Intimacy rules Christian Thompson’s latest exhibition

Christian Thompson Ritual Intimacy at the John Curtin Gallery. Picture: David Baylis. d493247
Christian Thompson Ritual Intimacy at the John Curtin Gallery. Picture: David Baylis. d493247

ONE of Australia’s most remarkable contemporary artists is exhibiting at the John Curtin Gallery.

Bidjara artist Christian Thompson was one of the first two Aboriginal Australians admitted to the University of Oxford.

Dr Thompson unveiled his exhibition Ritual Intimacy at the Bentley gallery.

Featuring photographic, video and sound-based works, the collection covers themes of identity, race and history, with Thompson’s own experiences.

He said the exhibition explored the fashioning of identity and the Indigenous language as an expression of cultural survival.

“Bidjara is officially an endangered language, but my work is motivated by the simple yet profound idea that if even one word of an endangered language is spoken it continues to be a living language,” he said.

The artwork features a monograph of Thompson’s work and a composition, which combines visual and audio pieces.

“It will be a much more ambitious iteration of a song in Bidjara. At one stage I’m singing on one screen and then other versions of me appear singing the melodies,” Thompson said.

“I really see it as an opportunity to do something that’s more complex musically, more textured sonically – I also want it to be more intricate with my use of language.”

The exhibition is on display until July 21.

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