un Projects is based on the unceded sovereign land and waters of the Wurundjeri and Boon Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation; we pay our respects to their Elders, past, present and emerging.
un Projects
Jack Ball, Magic marker 8, 2023, inkjet print on rag, aluminium pins, acrylic paint, 80 x 110 cm. Image courtesy the artist and sweet pea. (Cropped)

Launching at West Space, 4-6pm Saturday 16 December.

un Magazine 17.2 – RETURN

un Magazine 17.2: RETURN, guest edited by Bahar Sayed and Gemma Weston.

Contributors: Bianca Acimovic & Ruby Djikarra Alderton, Hana Pera Aoake, Anjelica Angwin & Eugene Hawkins, Aaqila, Jack Ball, Robert Cook & Benjamin Forster, Corinna Berndt, Marguerite Carson, Suzanne Claridge, d duan, Wendy Hubert, Tahmina Maskinyar, Katie Paine, Tui Raven, daniel ward, Justine Youssef.

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un Magazine 17.1

un Magazine 17.1, RESIST, guest edited by Bahar Sayed and Gemma Weston.

Issue 17.1 features contributions from Aisyah Aaqil Sumito & Mossy 333, Elyas Alavi, Hana Pera Aoake, Mayma Awaida, Timmah Ball, Andy Butler, Marguerite Carson, Sam Elkin, HEAVY DUTY, Marnie Badham & Kelly Hussey-Smith & Nina Mulhall, Hannan Jones & Shamica Ruddock, Joana Partyka, Leila el Rayes, Jack Augustine Irvine Mitchell & Eliki Reade, Emily Morel & Amy Stuart, Olga Svyatova, Rebecca Suares-Jury, Megan Tan, and Ane Tonga.

un Magazine call-out for proposals
18.3: Sabaar and Other Counter Archives and 18.4: Good Grief

Proposals are due by midnight AEDT Sunday 16 June 2024
Late or incomplete submissions may not be considered. 

un Projects is excited to announce our first open call of the year for un Magazine contributions. This year for our 20th anniversary, un Magazine is shaking up our format and hosting four different guest editors to produce four separate thematic issues across 2024 – starting with 18.1 guest edited by Tara Heffernan and 18.2 guest edited by Joel Sherwood Spring, and following with 18.3 guest edited by Nadia Refaei and 18.4 by Olivia Koh.

We invite critical essays, opinion pieces, reviews, artist pages, artworks, and short reflections from arts writers, artists, and academics. An Australian focus is encouraged. Word length negotiable. Contributor fees are set roughly between $200 and $900, depending on length. If your application is successful you will have around 4-6 weeks turn around to produce your final contribution for publication.

CALL OUT FOR:

un Magazine 18.3: Sabaar and Other Counter Archives guest edited by Nadia Refaei

Archival practices can be unseen, habitual and organic processes. Think of the kitchen table, where we prepare, serve and gather to eat foods that hold stories about culture, the movement of people, plants, economy, trade, war. Think of the sabaar (cacti) that once grew along the borders of Palestinian villages that now are flattened. Impossible to remove, the sabaar continues to reappear and grow along those same lines, demarcating where those villages stood.

Non-textual records, the personal, oral, material and intangible, are continuously logging information about our lives, communities and histories. 18.3 Sabaar and Other Counter Archives considers the artist and non-artist, human and non-human, as recorders of history contributing to alternative archives that expand our understanding of the past and the present. Also called ‘shadow’, ‘counter’ or even ‘rogue’ archives, the alternative archive exists as a space of subversive historical preservation. Focusing on displaced histories from nineteenth century slavery plantations in North America, historian and educator Whitney Nell Stewart recognises the limits of institutional archives and talks about the role of material culture – ‘both the built environment and wider landscape can be examined as material culture…if we seek out these alternative archives, our source base and thus our understanding of the past expands’.


Artistic practice as it both shapes and references alternative archives and material culture presents potentials for moving beyond Western, colonial and hierarchical modes of knowing and history-keeping – particularly for communities consistently oppressed. In An Archival Impulse (2004), art critic and historian Hal Foster claims that ‘this particular impulse of the artist to archive our time seeks to make historical information, often lost or displaced, physically present.’

Prompts:

  • What does it mean for an archive to be a place to store, to file, to log, to contain? What do alternative archives look like?
  • Do artists have a particular impulse to archive? Are we all archivers? How does artistic practice draw attention to this process?
  • What does the kinds of historical evidence we use, and how we use it, tell us about how we construct histories?
  • What does it mean to reflect on or present alternative archives on the page? Can these alternative ways of knowing retain their dynamism within a conventional framework such as a publication?

