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Opening today at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) is Warwick Thornton: Mother Courage\, a striking video and sc ulptural installation from lauded Australian filmmaker Warwick Thornton. Th ornton is an Alice Springs based filmmaker and artist whose film Samson &\; Delilah (2009) won the Camera d’Or for best first feature at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival. 

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Commissioned by ACMI for the ACMI Comm issions Series\, Warwick Thornton: Mother Courage is a two-channel v ideo and sound installation presented inside a dilapidated campervan. Inspi red by Bertolt Brecht's 1939 play Mother Courage and Her Children\, Thornton has translated the play’s underlying theme of survival to an Austr alian context. Whereas Brecht's Mother Courage drags around a cart\, plying her wares on the battlefields of an endless war\, Thornton's Mother Courag e is an elderly and impoverished Aboriginal painter who makes and sells her art from the back of a van.  Surrounded by paint pots\, utensils and beddi ng\, the resourceful woman (played by artist Grace Rubuntja) applies hersel f to her dot painting\, while her bored grandson sits listening to loud Abo riginal rock music that blares from a radio. The artist and her grandson ar e physically confined to the cramped space of the campervan\, and yet the w ork invites the viewer to place the pair in a much larger context that ackn owledges the influence of culture and tradition\, but also the impact of co lonisation.

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Mother Courage made its international debut last year in Kassel\, Germany at the prestigious art festival dOCUMENTA (13). H ere Mother Courage was constantly on the move\, roving from gallery to gallery and visible to queues of exhibition visitors around the city. At ACMI\, the work finds new meaning within the rarefied confines of the muse um\, cutting against the grain of the white cube/black box experience offer ed by Gallery 2.

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DTEND:20130623 DTSTAMP:20141227T234947 DTSTART:20130205 GEO:-37.814107;144.96328 LOCATION:ACMI (Australian Centre for the Moving Image)\,Federation Square\, Flinders Street \nMelbourne\, Victoria SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY: MOTHER COURAGE\, Warwick Thornton UID:258935 END:VEVENT BEGIN:VEVENT DTEND:20130205T180000 DTSTAMP:20141227T234947 DTSTART:20130205T100000 GEO:-37.814107;144.96328 LOCATION:ACMI (Australian Centre for the Moving Image)\,Federation Square\, Flinders Street \nMelbourne\, Victoria SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY: MOTHER COURAGE\, Warwick Thornton UID:258936 END:VEVENT END:VCALENDAR