(Santiago Sierra, Darren Siwes and James Tylor)

1 - 24 July 2020


The video Remain was made in collaboration with several refugees who remain on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea, following the closure of the Manus Regional Processing Centre, an Australian immigration offshore detention facility, on the 31 October 2017. In their own words, the men tell their stories of their journey to Manus Island, speaking of their experiences in detention and recount the circumstances of the deaths of their fellow detainees through violence, illness or accident.

To compliment Hoda’s video work we have two of Santiago Sierra’s ‘Veterans of War’ works, a strong statement on the futility of conflict; Darren Siwes twin portraits ‘Album Pellis Cor Meum’ and ‘Brunellis Pellis Cor Meum’ depicting a young woman in 50s clothing as a reflection on his mother’s experience as part of the stolen generation; finally James Tylor’s images of contested sites of Aboriginal massacres.

Hoda Afshar was born in Tehran, Iran (1983), and is now based in Melbourne, Australia. She completed a Bachelor degree in Fine Art– Photography in Tehran, and her PhD thesis in Creative Arts at Curtin University. Hoda began her career as a documentary photographer in Iran in 2005, and since 2007 she has been living in Australia where she practices as a visual artist and also lectures in photography and fine art. Hoda is represented by Milani Gallery in Brisbane, Australia.

Through her art practice, Hoda explores the nature and possibilities of documentary image-making. Working across photography and moving-image, she considers the representation of gender, marginality and displacement. In her work, she employs processes that disrupt traditional image-making practices, play with the presentation of imagery, or merge aspects of conceptual, staged and documentary photography.

Hoda’s work has been widely exhibited both locally and internationally and published online and in print. Her work is also part of numerous private and public collections including the National Gallery of Victoria, UQ Art Museum, MUMA Collection, Murdoch University Art Collection, Art Gallery of Western Australia and Monash Gallery of Art. Throughout her career, Hoda has been shortlisted for many prestigious art awards, and in 2015 she won Australia’s National Photographic Portrait Prize and in 2018 won Bowness Photography Prize. She was also selected as one of the top eight young Australian artists to exhibit at Primavera 2018 at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney. Hoda is a member of ‘Eleven’, a new collective of contemporary Muslim Australian artists, curators and writers whose aim is to disrupt the current politics of representation and hegemonic discourses.


Santiago Sierra was born in Madrid, Spain in 1966. He studied Visual Arts in Mexico City, Madrid and Hamburg. 

Since the mid-nineties Sierra has realised a large number of projects including collaborations with institutions such as Magasin3 Stockholm Konsthall (2009), Kestnergesellschaft Hannover (2005) and Kunsthaus Bregenz (2004). Since 2010, Sierra’s project has traversed the world, commissioning the construction of giant letters from materials of local importance, and then publicly and dramatically destroying them. Santiago’s work Destroyed Word was recently presented by GAGPROJECTS for the 2012 Melbourne Festival  - an epic visual arts project spanning two years and ten countries – ending its trail of destruction in Melbourne, with a towering typographic inferno. Santiago currently lives and works in Madrid, Spain.


The influence of Darren Siwes' art continues to hinge around conflicting cultural hierarchies and class delineations in the context of place and identity. Siwes sees his work residing somewhere between truth and  hypothetical, between reality and the imaginary and describes his work as 'Hypothetical Realism' where life in the real and life in the ‘what if’ can be intertwined. Within this context Siwes embellishes the truth by blurring the boundaries between opposing poles, to distort truth from untruths and to stir the comfortable in with the uncomfortable.

“To date, the artist’s signature style has been that of physically inscribing himself into the landscape as a ghostly or real Indigenous presence, and in moving beyond this to the landscape of the mind, the imaginary, Siwes is charting new territory. He is also moving into the private sphere and, as dramaturge rather than subject, explores restrictive bourgeois ideas of colour. Ideas many prefer to keep behind closed doors.”

(excerpt from Mum, I want to be Brown by Catherine Speck, 2006)

James Tylor (Possum) was born in Mildura, Victoria. He spent his childhood in Menindee in far west New South Wales, and then moved to Kununurra and Derby in the Kimberley region of Western Australia in his adolescent years. From 2003 to 2008, James trained and worked as a carpenter in Australia and Denmark. In 2011 he completed a bachelor of Visual Arts (Photography) at the South Australian School of Art in Adelaide and in 2012 he completed Honours in Fine Arts (Photography) at the Tasmanian School of Art in Hobart. He returned to Adelaide in 2013 and completed a Masters in Visual Art (Photography) at the South Australian School of Art. James currently lives and works in Adelaide.

James’ artistic practice examines concepts around cultural identity in Australian contemporary society and social history. He explores Australian cultural representations through his multi-cultural heritage, which comprises Nunga (Kaurna), Māori (Te Arawa) and European (English, Scottish, Irish, Dutch, Iberian and Norwegian) Australian ancestry. James’ work focuses largely on the 19th century history of Australia and its continual effect on present day issues surrounding cultural identity in Australia.

James’ artistic practice specialises in experimental and historical photographic processes. He uses a hybrid of analogue and digital photographic techniques to create contemporary artworks that reference Australian society and history. The processes he employs are the physical manipulation of digital photographic printing, such as the manual hand-colouring of digital prints or the application of physical interventions to the surfaces of digital prints. James also uses the historical 19th century photographic process of the Becquerel Daguerreotype with the aid of modern technology to create new and contemporary Daguerreotypes. Photography was historically used to document Aboriginal culture and the European colonisation of Australia. James is interested in these unique photographic processes to re-contextualise the representation of Australian society and history