We are seeking contributions in the form of: essays, artworks and artist pages, critiques, essays, artist profiles, interviews, historical research, and other writing that emerges from artistic practice. Non-textual responses are also welcome. Innovation encouraged.

– 18.3 Nadia Refaei

CALL OUT FOR:

un Magazine 18.4: Good Grief guest edited by Olivia Koh

In ‘Shaad’s clock – wakatna (our time)’ Zainab Hikmet hand-paints numbers in Arabic lettering on a circular clock’s face as she remembers them. Hikmet, born in Baghdad shortly after the Gulf War and now based in Naarm/Melbourne, re-presents a memory of and connection to her homeland and culture. Her subjectivity is figuratively and symbolically inscribed onto this object that marks the present and indicates both the past and the future.

Recently Hikmet made limited editions of this work for sale to encourage donations for a mutual aid fundraiser for Palestinian women and children forced to flee Gaza to seek refuge in Australia. Hikmet’s reproductions echo the circumstances of the original artwork’s making: forced displacement and exile, the movement of bodies across borders and homelands.

‘Shaad’s clock – wakatna (our time)’ is adjacent to this issue’s theme: good grief. un Magazine issue 18.4: good grief comes at a time where many artists and arts workers ask themselves: what is the use of making art in a time of such great loss? 18.4 good grief calls for contributions that not only detail loss, but also consider what can be made from what remains.

This idea follows from the anthology Loss: The Politics of Mourning edited by David Eng and David Kazanjian (2001), which explores how discourse can be shifted to consider loss as a primary relation that underpins sociality, politics, and aesthetics. In this framework, 18.4 good grief can be read as a disavowal of grief’s historically negative qualities: where ‘good’ and ‘grief’ are intrinsically connective and creative.

Prompts:

  • Following from un Magazine’s 18.2: After Care ed. by Joel Sherwood Spring, what comes after grief? The losses of the twentieth and twenty-first century are latent with temporal, imaginative, reconstructive possibilities, even for those for whom the recovery of something lost, is impossible.
  • How can grief be recovered from the sequestered realms of psychological and psychoanalytic thought and practice? How is grief good? How is grief (and its relatives: loss, mourning, melancholia, sadness, trauma, depression, haunting) productive, in the sense that grief fosters political and social potentialities?
  • How is grief politically and ethically misappropriated over time? Can an attention to grief in art-making disrupt historical revisionism?

– 18.4 Olivia Koh

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un Extended – un Projects online platform for arts writing, podcasts, and events.

Everybody Everywhere All at Once: reflecting on the 60th Venice Biennale
by Alice Castello & Is Randell

‘As I wax and wane in and out of this experience of being an Australian Biennale delegate in Venice surrounded by foreigners, kith and, art world kin, I think about our ability to make meaning in our togetherness and what it means to be held by these raw encounters with artists’ offerings. Indigenous modes of thinking and being in solidarity with each other frames the experiences of Venice.’

Two Australian Venice Biennale delegates, Alice Castello & Is Randell, reflect on the 60th Venice Biennale, what it means to be ‘foreign’, Archie Moore’s history Golden Lion win, and Palestinian resistance and activism.

Read more…

Documentation of MAGNETIC_EXCURSION_Soft Edges Barkandji Country, August 2018, Photo by Clare Britton.

Magnetic Topographies: a conversation with Therese Keogh, Kenzee Patterson & Clare Britton

‘For Magnetic Topographies, a social practice becomes a place-based practice becomes a compost made up of new friendships and knowledge. A practice that is playfully unassuming yet deeply anti-institutional: meet your friends, go for a walk, see what happens.’

For her first un Extended editor-in-residence piece, Sofia Sid Akhmed, interviews Magnetic Topographies (Therese Keogh, Kenzee Patterson & Clare Britton).

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Exhibition view of Breathing and Chaos, 2024 at Cache.

Breathing and Chaos by Margarita Kontev

‘The paintings turn from liquid to gas, and back again. Akin to von Bingen’s ‘Voice of the Living Light’, combating the lume isn’t in Clara’s best interest. In fact, she holds it close to her chest.’

Margarita Kontev writes a review for un Extended: Breathing and Chaos an exhibition by Clara Joyce at Cache, Melbourne.

This is the first piece commissioned and edited by one of our 2024 un Extended Editors-in-Residents, Ella Howells

Read more…

Archivo Entusiasta, curated by Syndell Razo, 2023-24. Image courtesy of Grupo Ascencio.

Fire Me, Paul – Diego Ramírez

‘Two weeks had suddenly passed and I was also late for the extension, Paul. I was busy attending a psychic expo with my partner, where I bought Uruguayan amethyst, Paul. Time is running out once again, so let me tell you about Grupo Ascencio, located in the city of Guadalajara, Mexico, Paul.’

