The Body Is More Than This
Image: Salubrious Peril by Elijah Money
A rallying cry and exploration of gender diverse bodies that are more than what eyes can see
We perceive bodies as borders; curved spines that push against the weight of the world. Like a rising tide changing the shoreline they are constantly becoming – tender, flexing, magnetic and yielding. Repeatedly repairing themselves, yet falling prey to time and the limits of perception.
Curated by Kin Francis, The Body is More Than This presents visual narratives from six artists who identify as gender diverse and nonbinary. Works in this exhibition permeate across many ideas, from reckoning with histories of migration, experimenting with gender expression outside of Western restraints, and defining relationships with lands and family across distances.
Surrounded by the pillars and architecture of the Immigration Museum’s ground floor – Caleb Thaiday, Elijah Money, Luce Nguyễn-Hunt, Ari Tampubolon, Indra Liusuari, Kin Francis and Shin propose a new way of experiencing our bodies; seeing past borders: beyond preconceived cisgender identity and colonial understandings.
About the artists
Elijah Money is a queer Wiradjuri brotherboy who was raised on Kulin Nations where he continues to reside. His practice includes visual art, written work, installations, performance art and more. These are done with strong recurring themes of colonialism, assimilation, skin colour, gender, mental illness, sexuality, climate change, stolen generations, identity as well as critiquing the Eurocentric western idealised structure that each person in so called “Australia” is forced to maintain. Notable highlights include: co-curating “Sight for Sore Eyes” 2020 (Midsumma X Black Dot); video artwork for “ALIWA!” 2021 at Counihan Gallery; participant for Writing Residency and hosted “Deadly Poets Yarn” 2020 (MPavilion); digital artwork and written work 2020 (Archer); painted murals 2019 (Melbourne University): visual artist and participant “Poetry and the Political” 2020 (NextWave); installation artist 2019 “WestRave”(CoolRoom, Due West); installation artist “Tesselate” 2019 & 2020; multimedia solo show “gurudhaany birranydyang” 2022 (Sawtooth ARI, Launceston); jewellery artwork “Namesake” in “Blak Design” group show 2022 (Koorie Heritage Trust, Fed Square); large digital print “Pearlescent Viscous” as part of “A Rainbow of Tomorrows” group exhibition 2022 (Koorie Heritage Trust, Fed Square).
Caleb Thaiday is Meriam from the Eastern Torres Strait Islands of Mer and Erub and grew up on Yidinji country in Cairns. After completing a Bachelor of Music Technology at Griffith University in Brisbane, they went freelance in FNQ as an audio engineer, sound designer, videographer and composer. Now living on Kulin land since mid-2018, Caleb is a drag performer under the stage name Cerulean. Cerulean is the current reigning Miss First Nation 2021. She is an expressive blue gem who descended from the Pisces constellation to bless mere mortals with a raining cloud of excitement, energy and fun! Her body morphs into an ensemble of contrasting forms, exploring performance through concepts.
Indra Liusuari is a conceptual artist and a student of architecture whose interdisciplinary practice includes audiovisual media, recorded performances, and installations. Liusuari have a profound interest in critiquing and problematising heteronormativity, hypermasculinity, and eurocentrism. Liusuari cites radical architecture from the latter half of the 20th-century, the homoeroticsm of the 1970s-1980s, and the underground rave scene as my paramount influences in their practice. Liusuari has presented work at Brunswick St. Gallery, received the Cultural Visions Grant from RMIT Culture, and recently collaborated with Pink Dot Singapore and Vice Media’s Virtue for the Words of Change campaign.
Luce Nguyễn-Hunt is an emerging artist and curator with a persisting interest in healing personal and community traumas through a predominantly lens-based installation practice. Drawing from their experiences as a Vietnamese, Samoan and Cook Islander person living in so-called Australia, Nguyễn-Hunt seeks to decolonise the self through reimaging and reconstructing the body and systems it exists within. As a fa’afafine (gender-divergent) identifying person, much of their practice is centred around embracing duality and actively resisting the binary systems that Western society enforces. In 2021, Nguyễn-Hunt co-founded ANTHEM ARI, an artist-run initiative dedicated to celebrating the practices of First Nations, diasporic, and LGBTQIA+ identifying creatives of colour in Australia. Given the precarity of the arts industry, they have traversed a number of professional roles as a curator, artsworker and installations technician. Viewed as an extension of their arts practice, their curatorial work hopes to champion emerging creatives who are becoming leaders and active voices, to share their stories and encourage us to share ours.
Ari Tampubolon is an emerging artist working across filmmaking, performance, and writing. Her research interests aesthetically seek to fixate a wandering gaze on the transmutations of pop culture. Thematically, her work is grounded in institutional critique methodology, framing the gallery as a site to excavate the underpinnings of social phenomena. Ari has shown recent works with The Substation, Composite Moving Image Agency, Running Dog Journal, Miscellania, Gertrude Contemporary, and Victoria Together.
Kin Francis is an independent artist exploring queer futurity and disobedience through the various lenses of their work as a creative producer, writer, events organiser and DJ. Over the past decade as an arts worker they have been involved with 30 or so organisations such as Arts Centre Melbourne, Transgender Victoria, Next Wave and Multicultural Arts Victoria. Kin is currently developing music events for queer community members who are neurodiverse and/or Disabled. They are also writing their debut poetry collection that centres on trans hedonism, body autonomy, love, relationship dynamics and pleasure. Kin is a 2019 Australia Council for the Arts Future Leader and their work has been funded by Creative Victoria, the Australia Council for the Arts and Asialink.
Shin is an activist, DJ and community storyteller who is passionate about creating a dialogue around intersectional identities that are often overlooked. Drawing from their lived experience as a neurodivergent trans-masc person of colour in so-called Australia, Shin finds joy in being open about his identity within various community spaces. He carries these intersecting identities with a gentle strength and hopes that he can encourage others to share and be empowered by their own stories.
Event & ticketing details
Dates & Times
|WHEN||21 Jan-12 Feb | Daily 10am-5pm|
|FREE||No ticket required|
400 Flinders St, Melbourne CBDGet directions
Tram35, 70 or 75 to stop 3