Rehearsing the Future
Rehearsing the Future


Sofie Burgoyne


Alex Last

Nadia Refaei

Jon Smeathers

3 – 29 August  2021

Rehearsal dates and booking information coming soon.

Location: Contemporary Art Tasmania


What aspects of the future do you think are in need of rehearsal? 

Are you willing to show up for the rehearsal?

For the month of August, choreographer and CAT’s curatorial mentee Sofie Burgoyne disassembles the exhibitive nature of the gallery so that the gallery can become a rehearsal space; a lab for live embodied experimentation and collective learning. Sofie has invited artists Nadia Refaei, Alex Last and Jon Smeathers to instigate rehearsals for connecting, living and working together in order to try out personal, social and political alternatives for the future. Understanding rehearsals as embodied contexts to try something and to try it again, you are invited to participate in and contribute to practice runs of future scenarios. Instigated by the artists, made by those who attend the gallery, the gallery will become a host for trialling future imaginaries, to which each of us contributes our own concerns, experience and imagination. 


One day we’ll eat together
Nadia Refaei
Nadia will work in the gallery space to prepare for, and enact, symbolic and virtual meetings with her family in the Syrian diaspora, now spread across continents. The gallery will become a site of solitude and intimacy, activated through conversations, practice and private moments normally reserved for domestic spaces. This phase of ‘preparation’, witnessed only by the artist and family, will give way to a public invitation to enter and view what remains in the gallery. One day we’ll eat together delves into a historical, familial relationship with migration and displacement, and invites reflection on states of connection, asking how we can redefine connection and closeness in the digital age and a time of restricted travel.

A Fleshy-rooted Perennial
Alex Last
In a globalised world and living on stolen country, what does it mean to put down roots? If we commit to this landscape, what alternate ways of sensing and processing the world might help us build a more regenerative lutruwita? To explore these questions, Alex will invite participants to become responsible for, and familiar with, an introduced plant species. With a focus on growing both outward and inward, participants will build affinity with uprooted vegetal beings in order to better comprehend their own mineral entanglements, energetic dependencies and ecological possibilities.

H-e-(ar)-r-e thru one: Scene Politics & SEO
Jon Smeathers
A prototype for rehearsing user protocols within open access / public YouTube accounts and managing the effects of algorithmic governance. The user protocols will be developed by participants during weekly general meetings through bargaining committees, critic and working groups tackling Youtube’s algorithms, scene politics and union structures.  Note: no technical skills or union alignments are required to participate


Rehearsing the Future is presented as part of the 2021 Curatorial Mentorship.



Nadia Refaei is an emerging artist and curator based in nipaluna/Hobart. Her multidisciplinary practice draws on both personal and broader histories to explore ideas around cultural dislocation. Diasporic identity has informed her interest in the relationships between migration, memory and mythology. Nadia uses installation, digital media and embodied action to examine these issues through the lens of Arab-Australian identity. Her practice combines both process-based and research-driven methods. Investigating ways to decentralise eurocentrism and interrogate imperialist mythologies underpins her practice. Nadia is also an arts worker and Co-Chair of CONSTANCE ARI.

 Alex Last (they/them) is an interdisciplinary artist living and working on Muwinina land in nipaluna, lutruwita (colonial name; Hobart, Tasmania). Alex works in a range of mediums across various disciplines, exploring the entangled, dissonant, cryptic and transformative relationships between living organisms and their human relatives. In a minor effort to dampen global anthropocentrism, Alex labours to uncover those narratives which illuminate the ornate subjectivities of earth’s scorned and unseen creatures. In recent years, various projects have involved an exploration of the material and energetic dependencies which trap human beings into extractive modes of existence.

Jon Smeathers is a musician and performance-based artist based in Hobart, Australia. Jon has exhibited and performed both internationally and across Australia, including at Serralves em Fiesta (Portugal), Melbourne Festival, the NOW Now Festival (Sydney) and Dark Mofo. He has been awarded international residencies and performance opportunities in Norway, Spain and Portugal, and awarded grants locally through the Australian Arts Council, Arts Tasmania, Creative Victoria & Hobart City Council. Jon’s work speculates on conditions of sociopolitical organisation within listening practices, media archaeology and structural alienation.

Sofie Burgoyne is an artist based in nipaluna with a background in dance and choreography. Her practice is centered around the body and rooted in choreography, but emerges in many forms. Interested in togetherness in difference, her artistic practice often sets up rehearsals or tests for being, living and working together. Sofie has recently been trying on curatorial roles as a form of friend-making or thinking-with, where she can create contexts for working alongside groups of artists in areas of mutual concern. Sofie prioritises collaboration and cross art-form conversation as processes of leaning into unexpected encounters. In 2021, Sofie graduated from Stockholm University of Arts completing a Masters degree in New Performative Practices. Recent artist credits include, The Pink Palace for Constance Ari, Field Notes from Care Workers for Bus Projects and a written publication, Red Sandstone for A Published Event’s Lost Rocks Project.

Image: Rehearsing the Future, 2021. Photo: Cassie Sullivan.

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