OH, MUSEUM | DIRECT POSITIVE | PANEL DISCUSSION10 July 2021
James Tylor, CIPX Aidan Hartshorn, (Walgalu people of the Ngurmal Nation), CIPX Sebastian Goldspink, (Burramattagal, Dharug people), CIPX, Tina Baum (Larrakia, Wardaman and Karajarri peoples) all 2021, Huhnemuhle Print of a Tintype Photograph.
Recorded during the exhibition Oh, Museum, Cement Fondu presents the NAIDOC week panel discussion ‘Direct positive: Affirming First Nations presence in Australian museums,’ available to view online now. The talk was also previously aired on Koor Radio 93.7fm
Facilitated by Matt Poll (Chau Chak Wing Museum, USYD) and featuring artist James Tylor, Dr Mariko Smith (The Australian Museum) and Coby Edgar (AGNSW), the talk took James Tylor’s newly commissioned portrait series ‘CIPX’ 2021, as its starting point. Critical Indigenous Photographic Exchange (CIPX) is an international project that encourages Indigenous photographers from around the world to take portraits of their local Indigenous communities using the 19th century tintype process. Tylor’s contribution to the CIPX project recontextualises the early photo-documentation of Aboriginal people by European anthropologists in the 19th and early-20th century in Australia by photographing contemporary arts workers and artists in ways that give them agency and respect.
This discussion asked questions of whether Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island community expectations have been met in regards to unequal representation, embedding cultural protocols in museum policy, and where to now for First Nations autonomy in museums. Aboriginal curators and artists have called for just recognition of their right to participate on an equal basis in economic and social terms for generations. The panellists will draw upon their personal experiences of the ways in which existing Indigenous practices, strategies and support networks are working to counter this inequity and affirm a deeper First Nations presence in Australian museums.