica, we made a structure made out of thousands and thousands and thousands of metres of fishing line and ochre and I created this portal that I could perform in that then remained in the exhibition for the three months, I believe it was. And so this structure was - had red ochre in the bottom of it and it was inside the - the exhibition was called Body Pacifica and it ran - although the exhibition went for three months, it started with a festival, a community festival that had thousands of Pacific people attend the NRL players, I think Rugby League players, had these portrait, photographic portraits taken by one of the artists and so this festival had so many people.

And it was really interesting because my artwork had ochre contained with it, but by the end of the entire exhibition, people had dipped their fingers, their feet and body parts into that ochre and scribed their marks all over the white walls and was probably really annoying to Casula Powerhouse but I actually really loved it as a response from the community.

And so yeah, that was a really interesting collaboration and I think the Australian Museum, what was really great was to talk to them about different ideas around body adornment. I mean, I'm not really sure where that theme came from but I think there was a desire to work with things like necklaces and dance costumers and things that are obviously for body adornment. But for me, as a dancer and a choreographer, I was more interested in looking at how the body can be adorned when it's transforming, you know, after death. And so it became more of a duet between the body and this material, which is something that I really like to explore in my practice.

I actually should probably say, yes, I have some images that are just looping of works. None of them are the works that I'm talking about because I don't think I have many images of those works that I've done previously at the Australian Museum, except for this work, Repatriate, which was for 24 Frames Per Second - Carriageworks, in 2016. And I didn't - I collaborated with Elias Nohra to make this dance screen work, which was shown on five iPads inside a purpose built tunnel.

And that year Carriageworks had collaborated - were in a partnership actually with the ABC and they were starting ABC iview and so they made this mini documentary on the work, Repatriate, and they had asked me if there was somewhere else where I could conduct this interview with them because they had spoken to some of the other artists and they'd already been doing it in Carriageworks.

And so I told them about the Australian Museum and over the years I have known many people that have worked there as anthropologists, as conservators and specifically with the Pacific collection. And so at the time there was a collection that was on display and I was allowed to do my interview there. And so it was a really interesting thing for me to frame my video work that was about sea levels rising and asking the question of where do you repatriate a body when their island has submerged as a result of climate change? And framing that inside the museum and its collections.

So it just, you know, I guess for me it's this ongoing relationship. I mean, I don't even know if I'm in a relationship with the Australian Museum. Maybe it's just all in my own kind of practice, but I feel like it's a continuing relationship to understand how communities that are related and have ancestral ties to the collections are constantly in dialogue, you know, regardless of whether the staff or experts that are in these institutions recognise it. But I find it necessary to constantly maintain a relationship with the treasures that come from our region that are in the collection.

So yeah, that was Repatriate. And then I guess the most recent work that I did that's related to the museum is a show called Oceania Rising, which was - it's an exhibition, it's a partnership actually between the Australian Museum and several arts venues, Blacktown Arts Centre and Casula Powerhouse. And they wanted to show some, the museum, that is, wanted to show some contemporary works and relationships with artists that are making work with climate change.

So I was one of those artists and in 2018 there was the launch for that, Oceania Rising, and I was asked to perform again at the Australian Museum. And so I thought it was only fitting that I should perform a work called Stitching Up the Sea, which was the feature work, the work that Blacktown Arts Centre were going to feature, which is a work that I explore the relationship of glass to sand and as a material associated with atolls and islands and so this performance, I crush glass with brick sandals on my feet and it was also a collaboration with my cousins that I mentioned earlier.

And when I - I said to the museum, "I'd really like to perform an excerpt of that, because this is the work that will be exhibited in Oceania Rising." And we went through - we started the process of speaking to the safety officer and all of the staff that are involved in that and of course it was something that was very difficult for them to understand but I started receiving emails about, you know, what kind of insurance I had and also suggestions that I might consider making fake glass, like I received recipes to make fake glass out of sugar because it's safer, and of course I had to respond to that with some agency around my work. And then I ended up - just I ended up doing a talk rather than presenting my work.

So I guess I just wanted to talk about this ongoing relationship that I have with the Australian Museum and I have a really good relationship with them actually. I'm really fortunate to be able to access stuff. But I think it's - I really like thinking about my - artists such as myself having a relationship with ancestral objects that are in the collections because we activate them, we keep them, we keep them alive. If they're not in circulation and doing the things that they were intended to do, then it needs to always be something that we are stewards and we need to be constantly consulted.

So I guess this is a, you know, yeah, I just wanted to kind of talk about this relationship that I have with the museum as well as how it informs my practice and yeah, the way I understand living culture as well as being a descendant of some of those things in the museum.

Hannah Mathews
Latai, thank you so much. A comment that you made when we were talking, I think it was artists can make changes in spaces where maybe community can't. You know, so about keeping that active, maintaining that active dialogue with institutions.

Latai Taumoepeau
Yeah, well firstly I'll just say that yeah, artists are part of the community.

Hannah Mathews
Of course, yeah.

