SALOTE TAWALE

I REALLY MEAN IT

SITE #14

SITE #25

I Really Mean It, is a two-channel video work made over a ten-year period. The artist re purposes the lyrics from 1980’s pop songs - Whitney Houstons, I Get So Emotional (1987) and Cheap Tricks, The Flame (1988). The songs mark a point the Artist’s life as she made her way in to her teens. In the video, I Get So Emotional (made in 2007) utilizes the music video clip format, where Tawale re performs herself as archetypes from television and film in an effort to deconstruct the nature of ethnographic imagery, and gender representations of the coloured female body that persist in western society. The Flame (2018) is shot from the perspective of a personal karaoke video, where lyrics from from the song are redirected. The artist sings in front of fake pacific flower motifs on material whilst the natural surrounds of her village fade in and out. “This is a love song to my grandmother.”

From the perspective of her Indigenous Fijian and Anglo-Australian heritage, Salote Tawale explores the identity of the individual within collective systems. Examining through self-performance, the idea of a translocated Indigeneity, that is removed from land and traditional practices. Tawale draws on personal experiences of race, class, ethnicity and gender formed by growing up in suburban Australia. “My cultural identity is a constant focus in my art work. I explore inherent conflicts of being from a mixed heritage that simultaneously includes and excludes me from the dominant culture - that is, a colonial Australian society. This is a position of constant dislocation, or more accurately a state of translocation. My interest in these critical standpoints is based on an attitude of defiant analysis of colonial structures and narratives that persist in contemporary society.”

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Gertrude Street Projection Festival acknowledge the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation, the traditional owners of the lands on which Gertrude Street Projection Festival is located.
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