Matthew Galloway: The Freedom of the Migrant
MEDIA RELEASE: CHANGE OF EXHIBITION
MEDIA RELEASE: CHANGE OF EXHIBITION
In response to the recent terror attacks, Christchurch’s Centre of Contemporary Art (CoCA) will give over the gallery walls to our community to write and reflect
As our community comes to terms with the loss of 50 innocent lives, CoCA will open the gallery walls for people to write and process their thoughts. The words “Love Lives Here” are imprinted on our main gallery wall setting the tone for people to add their own words to the walls in response to the attacks of March 15th.
Artists from around New Zealand and across the globe have added their voices, sending text to be contributed to the walls on their behalf, alongside those from local artists, visitors and the people of Christchurch.
CoCA was scheduled to open the exhibition ‘The Freedom of the Migrant’ by Matthew Galloway but a joint decision between the gallery and the artist was made to withdraw the exhibition in light of the tragic events. Matthew Galloway states: ‘The Freedom of the Migrant critically addresses the harmful political narratives we have allowed to exist concerning terrorism and refugees. Though I believe the research and questions this show presents are more important than ever, the decision to withdraw the show acknowledges that this is a time for mourning, processing what has happened, and supporting the communities so deeply affected by this horrific act.’
Christchurch artist, Julia Holden, was also to open a solo exhibition in our North gallery but has graciously withdrawn her exhibition to offer us the opportunity to hand over our galley in full to the public. Both artist will have exhibitions at CoCA at a later date.
Reflecting the unity of our community, strengthened by this tragedy, the gallery has received unconditional support in many forms from the Canterbury Museum, Resene, Signtech, White Tie Catering, Mc Hargs, and artists Wayne Youle, Julia Morison ONZM, and Rob Upritchard. The paint pens for writing on our walls have been generously donated by Ironlak, an Australian paint and art supplies company.
“We offer over this space to our community to come together, contemplate, and process this tragic event in our city. It is of the utmost importance this is done with integrity and with sensitivity toward the Muslim members of our community who have been directly affected. I have consulted with Dr Anwar Ghani, Media Liaison for the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand and we have his support,” says CoCA Director, Romy Willing.
CoCA will officially open the space to our community on Saturday March 30th at 10am and will remain open until June 2nd.
For those who wish to contribute their words from afar, text of 40 words or less may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
For media inquiries, please contact us at email@example.com
The Freedom of the Migrant addresses the impact and legacy of dominant political narratives constructed around terrorism and refugees.
In 2016, it was reported that Sir John Key presented a startling economic forecast to members of the Auckland business community. He speculated that if an Isis operative posing as a refugee during the migrant crisis carried out a terrorist attack in the heart of Europe, it would benefit New Zealand by making our country more attractive to high net-worth consumers looking to escape constant uncertainty and instability.
The report, written by NZME Head of Business Fran O’Sullivan, and published in the New Zealand Herald on 26 March 2016, questions how New Zealand politicians could position this country to take advantage of its perceived distance from current global forces, as a bolthole deep in the South Pacific.
The Freedom of the Migrant explores the central themes introduced in Key’s hypothesis, addressing the impact and legacy of dominant political narratives constructed around terrorism and refugees, and their influence on our collective perceptions of border control, freedom of movement, and national identity.
The Freedom of the Migrant (2019) builds upon an exhibition of the same title curated by Lauren Gutsell and Lucy Hammonds and exhibited at Dunedin Public Art Gallery 21 April – 12 August 2018.
Based in Dunedin, Matthew Galloway holds a MFA (2012) from the University of Canterbury. His research-based practice is concerned with the potential for art to challenge the status-quo and uses the tools and methodologies of design to investigate issues of identity, understanding of place, and the political implications of both. In 2016, Galloway participated in ARTifariti Biennale, Tindouf, Algeria. In 2016, he received a Merit Award at the National Contemporary Art Awards for Fountain is a Copy? — a collaboration with Ella Sutherland.
Recent solo exhibitions include: The Freedom of the Migrant, Dunedin Public Art Gallery (2018); The Ground Swallows You, Blue Oyster Art Project Space, Dunedin, NZ (2016). Recent group exhibitions include: Provincia 53. Art, Territory And Decolonisation, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León, Leon, Spain (2017); Melfas. Línea orgánica, Museo de arte contemporáneo del Sur, Buenos Aires, Argentina (2017); This Time of Useful Consciousness, The Dowse Art Museum, Wellington, NZ (2017); Beyond Exhausted, The Physics Room, Christchurch, NZ