FRED CHANEY is a white man with grey hair and a suit. If not a whole suit he was definitely wearing at least suit pants. Maybe not a suit at all but he definitely had white guy in a suit vibes. I don’t meet many suits in my circles, but on the day in question I was in parliament house in Canberra, a spiritual home for white guys in suits.
It gets real easy to cry around these rogues who were getting listened to in parliament for their allotted time that day, because heaps of my tears [that have been holed up in long term storage units while I medicated and recovered and avoided excessive risk] were generated during the business of gallivanting in their company 

Big HART was in parliament house giving a seminar called ‘Oops I did it again’ and the IT is referring generally to fucking up but more specifically in this context to fucked up community development schemes, fucked up indigenous communities, fucked up people. I’m using the word ‘fucked’ perhaps a little excessively but it was used in this seminar in quite a profound way. Once seemed almost too much for parliament house but in the end the absolutely perfect number of times.

It was the day after the opening night that culminated months of intense work to get ‘Hipbone Sticking Out’ – a massive and layered show together [before the process of stripping it back inevitably begins] and despite this, there was zeal in the words of the tired. But none so clear and brimming in the dam over the valley of despair as the possibly suited Fred Chaney. He said some stuff. I guess the jist was about solutions lying locally, self-reflection being needed amongst govt and amongst Aboriginal people also. But as his mouth moved I was really listening to his eyes and the horror and anguish they illuminated of a lifetime of trying to make good in communities shattered in the aftermath of colonization and the dialectical fucking up. Oh boy. This really pounded on my buttons and he kept right on strumming my pain with his words.

Cause everyone’s been meaning well but getting it wrong. Even us. Even you. Even them. …But here I am thinking of it as a problem again. Promised not to do that. This is a wound that needs opening up.

Nonetheless, feeling silver spoony to be doing this work again with this hybrid cast of cynical, crazy, vulnerable and real. It feels like while I’ve been away for three years that there’s been a maturation across the company with regard to the thinking around particularly the Indigenous stuff, although perhaps it’s just me who has grown up a bit and gotten over the burn out that made so much of my world so bitter. I feel like the misfit that belongs. And belonging is the business that we’re in.

And, getting cosy with complexity.

And white guys in suits that make you cry.

And fucking up more than once.

In other news, today I had a great brainstorm with myself on the plane, the best place of all for brainstorms and after spilling ideas all over a page, licketty quick the idea came to make a giant banana split of fabric and stuffing that becomes the sit-right-there lounge chair for an experiential work in a caravan. And then later I was telling my good pal about this concept and he mentioned that this very day he had seen a mutual friend post an image of a large banana split sculpture from wellington. I’m taking it as a sign that I’m on track.

Categories: Uncategorized