Moorina Bonini and Michael Tuhanuku

RE-POSITIONING by Moorina Bonini in conversation with Avaiki way by Michael Tuhanuku

A person driving wooden stakes into soil

RE-POSITIONING is a site-specific work that engages both the unceded Country and site of the Substation. This body of work places Indigenous Knowledge physically and literally within the centre of a western space. Recognising that institutions are founded upon a western value system, RE-POSITIONING critically examines the differences between the Indigenous and western value system. Through this examination and through practice the value of knowledge will be revealed. RE - POSITIONING is part of Hyphenated Biennial and was exhibited at the Substation from 3 December 2021—9 April 2022.

Moorina Bonini is a descendant of the Yorta Yorta Dhulunyagen family clan of Ulupna and the Yorta Yorta and Wurundjeri Briggs/McCrae family. Moorina is an artist whose works are informed by her experiences as an Aboriginal and Italian woman. Her practice is driven by a self-reflexive methodology that enables the re-examination of lived experiences that have influenced the construction of her cultural identity. By unsettling the narrative placed upon Aboriginal people as a result of colonisation of Aboriginal Australia, Bonini’s practice is based within Indigenous Knowledge systems and brings this to the fore. Moorina holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from RMIT University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) from the Victorian College of the Arts. Moorina is currently a research candidate at Monash University where she is undertaking a PhD within the Wominjeka Djeembana Research Lab. Her work has been exhibited in various shows across Australia and internationally. Galleries include ACMI, The Shed (NY), Sydney Festival, Blak Dot Gallery, Centre for Contemporary Photography and Koorie Heritage Trust. Moorina has produced and co-curated art and cultural programs across universities and galleries. Moorina is currently a studio artist and member of Victorian-based Indigenous emerging artist collective thismob.

Avaiki way reflects on my lived experience on the stolen lands of Naarm (Melbourne) as a First Nations person. Moving through the legacy of colonisation and ongoing colonisation. Us First Nations people must represent ourselves and our cultures proudly when we live in these big cities. We must remember the history of the land on which we walk, the history of our people and most of all walk true to ourselves.

Michael Tuhanuku is a proud Tongaba man of Sa’a Kaitu’u on Mungiki island in the Solomon Islands. Living and working on the unceded sovereign lands of the Wurundjeri People of the Kulin Nation. I pay my deepest respects to their elders and leaders past, present and emerging. My work delves into the confusing but fascinating observations of a Tongaba man situated in Australia. This work attempts to map out and express my political, social, spiritual, artistic learnings and stories through lived experience.