For his last contribution, outgoing un Editor-in-Residence Diego Ramírez tests the editors, extends deadlines and reflects on his recent time visiting and working in artist-run spaces in
Guadalajara, Mexico.

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Roberta Joy Rich: The Purple Shall Govern, installation view, Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (PICA), 2023, image © the artist, photo: Dan McCabe.

Archival / Activism – Timmah Ball

‘Purple is splashed across the entrance of PICA and the windows in the West End Gallery are coated with a purple glaze which permeates the space. This imbues the building with the energy of protest that movingly reflects the current gathering of bodies that take to the streets filling urban environments with colour: this time, watermelon.’

Timmah Ball reflects on Roberta Joy Rich’s recent exhibition The Purple Shall Govern showing last year at PICA.

Read more…

Image courtesy the author.

Inter-Review with the artists in their office-cum-studio-cum-gallery – Carmen-Sibha Keiso

‘It is not common to be surprised by the artistic endeavours of a peer, as you can’t avoid looking into things too intimately or ask questions too domestically; where most decisions are accepted as mere tokens or trials in experimentation. Looking at an object, totally reliant on the natural progressions of assemblage and my prefixed trust of the artist’s personal taste; I have no choice but to passively accept their motives.’

Outgoing un Extended Editor-in-Residence Carmen-Sibha Keiso inter-reviews Hana Earles and Anabel Robinson at their studio ‘Dream Gallery’ in Pakenham.

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John Nixon—Four Decades, Five Hundred Prints, installation view, Geelong Gallery 2023, Photographer: Andrew Curtis.

Four Decades, Five Hundred Prints – Giles Fielke

‘Coupled with his practical, “non-objective” philosophy of engaging commonly available “everyday” materials like newspaper; cardboard; hessian; industrial-grade timbers; Perspex; and housepaint; the set of works on display — many for the first time — at the Geelong Gallery, are further constrained by the typical and recognisable artistic vocabulary he set out consistently across his career. In this way Nixon might be understood an antipodean Ellsworth Kelly, a regional Piet Mondrian.’

Giles Fielke delves into a showing of work by the late John Nixon at Geelong Gallery, guided by seven watchwords: ‘Matrix’, ‘Potato’, ‘Orange’, ‘Waste Not Want Not’, ‘Frottage’, ‘Montage’, ‘The Cross’.

Read more…

Image courtesy the artist.

Alex Hobba – Cockfighter’s Ghost – Tom Campbell

Cockfighter’s Ghost is an ambitious presentation, a successful emulation of the documentary form, and the artist injects her trademark sense of humour into her worldbuilding. ‘

Tom Campbell reviews Alex Hobba’s Cockfighter’s Ghost, which showed at BLINDSIDE earlier this year.

This text was commissioned through the Emerging Writers’ Program – an annual collaborative projects from KINGS and un Projects, that supports critical arts wrting, fiction, poetry, experimental, cross-genre and digital text forms.

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Photography by Mischa Wang. Featuring a performance by Rosie Isaac titled ‘Various Blues’.

Language Ecologies – Ren Jiang, Wen-Juenn Lee, Madison Pawle

‘We attempted to coordinate an arriving-together to ACCA but we failed and instead met on the seats inside, gossiping over instant coffee and lemon ginger tea as we waited for Language Ecologies to begin.’

In the lead up to un Projects’ 20 year anniversary, we hosted Language Ecologies, a day of panel discussions, readings, and performances that explored the multiple ways language and writing emerges from, and shapes, artistic practice. Situated in James Nguyen’s exhibition ‘Open Glossary’ at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Language Ecologies fostered discussions on publishing, storytelling, self-determination, togetherness, entanglement, digital networks, and language materiality.

For un Extended, we asked three attendees — Ren Jiang, Wen-Juenn Lee, Madison Pawle — to write a response to Language Ecologies.

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Still from Carmen-Sibha Keiso and Emily Hanson, Emily Cardboard; Tendencies in Female Behavior, 2020

Emily Cardboard: Tendencies in Female Behavior – Joanna Pope

‘Keiso described their long walks together as exercises in autistic-girly-psychogeography. As a female autist, I find their solemn, eventless traipsing through the city in strange sexy-ugly garb almost joyous, a perfect study in autistic girl companionship and all its drama-free intensity.’

Joanna Pope visits Emily Cardboard; Tendencies in Female Behavior, a recent exhibition at Hyacinth by Carmen-Sibha Keiso and Emily Hanson, featuring their short film of the same name. Commissioned by Carmen-Sibha Keiso, un Extended Editor-in-Residence.

Read more…

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un Projects is based on the unceded sovereign land and waters of the Wurundjeri and Boon Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation; we pay our respects to their Elders, past, present and emerging.