Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev with Natalie King

16th Biennale of Sydney, Revolutions – Forms That Turn
17 June – 7 September
Interview with Artistic Director, Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev

NK: The notion of ‘revolution’ has clear political overtones – how are you engaging with local politics especially our recent change in government and momentous ‘apology’ to the Aboriginal Stolen Generation?

CCB: I’m very fortunate and lucky to be able to do a Biennale at the time of this recent change in Government in Australia, and honoured to be doing it at the time of this momentous apology to the Aboriginal ‘Stolen Generation’. I think it was overdue and is an important moment for Australian history. Of course an apology has to be followed by real events, but it is a step in the right direction. I think the issues with the relationship between western colonisers and their descendents on the one hand and the Aboriginal people here on the other is a huge question. I see a great poverty which is not right, and I see the wonderful positive nature of the introduction of Aboriginal art made today in the field of contemporary art in museums. However I also see the sweatshops and the great market increase of values that these paintings have (without any resale rights going back to the communities from which they emerged), so I see many problems. I think part of the wealth of Australia is the mines and I don’t see the money going back to the Aboriginal people, who are the traditional owners of the land. I’m shocked to find that in this country there are no rich Aboriginal people... read the interview
Tracey Moffatt Marie Curie 2005, from Under the Sign of Scorpio, a series of 40 images, archival pigment ink on acid-free rag paper, 43.2 x 58.4 cm, edition of 21


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