The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 Friday, September 25, 2020

Reko Rennie awarded Artbank + ACMI Commission
Rennie’s works are largely autobiographical, often combining the iconography of his Kamilaroi heritage with contemporary media that includes painting, sculpture, installation and filmmaking. Photo: Jacquie Manning.

MELBOURNE.- Australian Centre for the Moving Image, together with Artbank, announced Reko Rennie as the recipient of the second $70,000 Artbank + ACMI Commission for his proposed new video work, What Do We Want.

Shot on cinematic 4K, What Do We Want will draw on 1970s Blaxploitation films and Rennie’s own martial arts practice to explore political, environmental and social questions through an Aboriginal Australian lens.

“I'm very excited and honoured to be offered this award by Artbank + ACMI to make my new video work, What Do We Want. This commission is an amazing opportunity to create a new work that I've wanted to make for some time and I look forward to sharing it with you,” said Rennie.

ACMI Director and CEO Katrina Sedgwick said: “Reko Rennie is a vital voice at the forefront of Australian contemporary art and we are thrilled to award Reko the Artbank + ACMI Commission, providing him with the support to pursue and extend his practice. Reko’s probing cinematic artworks defy categorisation and it’s exactly these types of works that the Artbank + ACMI Commission was designed for.”

Artbank Assistant Director, Emma Crimmings said: “We’re proud to have Reko Rennie as the next recipient of the Artbank + ACMI Commission. We look forward to connecting the outcomes of this project to the broader public through our art leasing program.

“Reko Rennie is one of Australia’s most exciting multi-disciplinary artists and through his new work, What Do We Want we anticipate Reko will emerge as a powerful and timely voice in 2020. Set in a dojo studio and paying homage to Blaxploitation films of the 70s, What Do We Want is a highly stylised and choreographed examination of urgent questions facing Aboriginal people today,” said Crimmings.

Established in partnership with Artbank, the federal government’s flagship support program for Australian contemporary artists, the Artbank + ACMI Commission is a three-year commissioning program that will enable Australian artists and filmmakers to create new works that are conceived at the intersection of art and cinema.

This partnership further expands ACMI's vibrant commissioning program, which through a series of vital collaborations – with Artbank, Ian Potter Foundation, City of Melbourne and the Mordant Family – will directly fund Australian artists with $650,000 worth of financial support to create new work over the next three years and then exhibit it to thousands of people at ACMI and beyond.

What Do We Want will be exhibited at ACMI in 2020.

Born in Melbourne in 1974, Reko Rennie is a self-taught interdisciplinary artist who explores personal and political narratives through the lens of his own Aboriginal (Kamilaroi/Gamilaroi) heritage and broader cultural themes around power, identity, memory and history. Rennie’s works are largely autobiographical, often combining the iconography of his Kamilaroi heritage with contemporary media that includes painting, sculpture, installation and filmmaking.

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