Introducing the Miranda Must Go campaign

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At Hanging Rock a myth of vanishing white schoolgirls is obsessively retold while the actual removal and displacement of Aboriginal people and culture is actively ignored.

Hanging Rock is effectively haunted by a convenient fiction rather than an uncomfortable fact.

In response, artist and researcher Amy Spiers has initiated the “Miranda Must Go” campaign. Inspired by decolonial and anti-racism campaigns, such as Rhodes Must Fall, the campaign seeks to challenge the habitual retelling of the Picnic at Hanging Rock story at Hanging Rock. The goal of removing pervasive associations to Joan Lindsay’s novel, and its main character Miranda, is to prompt questions and public debate about the dominant culture’s obsession with fictional white vanishing and direct attention to the real Aboriginal losses and traumas at Hanging Rock.

This year is the 50th Anniversary of Picnic at Hanging Rock’s publication so this campaign is timely.

Over the coming weeks Amy, with the help of supporters, community groups and local people who live around Hanging Rock, will roll out the Miranda Must Go campaign. We will distribute posters and leaflets throughout the region, take out ads promoting the campaign in local newspapers and run an action at Hanging Rock on 14 February (Valentine’s Day is the day the schoolgirls go missing in Lindsay’s novel) to bring attention to the campaign’s concerns.

We are inviting people support the campaign and help ensure it gains visibility and captures the public imagination.

For more information about the campaign go to: www.mirandamustgo.info

How you can help:

Show your support – give a donation to help fund the public outcomes of this campaign. Rewards include Miranda Must Go t-shirts, posters and signs: https://www.gofundme.com/mirandamustgo

Save the date – take your valentine to a Miranda Must Go event at Hanging Rock on Tuesday 14 February 2017. More details to come.

Connect – Join the campaign on Facebook (www.facebook.com/mirandamustgo) or Twitter (https://twitter.com/mirandamustgo) or subscribe to our newsletter (http://www.mirandamustgo.info/newsletter/) to stay informed about the campaign and associated events.

Share – Tell your friends, particularly friends who live around Hanging Rock, about the Miranda Must Go campaign. Use the hashtag #MirandaMustGo when sharing the campaign on social media.


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New work in Borders, Barriers, Walls exhibition

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Catherine and I will present a new performance work, The Least of the Doorkeepers (It is Possible but Not at the Moment), as part of the exhibition Borders, Barriers, Walls, curated by Francis E. Parker at the Monash University Museum of Art.

The Least of the Doorkeepers is a performance in which razor wire fences block and reroute the movement of gallery visitors in a series of choreographed patterns. The performance will take place during the opening event for Borders, Barriers, Walls on Wednesday 4 May 2016, 6-8pm. It will then continue for the duration of the exhibition, from 30 April until 2 July, 2016.

Catherine and I will also be part of a public panel discussion about the exhibition’s themes on Wednesday 18 May, 6.00-7.30pm. Together with Associate Professor Leanne Weber, co-director of the Border Crossing Observatory, and curator Francis E. Parker, the panel will discuss how contested, complex walls and barriers shape the world, producing situations of separation, isolation or thwarted passage across the globe. Details about the panel discussion may be found here.

Borders, Barriers, Walls is a group show with Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Allora & Calzadilla, Karen Black, Gunter Christmann, Jin Chul Kyu, Guan Wei, Shilpa Gupta, Khaled Hourani, Raafat Ishak, Isaac Julien, Sonia Leber & David Chesworth, Kai Löffelbein, Ricky Maynard, Carlos Motta, Tony Schwensen, Amy Spiers & Catherine Ryan, Danae Stratou and Judy Watson.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue featuring commissioned essays by Professor Gillian Triggs, President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, and Yanis Varoufakis, founding member of the Democracy in Europe Movement 2025 and former Greek finance minister, along with a curatorial overview by Francis E. Parker.

Detailed information about Borders, Barriers, Walls may be found here.

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Counter-histories, Defacement & Carbonara

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I have been invited to guest-program the upcoming Centre for Everything. In a panel discussion and workshop, explore how national monuments and icons construct collective memories. Together we will consider ways of presenting counter-histories.

A discussion between researcher Clare Land and artist Amy Spiers will examine the ways artists and activists create debates about contested histories. We will take as our starting point the acts of civil disobedience by the Black Lives Matter movement, such as tagging and defacing confederate monuments in the US. We will consider them alongside local interventions such as the Boundless Street actions in Brisbane and the recent cutting of the chain fence on Uluru. We will also discuss Melbourne’s upcoming monument, Standing by Tunnerminnerwait and Maulboyheenner, which aims to bring attention to Australia’s forgotten frontier wars.

Urgent messages have been hastily inscribed on Australian monuments and infrastructure in response to war, dispossession and dark pasts. In this practical workshop, street artist Chris Honig will demonstrate some basics in stencilling, pasting-up, tagging and graffiti. Learn how to avoid detection and limit overspray. Drawing on these skills, participants will be invited to discuss ways to deface, decolonise and dispute national icons and monuments.

Did you know that this meaty, eggy, cheesy dish can be made vegan? Committed to making this popular dish available to all, Amy will scour the internet for a delicious substitute to the traditional version. If you have a good recipe feel free to email it through!

*Conventional meaty option and gluten free options also available.

5-8pm Sunday April 3, 2016
Cromwell Island, 136A Cromwell St, Collingwood
$15 bookings essential, places limited

Get tickets here: www.acentreforeverything.com/program/2016/3/1/counter-histories-defacement-spaghetti

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Hanging Rock presentation and publication launch

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Please join me and the Macedon Ranges Writers Group for a publication launch and short presentation on Saturday 9th May 2015 at Newham Mechanics Institute, Newham. All are welcome. For further details see flyer below:

Haunted Rock Flyer

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The immaterial?

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I’m convening a panel discussion, with artists Gabrielle de Vietri and Jessie Bullivant, on “The immaterial? performance and participation in recent Australian contemporary art” tonight, 5.30-7.30pm. It’s at Lionel’s Bar on the VCA campus. Details below:



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Performance Studies Melbourne April Event

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Catherine Ryan and I are presenting a talk on our works Nothing To See Here (Dispersal) and Closed to the Public (protecting space) for Performing Studies Melbourne. See details in the flyer below:

PSM Presenters April-v2

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Incinerator Art Award

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My work Wait here until called has been shortlisted for the Incinerator Art Award dedicated to “art for social change”. The exhibition is on at the Incinerator Gallery, 180 Holmes Road, Moonee Ponds from 17 October to 30 November 2014. Further details are below:


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New work at Blindside Gallery

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As part of Meet the Public Festival on Thursday 28th – Friday 29th August, 12-9pm I will be presenting a new artwork at Blindside Gallery.

Amy Spiers | Wait here until called

It is a common perception that asylum seekers who arrive in Australia by boat are “queue jumpers”, who forgo the “proper channels” for entry into the country. The view that boat arrivals are improper necessarily imagines that there is a just and orderly formal process for seeking asylum and a correct place overseas for refugees to wait for resettlement.

Wait here until called is a two-day participatory installation involving a room of patiently waiting refugees. The work actualises the fantasy of a proper waiting process in order to make it an object of thought.

When: 28 & 29 Aug, 12-9pm (Open Studios, Nicholas Building, 6-9pm) Where: Gallery 1, BLINDSIDE, Level 7, Room 14, Nicholas Building, 37 Swanston Street, Melbourne VIC. More info: http://www.blindside.org.au/portfolio-item/27-aug-6-sep-blindside-festival-2014/ PLEASE WAIT HERE UNTIL CALLED.docx

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