04 August–06 October 200704 Aug–06 Oct 2007
Australia—and particularly our state of Queensland—is experiencing a severe prolonged drought. Clean water is no longer taken for granted. There are massive water restrictions and a plan to recycle waste water, or ‘grey water’. Another item that dominates the news is race. There is great fear around immigration tied to terrorism. We welcome people from other places if they are prepared to ‘become’ Australian. What that means, however, is hard to define. These two themes—the purity of our water and the purity our national essence—have become subtly intertwined. Grey Water showcases works from different cultural viewpoints that address our identification with water and address the purity and pollution of water. Hits of the show include Bill Culbert’s Flotsam—a scatter-installation, a sea of fluorescent tubes and plastic bottles—and Teresa Margolles’s sublime soap-bubble blowing machines using water used to wash down corpses in a Mexico morgue. The full line up is: Bill Culbert (Britain), Marian Drew (Australia), Lawrence English (Australia) and Toshiya Tsunoda (Japan), Roland Fischer (Germany), Peter Greenaway (Britain), Roni Horn (USA), Zhang Huan (China), Abie Jangala (Australia), Rosemary Laing (Australia) with Stephen Birch (Australia), Teresa Margolles (Mexico), Jun Nguyen-Hatsushiba (Vietnam), and Lawrence Weiner (USA). Grey Water is presented as part of Riverfestival. Thanks to the Embassy of Mexico.