Being Human Human Being
29 April 2022 - 22 May 2022
State Library Precinct
RMIT Alumni Courtyard (outdoor) [i]
357-377 Russell St, Melbourne
Mon – Fri, 7am – 8pm
Sat – Sun, 10am – 5pm
In an immersive presentation exclusive to PHOTO 2022, Christian Thompson AO transforms the RMIT Alumni courtyard (formerly the courtyard of the Old Melbourne Gaol) with large-scale photographic works amidst a new soundscape.
For this exhibition, Thompson exhibits his Flower Wall series together for the first time, including a new commission for PHOTO 2022: Being Human Human Being.
In these works, Thompson disappears into constellations of flowers as an exploration of identity, sexuality, gender, race and memory.
Echoing throughout the courtyard is the soundscape, also commissioned for PHOTO 2022, featuring a layering of Thompson’s voice singing in Bidjara, his mother tongue. Considered an extinct or lost language, each word of Bidjara spoken—or sung—works to maintain it as a living language.
Formally trained as a sculptor and recently awarded the 2020 Bowness Photography Prize, Thompson has an interdisciplinary practice, and in 2010 made history, becoming the first Aboriginal Australian to attend the University of Oxford in its 900-year history.
Commissioned by Photo Australia for PHOTO 2022
Supported by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund and RMIT Culture
As part of PHOTO 2022’s international program, Christian Thompson is exhibiting at the Soho Photography Quarter, London from 23 September.
Presented by The Photographers’ Gallery and Photo Australia, and supported by the Australian Government as part of the UK/Australia Season 2021–22.