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Strung across the wooden pillars of Fremantle’s iconic old bridge will be these words will remain by Wiradjuri poet Jazz Money. In both English and Nyoongar the large-scale text piece invites audiences to consider the strength and beauty of these sovereign Whadjuk waterways. A declaration, a protest, a love song, these words will remain is an ode to what our rivers remember and tell, their care and their power. Despite violent colonial intervention rivers remain sacred currents placed by ancestors with cause of course.
As with many of the works in this event, I am bemused. What 'words' will remain? The words we see above, in Nyoongar, or in English? And, if it those words, it's ironical that they'll 'remain' in situ for less than a month, and are printed on cloth held up by light rope. But the artist's other words - those in the paragraph before this one - are about rivers, not about words as such.
I've added another irony by including the temporary sign indicating the way (to understanding?) is CLOSED. (The sign is only temporarily there, but is made of metal, with permanent paint on it, placed by authority—which will remain.)
My photo taken during installation 28 October 2021.
Artist bio from the program:
Jazz Money is an award-winning Wiradjuri poet, a fresh-water river woman currently based on beautiful Gadigal land, in the place now known as Sydney. Her practice is centred around the written word while producing works that encompass installation, digital, film and print. Jazz’s debut collection how to make a basket is available through University of Queensland Press.
Garry Gillard | New: 13 November, 2021 | Now: 20 August, 2023