Resulting from a seasonal farming trade, Robinvale’s inhabitants is one among the most various in Australia. Positioned on the Murray River (Australia’s longest), the city is at a confluence level of 5 completely different Indigenous language teams with a powerful First Nations presence. This new work has seen Koenning construct connections and sudden bonds with the individuals she has met. She has even been accepted as an unofficial city chronicler, invited to all the city’s occasions, and to household events and gatherings. This has, like her different initiatives, allowed her to delve deeper and to begin to faucet into the complexity of tales that exist in Robinvale. Its historical past is tormented by the legacy of colonisation and settler tales and traces of dispossession of Indigenous peoples. Immediately, modern narratives are fashioned by new worldwide migrants, and different points resembling drought, the setting, and extra broadly, how people reside collectively in and construct neighborhood. “Robinvale got here unexpectedly into my life, and has modified me,” Koenning says.
The photographer’s work is presently on present in the huge Melbourne Now exhibition at the Nationwide Gallery of Victoria (NGV), which options over 200 artists and runs till 20 August 2023. The featured sequence, titled whereas the mountains had toes and curated by NGV’s Maggie Finch, is partly extracted from a big physique of labor titled between the river and the sea, which she started at the finish of 2019 as a response to various traumatic experiences, together with the devastating bushfires and the dying of a beloved one. As she made the work, it advanced and have become about processing melancholy and lightness, intimacy and grief, and exploring neighborhood, geography, strolling, similarity and distinction, and witnessing over time. The pictures exhibited at NGV are taken from 4 completely different initiatives. “I name them ‘migrant items’,” Koenning explains. “I used to be fascinated about exploring a constellation on the wall, making a dialogic house that allows a fellowship of photographs.”
The result’s a fluid presentation echoing Koenning’s inventive course of. It’s about accessing and delving into completely different tales, and dealing concurrently throughout fragments and multiplicities that finally discover connection. “I’ve all the time been actually fascinated about clustering, layering and reassembling,” she displays. “As Teju Cole says: ‘Artists have an obligation to be weavers and repairers of tales’.”
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