Editorial | Su Baker

Earlier in 2022 Art + Australia published our first digital issue, Issue 57.2: the Pivot. The term 'pivot' had become a part of everyday vernacular across 2020 and 2021 and also inferred a movement; a shift of weight, focus and direction. Whilst the issue documented the impacts of the past two years on Australian art, artists and galleries, it also signalled a redirection for Art + Australia to a digital platform. Now we have 'pivoted', we find ourselves situated in this location, in the aftermath (albeit ongoing) conditions of the pandemic, peering from a vantage point irrevocably changed by what has come before. And so we look outwards, inwards, backwards and forwards in this issue, Issue 58.1: The View.

This view is not comprised of a single gaze looking across a horizon, to some other place, but is slippery and multiple. A view that encompasses the global and local, the politics of touch and the confluence of history with the now. As stalled biennales and festivals were relaunched, crowds flurried from various parts of the globe to familiar art centres, to once again make contact with art from around the world. The energy and desire for people to reengage with art in-person, to reconnect beyond our digital divides seemed to manifest across many of the worlds major art events. As materiality, touch and the social were the foci for two of the worlds largest events DOCUMENTA and Venice Biennale, documented in this issue.

We chart this desire to reconnect, which includes an interview with curator Cecilia Alemani, who curated the Arsenale exhibition Milk of Dreams XXXXX info. And DOCUMENTA which used the concept of Lambung XXX. Locally this emphasis on touch, the past and language courses through a series of responses and reviews to major solo exhibitions by Paul yore, Shelley Lasica and Susan Jacobs.

Each of these artists and the writing about them turns to the power of language and history as it intersects with contemporary artistic practice. This historical evocation also courses through a conversation between Yuki Kihara and Natalie King and Kalkadoon artist Ricky Emmerton's article. Whilst Yuki Kihara's highly lauded project Paradise Camp presented at Venice ingeniously upcycles the various appropriations of Paul Gaugin of imagery of people of the Pacific, she also makes startling discoveries along way about the pre-colonial presence of Samoan fafine in his paintings. Her project asserts the presence and resilience of her community, who due to colonisation had been illegal up until XXX.

Ricky Emmerton, an emerging artist, sheds light on the diverse approaches to learning about his Kalkadoon heritage and how this courses through his painterly practice. 

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