Let’s Talk…The Arts with Keemon Willimas

In a uniquely BAD episode of Let’s Talk…The Arts, Rachael catches up with queer interdisciplinary artist Keemon Williams to talk about his work at the Brisbane Art and Design festival (BAD), and what drives his practice as a visual artist.

Keemon is a Koa, Kuku Yalanji and Meriam Mir man and his art work utilises a diverse range of mediums and performative elements “to interrogate the relationships between location, personal histories, and the manifestation of culture in a postcolonial world.” We talk about Keemon’s long engagement with the BAD festival, from his current work, to his 2021 solo exhibition, How to Beat a Dead Horse.

We learn about some of the major themes in his work: from contested ideas of ‘national identity’ and cultural ‘authenticity,’ to the commercial production and commodification of “Australiana.”

Across their conversation, Rachael and Keemon reflect on their favourite parts of the Brisbane Art and Design festival, the value of public arts festivals, and the potentially crucial role of the arts in playfully and creatively interrupting everyday notions of “Australianness.”