Sul Mare, 2022

Photo: Imagen Subliminal

Quasi-archival installation with stories, images, and artifacts presented in vitrines made of raw mild steel and glass
Overall dimensions variable

Sul Mare consists of a constellation of documents, prints, photographs, and books collected by Newell Harry. This supposed archive maps out a complex cultural and political history spanning across Oceania and the wider Asia-Pacific, to South Africa’s Western Cape Province, where the artist’s family live. Writing his own history and family story into the collection, Harry conflates the gaze of the ethnographer, the artist, and the curator. Bringing these together, he develops a poetics of “chance associations that arise through revisiting the material—sorting, compiling, reassembling, photo processing, and transcribing travelogues,” as the artist explains. 

The documents and books displayed in the vitrines are meant to be read against the backdrop of major historical moments: from the independence of Papua New Guinea in 1975 and of Vanuatu in 1980 to the anti-nuclear protests in France; Bob Marley’s 1979 concert in Auckland, New Zealand, and the rise of pacific reggae; the dawn of environmentalist movements; and anti-Apartheid protests in Australia in solidarity with the movements in South Africa. A short text or description appears under each object, captioning the material. 

Born in Sydney, Australia, in 1972. Lives and works in Sydney, Australia and Vanuatu, Republic of Vanuatu. 

Each vitrine in the installation is accompanied by a document with captions for each of the elements on display. Scan the QR code to download a digital version of the captions.
Interview with Newell Harry on the occassion of the exhibition All The World's Futures - Biennale Arte 2015.