Cover image of the review
Daniel Boyd, Untitled (TBOMB), 2020, oil, synthetic polymer paint and archival glue on canvas, 245 x 396 cm; 2 panels (overall), Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, James and Diana Ramsay Fund 2020, 2020P3(a&b). © Daniel Boyd

Daniel Boyd: Treasure Island

29 Oct 2022
Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW) 4 Jun - 29 Jan 2023

Contemporary Aboriginal art is today the most proactive form of protesting the sacred stories that Australia tells itself about its past. Daniel Boyd has for almost two decades been a central figure in this movement. Through painting, integrated architectural interventions, screen-based and projected media, Boyd has performed a distinctive declaration of cultural autonomy against dominant narratives of historical authority. His body of work, surveyed across eighty pieces in the AGNSW’s current exhibition Treasure Island, stands as an important wayfinding point for navigating the profound shift over the past few decades in the way Indigenous life and knowledge in Australia is represented, and by whom.

Museums have been instrumental in scientifically and politically constructing stereotypical and inauthentic interpretations of the lived experience, ceremonial life, object-production knowledges and artistic craftsmanship of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island peoples. Australian museums have authored versions of the past that have denied contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people the pathways to knowledges they need to exercise authority within their communities.

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