Editorial: The west as an endless road trip

West in most dictionaries is described first and foremost as a directional term, a position to be derived from the setting of the sun. However, almost immediately the complexity of the term as an idea and a construct is implied by the presence of ‘common’ synonyms such as ‘the Occident’. West is an idea more often than it is something tangible; an idea loaded with value judgements that are spatial, political, historical and cultural. Accordingly, in throwing this term out to contributors, what we have received for this issue is a reflection on the diversity of what the word implies in a contemporary Australian and international context. The common thread throughout these contributions is a kind of political agency that goes with a suspicion of the term, and the binaries it implies.

Abdul Abdullah and Sophie Hoyle have both provided compelling and articulate interrogations of the construction of an oppositional position of ‘West’ and/vs ‘Other’, specifically Muslim other. Their essays seek to counter with much needed critique the hyperbole of fear and terror that is fuelled by the media circus and conservative vote-blinded politicians. read more…

Inside Issue #31

The Rhetoric Around Radicalisation

Abdul Abdullah

According to the late political scientist Joseph Overton from the United States’ Macinak Center for Public Policy, public policy is developed in an agreed window of political correctness. The website for the self-described ‘think tank’ states: Joseph Overton observed that in a given public policy area, such as education, only a relatively narrow range of potential policies will be considered politically acceptable. This “window” of politically acceptable options is primarily defined not by what politicians prefer, but rather by what they believe they can support and still win re-election. In general, then, the window shifts to include different policy options not when ideas change among politicians, but when ideas change in the society that elects them read more…

Sonnets in Noongar – The Task

Kylie Farmer [Kaarljilba Kaardn]

In ‘April 2012’, Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company presented six of Shakespeare’s sonnets in the ancient Aboriginal language of Western Australia’s southwest –the Noongar language – at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London. Yirra Yaakin also presented Sonnets in Noongar at the 2013 Perth International Arts Festival and this year the work has spawned a school education program. Adapting Shakespearean language to an Aboriginal Australian language for performance could be interpreted as a politically charged act. Giving voice to the words of the colonists’ great bard on his own London stage as colonised people using our own endangered language certainly draws attention to Aboriginal Australia and the legacy of British invasion. read more…

Territorial Encounters

Adele Sliuzas

Adele Sliuzas speaks with photographer James Tylor about his engagement with Australian colonial history in his 2016 exhibitions at the Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia and Alaska Projects.

Colour and form – the work of Sandra McGregor

Chloé Wolifson

Thickly painted in bright colours, McGregor’s papier-mâché sculptures of animals are wild but not in the sense of being true to nature, suggesting instead toys or cartoon characters. A pastel pink cat with dark pink and orange spots is adorned with yellow and lavender ribbons around its neck. A koala sits pensively by a tree whose foliage is a tight green lump reaching barely higher than the animal itself. A rabbit or bilby wears a red ribbon around its neck in the manner of certain Easter chocolates, the Easter suspicions confirmed in a pink egg adorned with a bow resting in nest of shredded paper. read more…

Critical Perspectives on the construction of the (Australian) West with and through the Middle East

Sophie Hoyle

An element of my artistic practice and academic research explores the geopolitical ideology in the (ongoing) cultural construction of the West in relation to the Middle East and North African (MENA) region. Growing up as part of the Arab diaspora in the United Kingdom, I began to see my experiences within wider histories of post-colonialism and migration between the Middle East (and globally) as impacted by Western foreign policy, Neoimperialism and the motives of the military-industrial complex that perpetuate a ‘permanent war’ in the region for purposes of political power and resource extraction. read more…

Staring down complexity: A contemporary survival skill

Wrapped in a blanket on a chilly Adelaide afternoon I click on a link from artist Analise Minjarez who hails from El Paso, West Texas, sent with the instructions: ‘To set the mood, please view this video.’ The animated gif unfolds a panoramic view from atop the Franklin Mountains that stand watch over her childhood home. The gentle notes of sixties Latin pop drifts across the dark mountains, brown planes and endless blue sky. Minjarez and fellow textile artist Sarita Westrup are daughters of the Rio Grande River, growing up on either end of the Mexico-Texas borderlands. read more…

WA: Without Memory or Desire

Francis Russell

There is a persistent narrative that would characterise the contemporary art scene in Western Australia (WA) as parochial and isolated, a narrative that is supported by the slew of closures that have occurred in recent years [i]. This narrative is significantly challenged, however, by the host of artist-run spaces such as Success gallery—alongside the gallery’s sister space Moana, and the ARIs: Free Range, Paper Mountain, Adult Contemporary and Pet Projects [ii]—developing exciting exhibitions, and embracing media like video, media that can easily traverse geographical borders, to further open up Perth to a broad range of contemporary international artists. Such a challenge raises the question of whether Perth is becoming more cosmopolitan, or whether it is fated to languish behind other cities when it comes to culture and the arts. read more…

Merrylands, Punchbowl, Auburn, Guildford

Katie Green

I think of myself as a community worker and advocate before I think of myself as an artist. Art flowed from what I had seen and heard, because with art you can take risks and reject censorship; I came to art making as the only possible means to communicate. For the last four years I have been immersed in asylum seeker policy and politics, in a job where I have worked on a daily basis with people who arrived—by boat or by plane—to seek asylum in Australia. read more…

Latest News

Support Runway Issue #39 OCEANS

  DONATE HERE Runway is one of the only remaining independent, critical art journals that supports early-career, experimental contemporary artists and writers in Australia. Since 2003, Runway has established itself as a platform for mentorship and development and has played a pivotal role in springboarding the careers of successful contemporary artists and writers working today.


  **Proposals for content due Sunday 9 December – midnight ** ****To apply please use this form****     Witnessing the rising return of an ancient guardian, an oily residue slicks the surface: rainbow and smiling back at you. The ocean hosts complex meanings, parts unknown and monstrous, a geo-political frontier of our imagination, your

2018 Board Member call out!

  Deadline midnight 19 November, 2018 FILL OUT THE FORM HERE   Runway Australian Experimental Art is an online journal produced by The Invisible Inc., an artist run initiative that aims to promote the activities of Australian artists, writers, and curators both nationally and abroad. Read more about Runway here. We are a diverse team (check

Search Runway