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Illusion

ELYAS ALAVI (SA/ AFGHANISTAN), AVAN ANWAR (VIC / KURDISTAN),
ALI ESLAMI (IRAN), SHA SARWARI (VIC/ AFGHANISTAN), DOMINIC SYMES (SA)
CURATED BY PRIYA PAVRI CSA)

How can we understand conflict when the media bombard us with incomprehensible facts and figures every day? Our over-saturated brains begin to filter out situations of emotional urgency as dry data reality, while we glaze over the profound implications of human suffering. Illusion investigates how art and artists can restore empathy and provide context to news reports where the numbers of victims are counted, but not comprehended.

In this exhibition that traverses both Nexus Arts Gallery and the Kerry Packer Civic Gallery, visual artists Elyas Alavi, Avan Anwar and Sha Sarwari’s practices consider conflict, displacement, news headlines and empathy as broad international concepts, while commenting on personal, cultural and collective experiences within an Australian context. Through a multi-disciplinary and collaborative approach, emerging South Australian curator Priya Pavri asks these Australian migrant and refugee artists to respond to themes ingrained in the award-nominated Virtual Reality artwork Death Tolls (2015) by Iranian artist Ali Eslami, premiering in Australia for Illusion.

The artists will transform the galleries into a tactile and sensory experience that reflects on first-hand accounts of human suffering and takes us back to the emotional realities that data often ignores. South Australian academic, writer and poet Dominic Symes, will be invited to reflect on the exhibition and examine how we extract meaning from an absence of constructive dialogue. Illusion asks that we consider our moral and political responses to the humanitarian implications of conflict and displacement.

Co-presented at the Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre’s Kerry Packer Civic Gallery

OPENING EVENT:
THURSDAY 4TH JUL

EXHIBITION DATES:
Nexus Arts: 17TH JUN – 19TH JUL
Kerry Packer Civic Gallery: 1ST JUL – 29TH JUL