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Page last published: 30 Nov 2009

interventions, the art exhibition running in conjunction with the Australian Anthropological Society’s Annual Conference features photography, video, painting and installation from across Australia.

internentionsThe exhibition is concerned with the possibilities that arise when researchers, instead of writing about Aboriginal people, take up visual media as a way of relating with others. Breaching conventional separations between art practice and scholarship—not to mention between the Indigenous ‘subject’ and the non-Indigenous ‘researcher’— interventions locates artists and ethnographers in shared fields of experimentation and cultural production.

Innovative, genre defying, and critically challenging, the diverse works in this exhibition—from Alice Springs, the Central and Western deserts, Arnhem Land, Cape York and south-east Queensland—are made possible by long-term, and highly personal, relationships with Indigenous communities. They reflect deep levels of respect for, and experience of, local cultures; they offer sights and insights that have arisen because of a willingness to work creatively with people in their own contexts and on their own terms.

interventions points to new ways forward for anthropology (a discipline that for many in the Australian context, remains tainted by its colonial past). More broadly, the exhibition offers a unique opportunity to appreciate more about what is at stake—and what is on offer—in on-going Indigenous struggles for recognition and reconciliation in this country. Collectively, these projects communicate a sense of vital social engagement that will challenge mainstream perspectives on Aboriginal art and society.


Jennifer Deger, Centre for Contemporary Art and Politics, COFA, UNSW


Michael Aird
Chris Barry
Jennifer Biddle and Rosie Napurrurla Tasman
Susan Marrawakamirr, David Gurrumurruwuy and Jennifer Deger
John von Sturmer
Tony Redmond


7 December 2009 - 12 February 2010


Art Gallery, Macquarie University