TarraWarra Museum of Art announces appointment of Léuli Eshrāghi as Curator for TarraWarra Biennial 2023

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TarraWarra Museum of Art announces appointment of Léuli Eshrāghi as Curator for TarraWarra Biennial 2023
Léuli Eshrāghi. Photo: Rhett Hammerton.

HEALESVILLE.- Renowned Sāmoan visual artist, writer, curator and researcher, Dr Léuli Eshrāghi, has been appointed as the curator for TarraWarra Museum of Art’s TarraWarra Biennial 2023, opening in April 2023.

TarraWarra Museum of Art Director, Victoria Lynn, said the appointment of Eshrāghi to curate the TarraWarra Biennial 2023 is a continuance of the Museum’s commitment to ‘art as a world-making activity’.

“At this time of global upheaval, it is timely to appoint a person who provides an intellectual, nuanced and sensitive approach to the relationship between art making, race, knowledge and gender”, Ms Lynn said. “Dr Eshrāghi is a rare combination of artist, curator, writer and academic who will make a unique contribution to the exhibition histories at TarraWarra”.

“Léuli Eshrāghi has built a global profile in curatorial practice and museology in service of First Nations and racialised communities.

“They are highly regarded for their work across the Pacific region, Southeast Asia and North America in Indigenous exhibition histories; language as a field of translation, innovation, anti-colonial and anti-racist experimentation; decolonial and multilingual art museum practices; reparations and repatriation of Ancestral Belongings; best practices in Indigenous arts management; and collaboration in research-creation based on colonial collections.

“Dr Eshrāghi’s appointment to curate TarraWarra Museum of Art’s Biennial 2023 speaks to the Museum’s desire to present Australian art and contemporary issues in a global context,” Ms Lynn said.

Léuli Eshrāghi, who divides their time between Mparntwe (Alice Springs), Australia, and Tiohtià:ke (Montreal), Canada, references their Sāmoan, Persian and Cantonese heritage in work that involves centring Indigenous kin constellations, sensual and spoken languages, and ceremonial-political practices.

Eshrāghi’s art practice involves performance, moving image, writing and installation to engage with Indigenous futures as haunted by ongoing violences that once erased faʻafafine-faʻatane people from kinship and knowledge structures.

Eshrāghi has previously curated projects including Pasapkedjinawong with John G Hampton at MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina, Sāmoan Hxstories, Screens and Intimacies at A Space Gallery, Toronto for imagineNATIVE; Écrans autochtones: temporalité et mouvement with Mylène Guay also within imagineNATIVE; ʻO le ūa na fua mai Manuʻa at UNSW Galleries, Sydney; Ua numi le fau at Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne, and in a trilogy co-curated with Tarah Hogue, Lana Lopesi, Sarah Biscarra Dilley and Freja Carmichael; Transits and Returns at the Vancouver Art Gallery; Layover at Artspace Aotearoa, Auckland, and The Commute at the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane.

“We look forward to Léuli Eshrāghi’s unique vision for the 8th iteration of the TarraWarra Biennial which will undoubtedly break new ground as well as build on TarraWarra’s ongoing commitment to art, place and ideas,” Ms Lynn said.

Established in 2006 as a platform for identifying new contemporary and cutting-edge work, the TarraWarra Biennial has become a major forum for artistic expression in Australia. Each Biennial has developed a distinctive curatorial approach, focusing on a particular set of ideas or themes that are prevalent in contemporary art.

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