Latai Taumoepeau
And then yeah, I think there are some things that artists can leverage, some of the ways that we perceive ourselves as well as the way that the wider community perceive us also and that there's a diversity to us. Sometimes - I think sometimes our communities also like to have themselves reflected back, not just in the way that they see themselves but other ways that they might see themselves. For myself, I feel that that's something that I do, not always deliberately, well, it's not always the priority but it's definitely a part of how my body is read as being a part of a community that recognises itself back in me, because I recognise myself in other people that I identify with from my cultural heritage.

So, you know, and also I don't identify with everybody but I think this is one of the roles, particularly as diaspora, we have access to things that people from our own cultural backgrounds don't always have access to and so it's important for us to ensure that we are being the same kind of stewards as they are in our homelands.

Hannah Mathews
Yep, it's a crucial role, important role and as you said, in relationship to many communities but it's a very powerful, meaningful responsibility. I really enjoyed your talk. Thank you very, very much.

Latai Taumoepeau
Thank you.

Hannah Mathews
We've come to the point of Q and A. There are a few questions I saw in the chat and I'll just quickly check. One moment, please. Amrita, maybe I'll go to you first. There's a question, the question is "What inspired the term "anti-dancer"? Does anti-dancing resonate in your body differently than dancing?"

Amrita Hepi
Good question. I think that anti or anti-dancer was just about the kind of - it was inspired by actually talking to Loren Kronemyer about this idea of the anti - being an anti-disciplinary artist rather than a multidisciplinary artist. And that if dance, as it stands in this definition, is not necessarily always preoccupied with the expressive notion of itself but that it's involved in making dances and connections in multitudes of ways. And so that's where that definition came from.

Hannah Mathews
I like it. I mean, there could be some comparison here to like painting and network theory. You know, like it is the thing that it's connecting out to and it's the relationships that it's making with the audience that are - that's the kind of active generative space.

Amrita Hepi
Yeah. Rather than the in one –

Hannah Mathews
The expressive kind of form that it might take, yeah. This sort of static kind of iterative moment, you know?

Amrita Hepi
Totally, totally.

Hannah Mathews
Agatha, I also have a question for you, I think from someone you may know, but I won't read their name just in case. The question is "What happened to all the books? Where are they now? They're the physical remnants of a lovely idea. During the exhibition, lots of people had the urge to touch them, even to sit in the chair when the reader was elsewhere. Will those books ever be touched and maybe even read again?"

Agatha Gothe-Snape
Thank you for that question. I think it's Hannah. But the books are actually just over here under this table in boxes in an archive. Kind of quite interestingly, I think it like raises so many questions about what it is to put something away and what even an archive is. And they hold all the energy of all that experience and all that going and pouring in and out of books and I don't know what will happen to them, Hannah. But they're here, they're safe and I want them to go back into circulation into the world, but I just don't know how yet. Yeah. They are the record, they hold all the energy. It's amazing.

Hannah Mathews
Yeah. Well, yeah, I think we've also been talking about reading as like the first virtual reality, right, like –

Agatha Gothe-Snape

Hannah Mathews
You can see and hear in your head as your read.

Agatha Gothe-Snape
Yeah. And that's really where the work did start a lot because I've been working so much in VR, thinking about that moment where you can move through a portal, yeah.

Hannah Mathews
I have also a comment and question from Phillip Adams, here in Melbourne. "Thank you, speakers. I experience in all the works discussed tonight critically links to a unique belabouring of dancer's relationship to visual arts. I also note from all three amazing speakers, so very inspiring, that your methods form a relationship with your body already as ideally visual. I'm interested in these explicit gestures of positioning yourself as artists, working towards a perspectival composition of choreography that is becoming ideally visual and performative in the white room, that give critical reassessment of dance and visual art's complex relationship to transferability. Can you give some commentary on this feeling or experience you have with your bodies, that issome visually poetic?"

Amrita Hepi
Such a dance question.

Hannah Mathews
It's such a dance question. It's good. You know, I actually have to just chip in here. I feel like the Precarious Movements Research Group and also some of my own curatorial projects, I feel like we've kind of like put a bit of a frame around some of these practices in terms of dance and choreography and the visual, which like anti-dance, there's so much more than these things. And thinking - I think, Amrita, you mentioned about duality and even duality sort of has these ends that explode out.

Amrita Hepi
Okay. I'll attempt to answer this best I can. I would say that I understand the dilemma that you're talking to, Phillip, in regards to this idea of like the hyper visual and there's kind of like wheelbarrows of the way that I think things are being kind of trotted out in these containers in terms of dance and then it going into visual arts and then it kind of maybe even being kind of like flattened into a screen.

And I'm now reflecting on your work and this kind of like hyper visual thing of like feeling expressiveness, transference, transgression and I'm thinking about the kind of like where - like how - I guess it's like kind of that dialectic between you're having all of these visions about how you want - I mean, I know that I will have these visions about how I want the work to be and then you're kind of working towards the like impossibility of that representation of that image.

