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.

History Pieces

Callum McGrath

14 July 2022–06 August 2022

History Pieces is an exhibition of new work that materially reimagines the possibilities of historical construction and how historians—both professional and amateur—engage with archival traces. Through layered strata, fragments, and networked information the exhibition follows an amateur historian’s account of the 1942 murder of Stoker John ‘Jack’ Joseph Riley aboard HMAS Australia [II]—the then Flagship of Australia’s naval squadron. Riley was brutally murdered by two fellow Stokers who worked alongside him in the vessel’s furnace. The homosexual-love-triangle-turned-murder resulted in decades of legal consequences, uncovering a tense battle between the disciplinary regimes of the British Crown and Australia’s Federal Government. 

Relayed here as a cacophony of layered and complex data, History Pieces embraces the queer time of the amateur historian and welcomes all their mistakes and failures as a productive and generative means to engage with the past. Through a kind of self-generated obfuscation—an inordinate sum of compressed historical evidence—History Pieces complicates and critiques the power controlling the dissemination of historical information and data. History Pieces considers how queer histories are replicated, who they are for, and who has access to them.

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  • Callum McGrath is an artist and researcher based in Naarm/Melbourne. McGrath’s image-based forms rearticulate institutionalised aesthetics of historiography, memorials, and archiving. Among his recent exhibitions include; The Weatherman, Metro Arts, Brisbane (2021); The Gay Agenda, The Walls, Gold Coast (2021); To Resound, Unbound, Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne (2021); Deviations, Brisbane Art and Design Festival (2021). In 2022 McGrath is exhibiting work in Embodied Knowledge at the Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane and is curating a cinema program titled In Queer Time at the Australian Cinémathèque at the Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane. McGrath is also a contributor to Kink, a collective researching a history of queer Australian art. McGrath is currently a PhD candidate at Monash Art Design and Architecture, Monash University.