Month: May 2014

My Country: Contemporary Art from Black Australia at The Auckland Art Gallery

My Country: Contemporary Art from Black Australia. Group Show. 28th March – 11th August. The Auckland Art Gallery. Aboriginal culture is linguistically and culturally diverse. Originally over 200 Indigenous Australian languages existed, with numerous dialects. Many types of expression were traditionally part of cultural practices, including rock painting, body painting, carving, bark painting and sand drawing. An alternative world where this was celebrated, rather than subjugated, is the hypothetical situation one is met with upon entrance to My Country. Michael Cook’s ethereal inkjet photographs (Civilised #1, #2, #6, #10, #13 & #14) hopefully imagine a world where the colonists had accepted the Aboriginal people as fellow human beings rather than having them listed as “Flora and Fauna” (which they were, until a referendum in 1967 overturned it). The works are haunting; Aboriginal subjects wearing traditional Victorian garbs, underscore the alienation experienced thanks to The Crown. This notion is further explored in this first room (of particular note is Alick Tipoti’s large-scale 2007 print Kuyku Garpathamai, examining the arrival of Christianity in The Torres Islands). This …