Golden Flow of the Merri Yaluk (2015)
2 minutes excerpt of full 9 minutes, 54 seconds
Single-channel High Definition video
16:9, colour, sound
By Léuli Eshraghi and Joe Joe Orangias, featuring Darcy Jones.
The waters of the Merri Yaluk witness rituals that bind young men to each other and the landscape in this video. It is at once a sacred source of life for Wurundjeri people and those who came later through settler colonial foray, and a secluded space where men young and old interact in liminal, queer ways unbeknownst to heteropatriarchal society. The golden swathes of the creek’s waters and comingling of transferable energies between young men coalesce into a fleeting identity in this place, unbound by external pressures to conform socially or assert title over First Nations territory in the marking of space. This video invites the audience to reflect on the unique physical relationship between queers and landscapes, and to consider the possibilities of ephemerally interacting with land to find a haven.
Orangias+Eshraghi have partnered on projects that address issues of gender, sexuality, memory and decolonization. They have exhibited at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston; Gaffa, Sydney; and RM Gallery, Tāmaki Makaurau. Joe Joe Orangias holds an MFA from Tufts University and the Boston Museum School, and Léuli Eshraghi is a PhD candidate at Monash University Art Design + Architecture. In 2014, Orangias realized a public monument honoring LGBTQ2 communities in Galveston, Texas. Eshraghi has exhibited and curated on body sovereignty in Australia and Aotearoa, and published in Writing From Below, Artlink and Open Engagement.
Our projects investigate how LGBTQ2 bodies and communities are connected to places. After locating queer sites, we research Indigenous histories, colonial interventions and local queer rituals. We then develop site-specific video performances and installations to practice alternative ways of interacting with these lands and waters; with the goal to deconstruct heteropatriarchal norms, particularly those brought on by settler colonization. We work towards creating intimate spaces of interaction and relationship, whilst recognizing sovereign Indigenous territories and our presence within them.
The Narrative of Location (Close) curated by Shivanjani Lal
10-21 December 2015, Gaffa Gallery
Ua fuifui fa'atasi, 'ae sa vao 'ese'ese - We have gathered together from different parts of the forest curated by Shivanjani Lal
12-23 November 2015, Gaffa Gallery
Island Time: Galveston Artist Residency - The First Four Years curated by Eric Schnell, director and co-founder of GAR
20 November 2015-14 February 2016, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston
Re-reading the Rainbow curated by Steve Lovett, Senior Lecturer at Te Whare Takiura o Manukau
25 November-13 December 2015, RM Gallery