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Wednesday 26 June 2024
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The Red Chador: Stranded

7 July 2023 - 13 August 2023

The Red Chador: Stranded

Anida Yoeu Ali

Anida Yoeu Ali, Water Birth, The Red Chador: Genesis I, 2019, Digital colour print with archival pigment ink, 75 x 112.5cm. Kaiona Beach, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA. Courtesy of Studio Revolt. Performance & Concept: Anida Yoeu Ali. Photography: Masahiro Sugano.

The Red Chador: Stranded presents artist Anida Yoeu Ali as her alter ego The Red Chador, a heroine figure in a sparkling red sequined “Muslim” headdress, who responds to Islamophobia through public encounters. As a performance artist, Ali defines her artwork as the public, live moment itself – of durational exchange with audiences, offering and extending her body’s presence, gestures, and importantly, her return of the gaze. Her practice in video, photography and installation serve to archive and extend these performative moments. For Ali, The Red Chador is more than simply an item of clothing; she is an allegory for the hyper-presence of Muslim women and a means to intervene against the global rise of Islamophobia, misogyny, and racism. Premiering at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris, in 2015, the series has since appeared around the world including live performances in Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Seattle, Washington DC and San Francisco. In 2017 after a trip to Ramallah, her original garment was confiscated by Israeli officials causing Ali to publicly mourn her “death” in Philadelphia, Phnom Penh and Adelaide. In 2019, The Red Chador was ceremoniously rebirthed in Honolulu along with a rainbow spectrum of seven other colorful-sequined chadors. Through this exhibition, the artist invites viewers to wander, witness and experience something many have yet to see: Muslim bodies in unthreatening numbers, specifically Muslim women in all their brightness and glory—standing tall, proud and visible—existing full of life and fabulousness!

In August, during the final two weeks of this exhibition, Ali will be in resident at Umbrella Studio Contemporary Arts with her collaborative media lab, Studio Revolt, to engage the Townsville community through a series of conversations and participatory workshops. As an extension of Ali’s social practice, she will engage six other community participants to perform a procession and intervention as fully veiled bodies called chadoras across Townville’s public streets, plazas, parks, shops, places of worship and other significant landmarks. The performances will be incorporated into a newly commissioned video artwork to premiere at PUNQ 2024.

The Red Chador: Stranded is on display alongside Alison McDonald - Belonging: Memory and Loss and Kaz Hauser - Translocations and Transformations. You can view Anida's exhibition catalogue here.

The Red Chador: Stranded | In Conversation
5:30pm Wednesday 2 August 2023
Join exhibiting artist-in-residence Anida Yoeu Ali and Director Kate O’Hara as they discuss Anida’s exhibition, residency and broader arts practice. Read more here.

Creative Industries | The Artist's Journey
5:30pm Tuesday 8 August 2023
Join exhibiting artist-in-residence Anida Yoeu Ali as she speaks about her journey as an artist over the last two decades. Read more here.

Anida Yoeu Ali (b. 1973, Battambang, Cambodia) is an artist, educator and global agitator born in Cambodia and raised in America. Ali’s multi-disciplinary practices include performance, installation, public encounters, and political agitation. Utilizing an interdisciplinary approach to artmaking, her installation and performance works investigate the artistic, spiritual and political collisions of a hybrid transnational identity. Ali has performed and exhibited widely including at the Palais de Tokyo, Musée d'art Contemporain Lyon, Haus der Kunst, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Shangri-La Museum and QAGOMA. She is also the co-founder of Studio Revolt, a collaborative media lab whose works have agitated the White House, won awards at film festivals, and virally reached audiences. Ali received grants from the Rockefeller Foundation, Art Matters Foundation, Ford Foundation and National Endowment of the Arts. Ali holds an MFA, in Performance, from School of the Art Institute Chicago. Ali serves as a Senior Artist-in-Residence at the University of Washington Bothell and travels between the Asia-Pacific region and the U.S.

Anida Yoeu Ali's residency project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.

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Gurambilbarra (Townsville),
Qld, 4810 Australia

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Qld, 4810 Australia

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Acknowledgement of Country

Umbrella Studio Contemporary Arts respectfully acknowledges the Wulgurukaba of Gurambilbarra and Yunbenun and the surrounding groups of our region - Bindal, Gugu Badhan, Nywaigi, Warrgamay, Bandjin and Gudjal - as the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we gather, share and celebrate local creative practice. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. We acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders as the first people of Australia. They have never ceded sovereignty and remain strong in their enduring connection to land and Culture.

Umbrella is a Dealer Member of the Indigenous Art Code. This means we are committed to fair and ethical trade with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, and transparency in the promotion and sale of artwork. As a Dealer Member and signatory to the Code we must act fairly, honestly, professionally and in good conscience in all direct or indirect dealings with artists.


Umbrella is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland, part of the Department of Communities, Housing and Digital Economy, and by the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy, an initiative of the Australian, state and territory governments. | Umbrella is supported by the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation and receives funding from Creative Australia through the Australian Cultural Fund. | Townsville City Council is a funding partner of Umbrella's program.