Out of the entanglements of colonization – Mandy Quadrio and Christine Hansen

13 October 2023, 16:00

Welcome to an evening presenting specific investigations in the practices of Mandy Quadrio & Christine Hansen.

Mandy Quadrio is a Tasmanian Aboriginal, Palawa, woman connected to her maternal ancestral Countries of Tebrakunna, north-east Tasmania, and the Oyster Bay Nation of eastern Tasmania, Australia. Her practice investigates cultural materials such as sea grasses, shells and bull kelp which she combines with industrially-produced steel wool as a powerful metaphor for the erasure of her family, her language and her nation. In this way she seeks to unfix racist categorisations, historic denials and imposed invisibility in relation to her Tasmanian Palawa identity.

Working collaboratively with curator Dr Christine Hansen from the National Museums of World Culture, Sweden, and Gothenburg University, their research project, Objects of Culture and Science intends to develop and deliver a program of First Nations-led activity aimed specifically at the Ethnographic Museum, Stockholm. Despite the massive investment in infrastructure made by ethnographic museums across Europe, without First Nations engagement they cannot participate in decolonising practices.

At the centre of the Objects of Culture and Science project is a 120-year-old Palawa shell necklace held at Etnografiska. Quadrio comes to this project surrounded by stories of erasure – her own history, the demise of her Sea Country and the loneliness of the sequestered shells. Looking for a way to resolve the shell’s disconnection, she will create work that seeks to navigate the drifts of invisibility that have hidden her culture from view. As a weaver of organic and industrial materials, she is gathering strands of story to ply into her work. The stories she brings to life come from a holistic world view which challenges the intellectual siloing of knowledge privileged by traditional museum practice.

The Bookshop Situation Series at Index is based on events to present books, magazines, records and other artistic formats. The bookshop situation is a way to test content, to share it, to distribute it, offering situations to be part of a community of experimental producers and users.