- This event has passed.
Mind the Gap
and An event every 1 week(s) on Saturday that begins at 2017-03-21 12:00 pm and lasts 0 day(s) and 4 hour(s), the last of which will begin on 2017-03-21 3:00
21 March-1 April 2017
Tuesday – Friday 11am to 5pm,
Saturday 12pm to 4pm
a…dark and politically charged meditation on the gap between Australian cultures.
Mind the Gap is a somewhat dark and politically charged meditation on the gap between Australian cultures. It is not asking us to close the gap, to homogenise or assimilate; rather it asks us to acknowledge the gap, nurture the gap, celebrate the diversity rather than deny its existence. It encourages us to question and hold ourselves accountable for our actions as global citizens.
The work aims to highlight colonial mannerisms and differences between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal ways of understanding and valuing land. Mind the Gap encourages us to imagine a future with deeper reconciliation and stronger acknowledgment of our true history rather than having our heads in the sand.
Kristian Laemmle-Ruff is a photographic artist based in Melbourne, Australia. His work focuses on social, cultural and environmental challenges in an increasingly fragile and globalised world. Having recently expanded his practice to include sound and installation, Kristian blends documentary rawness with conceptual uses of symbolism and colour.
“Kristian Laemmle-Ruff is a photographer with a visually acute and potent sense of image-making. His Pine Gap has a surprising and unexpected beauty which, in its own term, belies it political purpose.” – Chris Saines CNZM
Naomi Cass, director of the Centre for Contemporary Photography, found his series Littoral to be a “beautiful yet terrible” expression of humanity’s effect on our landscape.
In 2014 he published his first photo-book In the Folds of Hills in which Mr Malcolm Fraser wrote that this book “will come to have historic significance because it captures aspects of Australian rural life, which in many parts of this country are fast disappearing.” The book was a finalist in the Australian Photobook of the Year Awards 2014.
Having exhibited throughout Australia as well as overseas, Kristian’s works are part of permanent collections including the Queensland Centre for Photography, State Library of Victoria and the Araluen Arts Centre.
“On 2nd September 2014 I flew to Perth with a surfboard, a camera and an open mind. Soon after arriving I found myself standing on the Great Northern Hwy about to begin a three-month journey hitchhiking through Western Australia into Arnhem Land and then south, through the red center.
The open expanses of these places offered space, solitude and time. I felt this journey was essential for me moving forward as a young adult and artist.
Despite a privileged education I lacked an understanding of this country, its first peoples, its wisdom, its history. This adventure gifted me with some knowledge; enough to recognise that the Australia I thought I knew and loved wasn’t what it seemed. Upon returning to Melbourne I was overwhelmingly struck with a sense of culture shock. I felt alienated from mainstream sensibilities. Everything seemed so overtly colonial, so aggressively commercial and backwards. This feeling, coupled with the political landscape at the time, left me quite disenchanted.
Some months later I joined the Radioactive Exposure Tour, a group of activists and intellectuals on a two week trip visiting and researching radioactive sites and uranium mines – this tour is part of an ongoing international movement for a nuclear-free world. The imagery I captured on this trip was complemented by work I’d completed a year before with refugees in Fukushima, Japan; where the reality of a radioactive environment is something we are directly connected to and partly responsible for, as the damaged Fukushima reactors were fuelled with uranium from Australia.
‘ The desert has so many strange secrets … out of sight, out of mind.’
As we catapult into an increasingly complex world, technology is becoming a dominant force in how society functions; perhaps it can control us just as much as we can control it. Surveillance systems, such as Pine Gap, epitomise these forces of political power and control – shrouded in secrecy and legal firewalls – facilitating war games in our name. I was drawn to learn more, and in doing so am revealing what few are able to see.”