Queer Out West Sitewide Takeover
January 8, 2024

Queer Out West Sitewide Takeover

Salote Tawale, YOU, ME, ME, YOU still, 2022. Courtesy the artist, Ikon, Birmingham and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia.

Media Release

On Saturday 3 February, a kaleidoscope of queer artists, First Nations musicians and creative allies will stage a friendly and free takeover of Footscray Community Arts to present Queer Out West. This vibrant program of queer art exhibitions, film screenings and live music from First Nations artists, will include the much-anticipated openings of PHOTO 2024 and Queer PHOTO exhibitions.

PHOTO 2024 International Festival of Photography and Queer PHOTO features more than 150 contemporary photographers and artists from Australia and around the world. Artists share their insights of the world and queer experiences through this multi-pronged program aimed to transform iconic venues across Melbourne and the Western Suburbs.

On display at Footscray Community Arts until 26 May, Exquisite Corpse by Salote Tawale is a large-scale immersive site specific installation created for PHOTO 2024. This indoor and outdoor exhibition, which includes photographic images, sculptural elements, and video elements, delves into Salote’s Australian-Fijian heritage and Indigenous knowledge, celebrating reinvented artistry and cultural intersections.

The inaugural Queer PHOTO exhibition presented until 24 March, is a first of its kind collaboration presented by Midsumma and PHOTO 2024, in partnership with Creative Victoria’s Go West program. The exhibition at Footscray Community Arts showcases intimate queer and trans narratives, as well as bla(c)k identity, while exploring spirituality and Indigenous culture.

Clifford Prince King, Untitled, (m _ q), 2017. Courtesy the artist, Gordon Robichaux, NY and STARS, LA

Featuring 17 artists, 14 exhibitions, 30 interactive events and 7 locations, Queer PHOTO is a multi-pronged program transforming iconic venues and the streets of the West into a gallery of accessible and highly visible visual artworks from LGBTQIA+ artists. 

Queer PHOTO artists exhibiting site-wide in Footscray Community Arts galleries and outdoor spaces include African American photographer Clifford Prince King (USA), London-based media artistJake Elwes (UK), Naarm (Melbourne) local and international award-winning artist and filmmaker, Lilah Benetti (AUS), FAFSWAG – a queer Indigenous arts collective from Aotearoa, New Zealand, American artist and anthropologist Daniel Jack Lyons (US), and internationally acclaimed Fijian artist, Salote Tawale (FJ/AUS).

“Indigenous, Black identity and People of Colour have always been at the heart of queer activism and culture,” says Daniel Santangeli, Artistic Director of Footscray Community Arts. “Queer Our West is a celebration of visual artists and musicians who are continuing to shape LGBTQIA+ culture here and internationally.”

Image by Matthew Thorne and Derik Lynch

To celebrate the launch of these two stellar exhibitions, Footscray Community Arts is hosting a free art and music site takeover Saturday 3 February; Queer Out West. The afternoon includes the launch of the exhibitions, the screening of short film (and winner of the Silver Bear Jury prize at Berlinale) Marungka Tjalatjunu (Dipped in Black), followed by a live Q&A with co-creators South Australian filmmaker Matthew Thorne and Yankunytjatjara artist Derik Lynch.

Festivities will continue into the evening at Footscray Community Arts iconic amphitheatre with a powerful line up of First Nations musicians to complete the event with headliners Djanaba, along with crowd favourites artists naycab and Soju Gang entertaining crowds against the backdrop of stunning sunset views of the Maribyrnong River and city skyline.

Queer Out West. Saturday 3 February 2024, 2–8pm. Footscray Community Arts. FREE

Djanaba, image by Georgia Jane Griffiths
Soju Gang

MEDIA ENQUIRIES: Michaela Hall  – 0419 113 633 / michaela.hall@bigpond.com