Lecture with Troy-Anthony Baylis:
Many museums have souvenirs of conquest in their holdings. Displayed under the guise of cultural education for all, knowledge of the dispossessed is presented through the lens of the conqueror. In Australia, the collection of indigenous material culture was integral to colonialism. Encased in glass boxes with unnatural lighting, the objects appear out of place, out of time, out of reach, scarified by the conquest and dispossession of indigenous peoples, country, and culture. Paradoxically, museums are places that preserved certain objects that might otherwise have been destroyed, providing access points for cultural re/connection and alter/native interpretation.
This discussion explores these ideas and looks to works of art by Indigenous Australian artists, including myself, that challenge and subvert colonial mis/representations and reclaim the archive.
This lecture is offered as part of a series of events and workshops in conjunction with the current exhibition Greetings from…the power of souvenirs.
Image credit: Modesty Sets (2013) by Troy-Anthony Baylis. Kindly on loan to the Migration Museum for the Greetings From… exhibition from Flinders University Art Gallery.