Katrina Sedgwick is the Director and CEO of the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI), a major national cultural institution located at Melbourne’s iconic Federation Square. Previously, she has been the head of arts for ABC TV and ABC Arts online, and the founding director and CEO of the Adelaide Film Festival.
Angela Tiatia: The Dark Current
Angela Tiatia's new single-channel video, The Dark Current, opens with a close-up shot of a pink linen dress embroidered with hibiscus flowers. While dark currents of water lap gently in the background, the camera slowly pans across the wearer's body to reveal a glamorous woman.
Tiatia describes this opening scene as an allegory of the promise that lured her mother's generation to migrate from the Pacific Islands to the West in the 1960s. The image indeed expresses an almost unimaginable beauty, with the pearl acting as the tipping point that reaches beyond perfection into fantasy.
The Dark Current continues Tiatia's ongoing interest in 'How representation of Pasifika females can change depending on who is behind the camera." While Tiatia's practice has long succeeded in 'exploding' such racist imagery, The Dark Current takes a new direction in unravelling these complex visual and racial politics. It seduces the viewer with its highly polished beauty but reveals the artifice of such idealised fantasy. With the artist behind the camera, rather than in front of it, the film is also a statement of self-determination.
Extract from the introduction by Laura Castagnini in Angela Tiatia: The Dark Current catalogue published by ACMI.
Over the past decade, Angela Tiatia has emerged as one of Australia’s leading artists working in moving image. Her examinations of contemporary culture draw attention to the politics of representation, gender and new forms of colonialism. Her critiques are delivered through strikingly beautiful images that captivate an audience while encouraging us to question the ongoing commodification of bodies and places.
The Dark Current represents a major development in Tiatia’s practice. For the first time, the artist combines live-action filmed content with animation created using software more commonly used in the development of videogames. Editing these different types of content to create a singular narrative has pushed her practice into new territory. The resulting work reflects the way in which we no longer think of a dualism between the 'real' and the 'virtual', or the 'live' and 'digital' while delving deeper into the artist's connection to her matrilineage and Sāmoan culture.
The Dark Current is the final in a decade-long series of $100,000 Ian Potter Moving Image Commissions (IPMIC) for new moving image works by Australian artists. It has been an honour for ACMI to have worked in partnership with The Ian Potter Cultural Trust on this important commissioning program. Tiatia's exceptional work demonstrates the value of such commissions, and we are delighted to premiere the work at ACMI.
Director & CEO, ACMI
The Dark Current catalogue
The catalogue for The Dark Current by Angela Tiatia has now been published by ACMI. Read more
Media Release: World Premiere: The Dark Current
The world premiere of new video work from celebrated contemporary artist Angela Tiatia is opening at ACMI this September.
Artshub interview with Angela Tiatia
Angela Tiatia on gaming, diversity and winning the Ian Potter Moving Image Commission
Artshub speaks with New Zealand-Australian artist Angela Tiatia about the ideas driving her new work for IPMIC. Read more
Final Ian Potter Moving Image Commission awarded
Angela Tiatia awarded IPMIC 2022
The final in a decade-long series of $100,000 Ian Potter Moving Image Commissions (IPMIC) for new moving image works by Australian artists, has been awarded to Sydney-based paint, sculpture, video installation, and performance artist Angela Tiatia.
Tiatia has been awarded the prize from a field of impressive candidates vying for the prestigious visual art commission – an initiative of The Ian Potter Cultural Trust (IPCT) and ACMI. The commission will make possible Tiatia’s new video work, The Dark Current, which will have its world premiere at ACMI in 2023 and enter the ACMI Collection.
The IPMIC Judging Panel comprises experts including curators, visual artists, filmmakers and producers.
Stephen is a creative director and commissioning producer focussing on interdisciplinary and international collaborations. He is founding Director of Asia TOPA: Asia-Pacific Triennial of Performing Arts. He was appointed inaugural Chair of Australia Council’s New Media Arts Fund.
Santilla Chingaipe is a journalist and filmmaker whose work explores migration, cultural identities and politics. Chingaipe is a regular contributor to The Saturday Paper and serves as a member of the Federal Government’s Advisory Group on Australia-Africa Relations (AGAAR).
She was recently recognised at the United Nations as one of the most influential people of African descent in the world.
Craig is an accomplished financier and businessman, now dedicated to contributing to the community sector. He spent 25 years working in a variety of roles in the Australian financial services sector. An experienced business analyst and successful manager, his professional strengths lie in research innovation, industry analysis, technical expertise and strong communication skills. Craig has also been an effective mentor to many young professionals throughout his career. In his current role as CEO of the Ian Potter Cultural Trust and The Ian Potter Foundation, he is greatly enjoying working closely with the arts sector to facilitate new opportunities for artists and arts workers.
Erica Green is founding director of the Anne & Gordon Samstag Museum of Art, established in 2007 at the University of South Australia, Adelaide. As director of the Samstag Museum of Art, she is responsible for commissioning and developing the Museum’s exhibitions and public programs, including the biennial moving image commissions with the Adelaide Film Festival since 2009.
Hannah Presley is currently curator of Indigenous art, National Gallery of Victoria. Presley was the inaugural Yalingwa curator at Australian Centre for Contemporary Art and was First Nations Assistant Curator for Tracey Moffatt at the 57th Venice Biennale, working alongside curator, Natalie King.
Special Advisor to the Judging Panel
Lady [Primrose] Potter AC is a Trustee of The Ian Potter Cultural Trust. She is a passionate supporter of the Arts and has held a long list of offices with major arts institutions, including Patron of the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Director of The Ian Potter Museum of Art at Melbourne University, Honorary Life Member of the National Gallery Victoria and was Founding Benefactor of the Museum of Contemporary Art. Lady Potter is also patron and an active member of several leading performing arts companies and community welfare organisations.
Daniel von Sturmer's practice involves a range of media and approaches including video, photography and installation. In 2007 he represented Australia at the 52nd Venice Biennale. He has also exhibited at numerous public venues including the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne; Auckland Art Gallery, New Zealand; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; The Gothenburg Museum of Art, Sweden; and the Hamburger Bahnhoff Museum, Berlin. He is Associate Dean (Education) at Monash Art, Design and Architecture.