Welcome to Cementa22
After the fires, after the floods, after the pandemic, after all the hardship and uncertainty, after all the cancellations, delays, and postponements, the festival comes. Cementa welcomes you to join over 40 artists for four days and four nights of contemporary art and culture spread across the post-industrial town of Kandos. Video, installation, sound, photography, painting, performance and participatory events and workshops responding to and exploring the context of its exhibition.
This year the festival offers a raft of works that quietly take part in the intimate life of Kandos, inviting audiences to participate in the craft culture that is endemic to the country town, and listen to the stories that locals usually only tell to each other. You will find poems generated on the streets of Kandos, witness stories of death in shop windows, and at the local museum the ghosts of the women who lived in the margins of the town’s history are remembered and Djon Mundine and Dabee descendants embellish the mural testifying to the Aboriginal heritage of the country. Carnival Catastrophe will cast the shadow of the bushfires that threatened us at the last festival and Tina Stephanou will conjoin us in the human capacity to combine our voices in a single tenuous expression that extends across the town and into the distances of our social being.
These are just a few of the themes that will thread their way through the streets of Kandos as we gather together after a year of social isolation. At the heart of the festival will be the same spirit of anarchic inclusion for which Cementa is so well loved, the social atmosphere in which artists and community commingle and experience our difference and the cultures that connect us across that difference.
You can expect all the old favourites of the festival: the Welcome to Country at the NE Wiradjuri Centre, The Cementa Salon Opening at our newly purchased WAYOUT Artspace, The performance Night featuring The Shammgods: Live and an array of local and imported music and performance and the ever disturbing Sound Night, curated by Trevor Brown.
The festival will close on its final day with Whinangarra Gamarra (Listen, Hear Think Awaken), a First Nations communal ceremony, re-awakening the site’s ancient Songlines, whose connections to surrounding Aboriginal Nations have been disrupted by colonisation.
Creative Director Alex Wisser.