Travelling from Bengal to Iraq, to the Kimberley, Temporary Certainty explores the tensions between certainty and permanence and doubt and ephemerality through new works by Bangladesh-born Sarker Protick, and Kununarra artist Alana Hunt, and Kurdistan-born, Melbourne-based Rushdi Anwar. All three investigate interactions between identity, geography, political interventions and the passing of time.
Protick, in his work-in-progress Exodus (2015–ongoing), takes us to the decaying buildings and overgrown grounds of East Bengal’s abandoned feudal estates, which once belonged to rich, powerful Hindu jamindars (landlords). Also occupied with built environments are two works by Anwar. His video and sound installation Facing Living: The Past in the Present (2015) delves into Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship over Iraq, while We have found in the ashes what we have lost in the fire (2018) is his response to visiting a church in Bashiqa, Mosul, which lies in territory disputed over by the Kurdistan Regional Government and Iraqi government. Meanwhile, Hunt’s Faith in a pile of stones (2018), visits Lake Argyle, a freshwater reservoir 18 times the volume of Sydney Harbour, in Kununurra in the Kimberley. Built in 1971 for irrigation, the structure caused major changes to country belonging to Miriwoong, Gija and Malgnin people, including the drowning of places of significance.