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Léuli Eshrāghi

Saltwater Sensibilities: Poetry and Movements of the Great Ocean
1–6 August 2022

Léuli-Eshrāghi, Study for AOAULI
Study for AOAULI, 2020. Photo: Stuart Miller

Performance, Theory / Praxis

Either Fortress Hohensalzburg (on site) or online

Teaching language

Maximum number of participants

Participation fee
€ 420.– (reduced € 340.–)

Before and during this course centered on saltwater sensibilities, participants will be immersed in Indigenous poetry and performance art from the Great Ocean. Extracts from recent works will form the basis of our gestural and intellectual inquiry, from literature: Craig Santos Perez, Noʻu Revilla, Dan Taulapapa McMullin, Léuli Eshrāghi and Paul Tavo; and from digital art: Shannon Te Ao, Angela Tiatia, Taloi Havini, Léuli Eshrāghi and Ahilapalapa Rands.

Following several days of discussion, reading, listening and sharing on a shared hearth in a collective learning environment, we will focus attention on orature, creating poetry, genealogical narrative, speculative proclamation, and on relational performance, creating new or renewed ceremony, choreographic gestures, and ritualized space for genders and sexualities that is constructed socially. This emphasis on creation informed by recent works and voices is part of a current of Indigenous creative expression that resists colonial museologies where Ancestral Belongings and inheritances are fixed in time. It does so to avoid using the terms of object or asset with their particular connotations.

Respecting Indigenous cultural and intellectual property principles, this course is imagined as a space promoting the non-cannibalistic consumption of alterity, according to collective learning modes defined by the Sāmoan and Tuvaluan artist and researcher Rosanna Raymond. In this vein, the course charts a humble journey through Indigenous art and ideas of the Great Ocean, which constitutes a third of this planet. Seeking to create our own non-colonial gestures to enact healing, rebalance and reparations, we will analyze and learn from the best practices of artists, writers, and curators who are not usually studied in northern Atlantic contexts.
Léuli Eshrāghi (Sāmoan, Persian, Cantonese) is a visual artist, writer, curator and researcher, who works between Australia and Canada. Ia/He intervenes in display territories to centre indigenous kin constellations, sensual and spoken languages, and ceremonial-political practices. Through performance, moving image, writing and installation, ia/he engages with indigenous futurities as haunted by ongoing militourist and missionary violences that once erased faʻafafine-faʻatama people from kinship and knowledge structures.

Eshrāghi has lectured at gatherings Creative Time, Hawaiʻi Contemporary Art Summit, HI (US), Experimenter Curators’ Hub (IN), March Meeting (AE), Dhaka Art Summit, Pacific Arts Association, and Asia Pacific Triennial, as well as at universities in San Juan, Melbourne, Yogyakarta, Montreal, Honolulu, Auckland and Victoria. Ia/He contributes to growing international critical practice across the Great Ocean and North America through residencies, exhibitions, publications, teaching and rights advocacy.

Solo exhibitions
2021 La fin est toujours le début d’autre chose | The end is where we start from, Quand la nature ressent / Sensing Nature: Momenta Biennale de l’image, Diagonale, Montréal (CA). 2019 tagatanu‘u, Watch This Space, Alice Springs (AU). 2015 Merri Yaluk, Gaffa Gallery, Sydney (AU). ‘O lā ‘āitu lāitiiti, We have always been here, Auckland Pride Festival, Studio One Toi Tū, (AU). 2014 Tagiauē, neospace, Collingwood (AU). 2012 potu aiga, Conduit Arts Initiative, Fitzroy (AU).

Group exhibitions
2022 Au fil des îles, archipels, Centre d’exposition de l’Université de Montréal, Montréal. Embodied Knowledge: Queensland Contemporary Art, Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane (CA). 4+3=1: THERE ARE STORIES TO BE FORGED FOR COMMON DENOMINATORS TO COME FORTH AND SOCIAL BALANCE TO BE RESTORED, SAVVY Contemporary, Berlin. A Clearing in the Forest, Tate Modern, London. Trilogie de cendre, FRAC Pays de la Loire, Nantes (FR). A Tangled Bank, Penrith Regional Gallery, Penrith (GB). 2021 Deadly Decade, Blak Dot Gallery, Melbourne (AU). Projections: Léuli Eshrāghi and Jessica Karuhanga, Queer City Cinema / Dunlop Art Gallery, Regina (CA). TAEAO, commission,, online. Tender gestures, loud voices, Footscray Community Arts Centre, Melbourne. FIELD NOTES, Sauerbier House, Noarlunga (AU). 2020 The body as collective desire | Le corps comme désir collectif, 52 Actions, Artspace Sydney/online. Potu faitautusi: o gagana e, ia uluulumamau! Be Courageous, Language Teachers! Reading Room, Columbus Printed Arts Center, Columbus, OH (US). Un/spoken screening program, Gallery 1C03, Plug In ICA, Video Pool Media Arts Centre + VUCAVU, Winnipeg/online (CA). AOAULI, ACCA Open commission, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne/online. Fluidity, Incinerator Gallery, Melbourne/online. TAFA (((O))) ATA, MUMA ONLINE commission, Monash University Museum of Art, online. NIRIN: 22nd Biennale of Sydney, various venues, Sydney/online. Te Whāinga: A Culture Lab on Civility, Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center and Auckland Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira, Silo Park, Auckland (AU). 2019 Waterways: Asian Indigenous Relations in Contemporary Art curated by Ethnocultural Art Histories Research Group and Indigenous Art Research Group, Concordia University, Montréal. For Whom Masculinities Matter, Never Apart, Montréal. Sharjah Biennial 14: Leaving the Echo Chamber – Journey Beyond the Arrow, Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah (UAE). Seeing Voices, NETS + Monash University Museum of Art, regional tour to Bathurst Regional Gallery, Bathurst (AU). 2018 The Commute, The IMA Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane (AU). 2015 Narrative of Location, Seventh Gallery; Gaffa Gallery, Sydney.

Curatorial projects
2023 9th TarraWarra Biennial of Australian Art: Ua usiusi faʻavaʻasavili, TarraWarra Museum of Art, Healesville (AU). 2021Pasapkedjinawong with John G Hampton, MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina (CA). Sāmoan Hxstories, Screens and Intimacies II, imagineNATIVE + A Space Gallery, Toronto (CA). 2020 Écrans autochtones: temporalité et mouvement with Mylène Guay, imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, Toronto. ʻO le ūa na fua mai Manuʻa, University of New South Wales Galleries, Sydney. 2019 Transits & Returns with Freja Carmichael, Lana Lopesi, Sarah Biscarra Dilley, Tarah Hogue, Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver (CA). Layover with Freja Carmichael, Lana Lopesi, Sarah Biscarra Dilley, Tarah Hogue, Artspace Aotearoa, Auckland (AU). 2018 The Commute with Freja Carmichael, Lana Lopesi, Sarah Biscarra Dilley, Tarah Hogue, Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane (AU). 2017 Pōuliuli (Faitautusi ma Fāʻaliga), Yirramboi First Nations Arts Festival, West Space, Melbourne, and Ala Moana Center, Honolulu, HI (US). 2016 Ua numi le fau, Next Wave Festival, Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne.
Photo: Rhett Hammerton