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Blackspot: Contemporary Indigenous Photography

14 July – 21 August 2004

Destiny Deacon, Fiona Foley, Leah King-Smith, Tracey Moffatt and Christian Bumbarra Thompson

Max Delany

The title Blackspot situates the idea of an Indigenous photography in the context of recent history debates (the black armband and white blindfold...), whilst also identifying the process of reconciliation as unfinished business in contemporary Australian culture.

Through the photographic medium, the exhibition explores the ways in which Indigenous artists represented in the Monash University Collection have reclaimed representations of Aboriginality. Through their engagement with diverse artistic, photographic and cinematic genres and traditions – from colonial representations; documentary and ethnographic photography traditions; pop and media culture; to amateur snapshots and home movies – the participating artists achieve indelible, poetic and haunting images, whilst at the same time reworking and redefining cultural stereotypes, myths and representations.

Blackspot presents a focused selection of contemporary Indigenous photography from the Monash University Collection, with additional selected loans. It features works by leading Australian artists Destiny Deacon, Fiona Foley, Leah King-Smith, Tracey Moffatt, and Christian Bumbarra Thompson.

The exhibition highlights the power and complexity of contemporary Indigenous photography, and the way in which Indigenous artists draw upon a rich mixture of history, personal experience, blak humour, as well as postmodern and postcolonial theories, in order to generate new perspectives and understandings of the social, political and cultural conditions faced by Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

Media Kit:

Exhibition Catalogue:
Blackspot: Contemporary Indigenous Photography

Image: Leah King-Smith from the series Patterns of Connection Untitled #5 (King Billy) 1991. Monash University Collection