movie day: CT-scan of a colossal pre-Columbian goddess

Until the early 1950s, the Classic Veracruz ceramics were few, little understood, and generally without provenance. Since then, the recovery of thousands of figurines and pottery pieces — from sites such as Remojadas — has expanded our understanding and filled many museum shelves. This Tlazolteotl Veracruz figure (800 to 1200 CE) is quite large and in exceptionally good condition despite a few restorations, as revealed by the CT-scan.

movie day: Shuffle Trailer

Panoramic video for LED screen
available in three-channel projection
colour, sound
8:56 min

Shuffle is a surreal drama of the appropriation, conflation, and international movement of art forms, and their places within colonial histories.

The history of tap dancing lies in North American colonial history. There are many accounts of how West African slaves were brought up from ship holds and forced to dance on deck. Tap, born with this burden of humiliation and grief, was developed further through a melding with Irish step dancing and jigs, English clogging, and later growing through the development of jazz music. Whitewashed and built upon again through ballet in Broadway shows and Hollywood films, it traveled internationally.

The character of the Dancer navigates through this historically layered dance and arrives at a clinically white museum under bright lights. Sculptures made from sallow porcelain, also a material with a complicated history of violence and appropriation, sit on red earth, compacted to hold the shape of museum plinths. The porcelain pieces sit, pale pink burnt as if exposed to a blazing sun, salt encrusted, peeling, grazed, flaking and bruised, wilted and precariously perched on their unstable hosts. The Dancer, wearing black tails encrusted with shells, salt, lace, and pearls, and donning a laced mask over their face, pirouettes through the unfamiliar space.

The film hinges on the tension created between the porcelain pieces, earth plinths, and Dancer; the precarious balance between the percussion of the tap steps and the tenuous structures. The dance begins cautiously, but becomes confident and dangerous in the Dancer’s efforts to engage with the structures – the objects move and shake, and the earth plinths begin to crumble.

When they collapse, ceramics shatter, and together they create a new landscape, seemingly broken, but in fact a new arrangement made from the same material, suggesting a resilience. Through the Dancer’s vain attempts to destabilise and destroy within this museum-like context, they have only co-opted the materials for their own creation.

Mahmudul Raz, cinematographer on Shuffle, won the 2017 Australian Cinematographers Society (ACS) WA Gold Award for best experimental cinematography with this work.

CREDITS (Full credit here)

Written and Directed by
Pilar Mata Dupont

Produced by
Pilar Mata Dupont
Ella Wright


The Dancer
Claudia Alessi

Ceramic artist
Andrea Vinkovic

Sculptor earth plinths
Matthew McAlpine

We would like to acknowledge the Badimia people who are the traditional custodians of the land where the red earth used in this artwork is sourced. We would also like to pay our respects to the Elders past, present, and future of the Badimia nation.

The original form of this work was commissioned by Transport for New South Wales and produced by Cultural Capital for Wynscreen, Sydney, Australia.

The reformatting of this work for three-channel projection was supported by the Film/Video Studio at the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, USA; the Associação Cultural Videobrasil, São Paulo, Brasil; and TENT Rotterdam, Nederland.

Special Thanks
Ella Wright and Bright Yellow Productions; Steve Vojkovic and Boogiemonster; Leanne and Stuart McAlpine; Carly Lynch; Lewis Russell, Jason Liu; Cecilia and Alejandro Mata; Thomas Drenth; Mahmudul Raz and Raz Media; Jennifer Lange; Steve Gardiner and Edith Cowan University.

movie day: Satoru Hoshino “Beginning Form – Sprial ’17”

Satoru Hoshino was invited to install his work “Beginning Form – Spiral ’17” at Newcastle Art Gallery, Newcastle, Australia as part of the exhibition “Sodeisha – Connected to Australia”. Newcastle Art Gallery holds a substantial collection of ceramics which includes a collection of works donated by the Sodeisha group (a contemporary Japanese ceramics collective) in 1981. The installation of this work took Hoshino 6 days working 9am-5pm with the help of an assistant from the gallery’s install team.
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movie day: Mary Borgstrom

Mary grew up on a small farm and raised her two children… it wasn’t until after her kids were grown she found her passion for art. Little did Mary know it would come to define her… A life lesson to not judge a book by its cover, and to follow your dreams no matter what age.

movie day: The Connected Hand, Sandra Alfoldy

Dr Sandra Alfoldy was the leading Craft Historian in Canada, and faculty member of NSCAD University. In this talk Sandra discusses the ‘connection’ artisans share, what makes an artisan and how this image has been portrayed over the years. She also poses the question – who decides what image an artisan should take? This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at