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Site School (is cool)

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Image: James Farley

Site School (is cool) is an experimental pedagogical project for site-responsive learning that seeks to redefine understandings of art, its use-value, and its role in a community. Initiated and curated by Lana Nguyen and Sebastian Henry-Jones, the project has been developed in collaboration with local farmers and artists in the Albury-Wodonga region.

Site School (is rule) asks: can the museum have a more sustainable and reciprocal relationship with the cultures from which it collects and is enmeshed within? Where and when does the museum see its limits if we expand its responsibility of care beyond art objects? Can its preservation practices be extended to and repurposed for living processes?

Seeking to be responsive to the socio-political context of the Albury-Wodonga region, including its designation as a humanitarian settlement site, Site School (is plentiful) will facilitate a series of skill-sharing activities at the Community Farm in Wodonga, which supports over 1200 migrants from the global south, predominately from Bhutan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Over five days, local artists and farmers will host workshops spanning meditation, cooking, composting, breadmaking and printmaking, developing relationships across practices and disciplines to foster an embodied, situated, reflective connection with place. Site School (is tool) locates itself parallel to the museum, across the interstate border and into the heat of the day. Here, the politics of place push against standardised timelines, and neat structures are dissolved by the need for flexible, participatory and perceptive approaches to collaboration.

Artists and farmers
Courtney Young
Glennys Briggs
Sonam Yangdon
Ashe
Ganga McNamara
Padma Ayyagari
James Farley

Site School (is cool)
Workshops:
March 12 – 15 2024
Open day:
Saturday 16 March 2024

Bios of curators
Sebastian Henry-Jones’s curatorial approach is led by an interest in DIY thinking and situated in the context of the gentrification of Sydney and Melbourne’s cultural landscapes. Seb is the Curator at West Space, Melbourne.

Lana Nguyen currently practices as an independent curator, producer, and collaborator on projects that stem from the politics of place and collective processes. She is interested in experimental, live, and public art; she has worked across the small to medium contemporary sector. She has recently focused on creating spaces for non-hierarchical learning and context-responsive working methods.

Site School (is cool) is commissioned as part of the curatorial program Parallel Structures (2023-2024), led by Verónica Tello (UNSW Art & Design) and Salote Tawale (Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney) in collaboration with the Murray Art Museum Albury. The exhibition design for Parallel Structures is led by Ying-Lan Dann, RMIT Interior Design, in dialogue with Parallel and the Murray Art Museum Albury. Parallel Structures is the exhibition outcome of the Australian Research Council project Parallel. For more information, please visit https://parallelstructures.art Thanks to the Parallel Advisory Network, Runway Journal, the Australian Research Council, Create NSW, Creative Australia, and the School of Art & Design, University of New South Wales, for their generous support.

Developed for Parallel Structures, Site School (is mule) is a curator-led initiative that will continue to be an iterative, experimental format for collective, site-responsive learning across other locations.

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