Cover image of the review
Installation view of Zoë Bastin, Bridget Griffiths, Kari Lee McInneny-McRae, Josephine Mead, Jazz Money and Katie Paine, *Relics of Survival*, 2019, Bus Projects, Melbourne. Photo: Christo Crocker

Relics of Survival

17 Aug 2019
Bus Projects 6 Aug - 30 Aug 2019

Bus Projects' current exhibition Relics of Survival evokes private emotions and experiences, and situates them in the public realm. Curated by artists Zoë Bastin and Kari Lee McInneny-McRae, Relics of Survival makes tangible the intangible so that it cannot be dismissed or ignored. In Bastin's own words: “I wonder what it means to make a record of existence, to push up against the systems we exist within that silenced our voices, that have limited our power”.

Featuring Bastin and McInneny-McRae, alongside Josephine Mead, Jazz Money, Bridget Griffiths and Katie Paine, Relics of Survival is a shrine to lived experience. The works installed in the front gallery of Bus are remnants of the ways these six people process and understand their existence. The deeply personal nature of these works demand both attention and reverence. They firmly inscribe in the gallery space and the world: “This is me, I am here”.

Central to the significance of these relics are the processes by which they come into being. These are the remains of gestures made and actions taken in order to work through and overcome grief. Josephine Mead's “to utter aloud or render in speech”, presents us with a box made of Victorian ash and Tasmanian oak, with the work's title engraved on its top. This box houses 11.54 minutes of Mead's internal processing, and an attached set of headphones allows us to interlope. She speaks of embodied experience, the way the body holds ancestral trauma, and of the capacity for transformation. Mead acknowledges her pain, considers it deeply and then works to rebuild.

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