Cover image of the review
Mithu Sen, mOTHERTONGUE, installation view, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne, 2023. Photograph: Andrew Curtis


23 May 2023
Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA) 22 Apr - 18 Jun 2023

Mithu Sen is a New Dehli-based conceptual artist. She works in painting, drawing, and text, but also video and various forms of new technology. She has had solo exhibitions at the Chemould Prescott Road gallery in Mumbai in 2010 and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York in 2016 and has been included in the Dhaka Art Summit in Bangladesh in 2014 and the Asia Pacific Triennial in Brisbane in 2018. At the moment she has a huge solo exhibition at the Australian Centre of Contemporary Art, which entirely fills its vast hangar-like spaces, showing a wide range of her practice from the late 1990s until earlier this year.

But you will probably have to scrap all that and start again because one of Sen’s characteristic artistic devices, almost an obsession, is the putting of the prefix “un” in front of things. The show opens with an “unacknowledgement” of country and closes in almost something of an artist’s signature with a suite of drawings called unMYthU: unkind(s) (2018), and in between there is a work called, of all things, How to Unmake a Paper Boat (2019).

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