'Strange Flower' at The Australian Embassy, Berlin - Art Exhibition - Michael Reid Gallery

Dr Christian Thompson AO
‘Strange Flower’ at The Australian Embassy, Berlin

12 Nov - 1 Mar 2021

Titled ‘Strange Flower’, Christian Thompson’s exhibition at the Australian Embassy in Berlin brings together key works from across his career. We are pleased to present this exhibition in conjunction with the Australian Embassy, opening in conjunction with NAIDOC week.

Formally trained as a sculptor, Thompson’s multidisciplinary practice engages mediums such as photography, video, sculpture, performance and sound. His work transcends the ethnographic gaze, what he coins a type of ‘spiritual repatriation’, that emerges via a third space somewhere between lived experience, historical archive and the contemporary present. Although Thompson appears in his work, they are not self-portraits. Instead, he uses his body to present ideas about identity, the collision of cultures, and as an expression of his Bidjara (Indigenous Australian) culture.

The work ‘Untitled #6’ from the series ‘King Billy’ (2010) was created when Thompson was creating his solo performance ‘Tree of Knowledge’ at the Amsterdam School of Arts, and explores different experiences and identities. The fabric in the suit is patterned with Australian designs, made in China and commissioned with Dutch money.

There are also 3 works, of the total 8, from the series ‘We Bury Our Own’ (2012) on display. Developed when Thompson was at Oxford University in response to the Pitt Rivers Museum’s Australian photographic collection.

Thompson’s most recent bodies of work include large 4-panel works spanning over 2 meters tall and wide. Concealed behind a myriad of Australian native flowers, the works explore ideas of consumption and the collective anxiety faced in current times. Through the act of disguising the subject, Thompson creates space for re-discovery.

Currently only open by appointment only. Register interest via info.berlin@dfat.gov.au.

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