Presented by City Recital Hall in partnership with SBS Digital Creative Labs and Google's Creative Lab
Since 2018, City Recital Hall has worked with visual artists and curators to transform its blank foyer walls into a rotating gallery space that highlights modern and emerging Australian art. Their latest ambitious undertaking is launching on 28 January, with an interactive video installation produced by SBS’ Digital Creative Labs and using technology developed by Google’s Creative Lab. This artwork, titled Belongings, is an interactive installation that brings stories of displacement, resilience and hope to life in a surprisingly new way. Produced in partnership with the community it is about, this experience is multi user, where any user can ‘tune in’ to a story that may already be playing out and listen to each story in multiple languages.
After more art at City Recital Hall? Click here for details about The Exhibition Project, on display from 28 January - 4 March.
This installation, Belongings, sought to destabilise the ‘us versus them’ mentality by highlighting the universality of humanity through a single, common thread: our treasured belongings.
In Australia, most of us are fortunate enough to possess objects that carry emotional or familial significance.
Refugees are no different - their keepsakes represent hope, protection, love, comfort, strength and identity. They are extensions of themselves - they provide a sense of their past and tell them who they are, where they have come from and perhaps where they are going.
Only, for refugees who fled their homelands with a mere handful of possessions, these belongings hold far greater significance. These objects often represent a happier time; before violence, persecution, war and loss.
This project shares the stories and journeys of six refugees living in Australia, each told through the prism of a possession.
For some, retracing their steps restores a loss of identity, and strengthens their connection to the past. For others, it provides hope, and a sense of protection from further harm. And for one, opening up reminds them of the lengths gone in seeking happiness, and strengthens their resolve to prosper.
How it works
As you approach the installation the images of six refugees are projected on 7m x 3m screen. The figures are at 1:1 human scale, standing side-by-side in front of you. They are still, though not static images; alive and breathing, waiting for you to interact with them.
In the same space there is instructional signage prompting you to join a Wi-Fi network using your mobile phone.
Upon joining the ‘Belongings’ Wi-Fi network, on your phone you are prompted to confirm your preferred language for the experience.
Using your phone to interact, you control a cursor on the large screen.
Selecting one of the contributors, their story is ‘activated’. They step forward and deliver their short testimony of their experience. The audio, which is heard in your chosen language, is streamed to your phone.
The experience is multi user, where any user can ‘tune in’ to a story that may already be playing out.
Produced by SBS
Made with some friends at Google
Details are correct at time of publication