Embedded: Craig Walsh

Art Life , Exhibitions Sep 27, 2013 2 Comments

From Sharne Wolff

While Aboriginal people have occupied the giant Pilbara region in the northern part of Western Australia for around 50,000 years, in the last century the region has been subject to an uneasy history between its original occupants and non-Indigenous people. In 1946 it became home to Australia’s longest strike when Aboriginal farm workers left their jobs for three years until their demands for equal wages were won. Miners moved in after Gina Rinehart’s dad first discovered the rich iron ore reserves and today Rio Tinto, sponsor of the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia and this exhibition, is one of the region’s largest ore producers.

QT-September 27_Embedded

Embedded is artist Craig Walsh’s attempt to plunge the audience into this site responsive project that considers the significance of land not only as the embodiment of indigenous beliefs and spirituality, but also as a commodity. To achieve his aim Walsh decided he first had to bury himself in the environment. He camped in the Burrup Peninsula for a month – collaborating with local Elders of the Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation, Murujuga Park Rangers and Rio Tinto staff to develop the art works. This display, which covers a full floor of the Museum, comes in the form of an installation comprising digital video, projection, photography, sound and ‘sculpture’ including more than 20 large yellow skips brimming with the earthy red ore.

Until November 24
Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney
Pic: Craig Walsh,? In Country – Tootsie Daniels, 2012,?type C photograph. Image courtesy the artist and Tootsie Daniels. © Craig Walsh. Courtesy the artist and Museum of Contemporary Art Australia Gallery.

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Sharne Wolff


  1. Money talks, Ethics walks

    Rio Tinto has an awful record in regards to its brutal treatment and exploitation of indigenous people for profit.
    The MCA should have back-grounded its corporate partner a bit more carefully – or did they knowingly turn a blind eye to Rios reputation for their own profit?

  2. Emily O'Neill

    No questions asked here either Mr Walsh (May 2013):


    Let’s take the ethics out of aesthetics, so the art market can operate with impunity..

    As Chinese sage and billionaire chair of Zhongfu Investment Group,
    Wu Puingai opined recently in the Fin Review: “To be successful in the development project, you must become part of the local community”.

    It seems China is sending in its own missionaries to soften up the locals, buying all their beads in exchange for land.

    But for Art Collector, everyone’s a grinner. And for the MCA, it’s business as usual.

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