And it reminds me of this exercise that - like an anecdote about that is that this exercise around vanishing and like taking in a scene and then closing my eyes and then trying to remember the scene exactly as it was and then opening my eyes again and thinking about what wasn't there. And then trying always to try and like remember what was there and then trying to sketch out again in my mind so I could take it with me. And I think within the like hyper visual that happens within the visual arts, it's also like maybe not - I don't know, not as visual as we think it is and anyway, I think that was a really roundabout answer. Fuck, I'm sorry.

Hannah Mathews
I think there's also increasingly a move away from that sort of ocular sort of privileging. I think there is definitely more work being made in that space, which is really important. I have a question for Latai. "Thank you so much for your talk. I wanted to ask you about the role of activism in your work, which seems to be quite a big focus. Do you see yourself as creating works of activism for the collection as a way of interrupting the collection?"

Latai Taumoepeau
Yeah, I don't really see myself as an activist. I think - I mean, it's definitely the next step, it's the next trajectory for me. I think activists do something very, very specific. They challenge systems and I don't challenge systems, I make work about the impact of climate change and I advocate. So I think I need to - I like to make that distinction.

Yeah, I do like to interrupt dominant perceptions of art and culture and it think that's what my longwinded storytelling examples of the museum are. But I mean, that's 10 years kind of and I guess I might also attempt to try and speak to some things that Phillip was asking at the same time, I think.

Yeah, I think an institution as old as anthropology, which is obviously a colonial construct, can be - it can be disrupted and it should be. But, you know, I don't want to spend all my days fighting with these institutions. They're dusty. They've been there a long time and this is not about the individuals that specialise in these fields. This is just about this institution. And so I feel that for me, inside my practice, who I also identify as an anti-disciplinary, who is alive today, that's what I call myself. I think that making work that challenges all the dominant notions of what arts and culture does and can do is part of how we can make, particularly now that we're in a pandemic.

I think in my practice, one of the things that I have done is centring my own cultural heritage and its ideas of what dance and choreography is. We don't even have a word for those things, which is why I don't use them much because I find that it limits then and it also means that you think you know what I'm doing when I call myself a dancer, but you don't and I don't. Because what I think I'm doing is I'm working in time and space and that there's a function to working with time and space and that time and space is the same as form and content and so it doesn't care whether it's in a black box or a white box, it just has to do something.

And that's what I think I'm trying to do is - the something I'm trying to do is to use my practice as a vehicle to make faiva, which is the word in my language which is to do time and space, but also the thing about faiva is that it is also about your social duty and obligation to place and environment. So dance doesn't do all of those things and neither does choreography but I love those things, that they can sit inside faiva. So when I centre faiva, I'm dancing all the time and it doesn't - it's not limited to institutional space, it's not limited to dominant forms or western canon of movement and structure. And so that's why it can seem like maybe I'm an activist, but I'm not. I just make things. I'm not doing anything new.

Hannah Mathews
She's living it. She's living it. That is a very important point, I think, actually that we will conclude on. There are a few more questions but I think that's a really great point to end this evening and for us to all go off to bed and think about because it's - thinking more broadly and culturally in this way is really - has to be part of all our futures.

I'd like to say my very, very deep heartfelt thank you and grateful, grateful thank yous to our speakers this evening. I knew it would be bright and sharp and powerful and it was, so thank you, you three, very, very much. You've given us a lot to think about, both institutions and how we host artists and people and artists and how they might also enter institutions with higher expectations and demands for their own practices. So thank you to our panel.

I'd also like to thank my colleagues at MUMA who have worked together to make our first foray into online public programming so smooth. I don't know what else is happening out there in the world but this has felt relatively smooth. So Larissa and Trent, thank you so very much. And also Bianca at ACCA, who really shared her advice with us, we really appreciated that. And also Tyson and Dave, for their live Auslan interpretation this evening.

Finally, also a thanks to my colleagues in the Precarious Movements Research Group. We're a pretty distributed bunch but we do come together regularly to pursue our interests and commitment to bringing choreography into the museum in a way that is mindful, equitable and respectful.

Lastly, just to say thank you to our audience for joining us tonight. I know we have run late. It's our first time, apologies. Please be sure to join us again next Tuesday evening, 27 October, for session two, A Square Peg: Rethinking and Reconfiguring the Museum Collection, and that will be with Pip Wallis, Victoria Hunt, Lisa Catt, Shelley Lasica and Tania Doropoulos.

And our final session will be on Tuesday, 3 November. It's titled Preservation Through Knowledge Transmission: From Artist to Institution. And that will be with Tate conservator Louise Lawson, educator Robert Lazarus and one of my favourite people, curator Stephen Gilchrist. So we look forward to seeing you then. Thanks again for joining us.

Amrita Hepi
Thank you.

Latai Taumoepeau
Thank you.

Agatha Gothe-Snape
Thank you so much. Goodnight.

Latai Taumoepeau
Thanks. See ya, Agatha. Bye, Amrita.

Hannah Mathews
Night, night.

Latai Taumoepeau
Thanks, Hannah. Bye.

Hannah Mathews
Bye. Thanks, Latai.

Latai Taumoepeau
Thanks, Tyson. Bye, Dave.