69 Capel Street, West Melbourne VIC 3003

Open 12pm-5pm, Thursday - Sunday

Disability Access: KINGS Artist-Run is a wheelchair accessible venue. Unfortunately, there is no wheelchair accessible toilet. Please contact the gallery with any access requirements and we will endeavour to support your visit.

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Kings Artist-Run provides a location for contemporary art practice, supporting distinctive experimental projects by artists at all stages of their careers.
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KINGS Artist-Run acknowledges the Wurundjeri and Boonwurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we operate.

We offer our respect to Elders both past and present and extend this offer to all Australian First Nations people.

Wa’anak Witu Watu

Natasha Tontey

19 May 2022–11 June 2022

Researched and speculated on the North Sulawesi where once belief that the first person was a woman and gave birth through a stone, Wa’anak Witu Watu investigates the fiction, myth, and cosmology of the Minahasan and their relation to the geo entity stone. The indigenous practice of Minahasa tribe—where humans celebrate their form of communication with stone—is understood as only a pre-institutionalised religion practice and categorised as animist belief. However, for people living there they see themself practicing monotheism. There are almost no boundaries between Life and Non-Life in Minahasa cosmology.

The stone-revering Minahasa were organised according to the gift economy of Mapalus, which was based on volunteerism, kinship with nature and mutual aid. According to native cosmology, the first person ever to exist was a woman who gave birth through a stone. With the presence of colonialists from the West and their interactions with the locals, the Minahasans evolved to a stone-based exchange system that was informed by a mixture of their ancient spiritual beliefs and the Christian-influenced capitalist ideas.

In this work, the dynamic of Minahasan cosmology is explored alongside its potential to imagine an alternative world where the phenomena of anthropocentrism practically does not exist. Seeing the dynamics of Minahasa worldview through the perspective of digital culture, speculating on its potential for imagining an alternative society based on a reciprocity that brings together animate and inanimate realms.

Work supported by:
Other Futures and transmediale

Sound Design by Wahono (Divisi 62)
Animation Studio by DDDBandidos
Mawale Movement

Wa’anak Witu Watu is presented as part of STRAY VOLTAGE, KINGS Artist-Run’s iterative video program, collaboratively facilitated by Rebecca McCauley and Aaron Claringbold. Looking to the potential that exists between seemingly incompatible ideas, STRAY VOLTAGE premises an experimental program of critically engaged moving image works, fundamentally grounded by the earth.

STRAY VOLTAGE is supported by the City of Melbourne 2022 Annual Arts Grants Program.

To view the room sheet click here.

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  • Natasha Tontey is an artist living and working in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Her artistic practice predominantly explores the fictional accounts of the history and myths surrounding ‘manufactured fear.’ In her practice, she observes any possibilities of other futures that are projected not from the perspective of major and established institutions, but a subtle and personal struggle of the outcasted entities and beings. Her work has been shown at Asian Art Biennale 2021, Hamburger Bahnhof Museum (Berlin), transmediale 2021, Performance Space 2021, Other Futures 2021, Singapore International Film Festival 2021, Kyoto Experiment 2021, Asian Film Archive (2021), amongst others. In 2020 she received the HASH Award from ZKM and Akademie Schloss-Solitude and is currently a fellow for Human Machine of the Junge Akademie at Akademie der Künste Berlin 2021-2023.