Deathscapes

Entangled Histories: a panel event exploring the art of Julie Gough

Deathscapes
Professor Joseph Pugliese and Dr Julie Gough
Professor Joseph Pugliese and Dr Julie Gough

In his discussion of Dr Julie Gough’s artwork, Professor Joseph Pugliese highlights the significance of her work as evidencing unceded Indigenous sovereignty in the context of the expropriative violence that attended the foundation of the Australian settler-colonial state. Her artwork, he argues, instantiates an important form of truth telling that brings to light Australia’s buried histories of settler violence.

Joseph discusses Julie Gough’s Hunting Ground (Haunted)and Hunting Ground (Pastoral) – two works which graphically bring to light these subsumed histories of settler violence. These two works contest the settler vision of an Arcadian Australian landscape by exposing the bloody violence that this same pastoral vision effaces. Joseph also highlights how the power of Julie Gough’s work lies in its visceral and corporeal embodiment of the historical and archival evidence of settler violence and Indigenous resistance. This results in an affective response to her artwork that enables a more profound level of understanding of the true history of this country.

Joseph suggests that transformative change is only possible through similar forms of truth telling. Julie Gough’s works compel non-indigenous Australians to take ethical responsibility to begin to unlearnthe dominant narratives of Australia’s settler history, to militate for truth telling and to work in alliance with Indigenous people in calling for redress of past and ongoing violences. In this context, he concludes, Julie Gough’s work speaks to a larger national agenda.

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