Cover image of the review
Installation view: Maissa Alameddine, Act I: Burden, 2021–22, dual-channel video, colour, sound 4 min 32 sec, aspect ratio, 16:9. Photo: Document Photography.


14 May 2022
Pari 10 Apr - 22 May 2022

“Where are you growing your roots? Who are you intertwined with?” writes adrienne maree brown. I’m reminded of these questions when I visit Roots, a group exhibition currently showing at the artist-run initiative Pari in Parramatta (Dharug land). Organised by Pari co-directors Brenton Alexander Smith and Amy Toma, and former director Talitha Hanna, Roots brings together a suite of works by artists who “contemplate ritual and reclamation as a way of grounding oneself and connecting with lineage and identity”.

Installation view: Roots, curated by Brenton Alexander Smith, Amy Toma and Talitha Hanna, Pari, Parramatta. Photo: Document Photography.

Pari is no traditional white cube. A café that became an artist-run initiative in mid-2019, the bones of its former life remain: kitchen counters, sinks and tiles remain visible, and its walls are still decorated with menu-boards and strips of wallpaper showing what looks like a Santorini coastline. Indeed, since its opening Pari has placed a strong emphasis on its ties to the local community, marking its kinship with other spaces in Western Sydney like I.C.E., Parramatta Artists’s Studios and Granville Centre Art Gallery. One of Pari’s aims is to reflect “the social, the political and the deeply personal” via a “program (that) draws out ideas that are particular to our location in Western Sydney on unceded Darug land, and that resonate well beyond the local”. The current exhibition reflects this mission, introducing artists with roots within and beyond the local community.

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