Anne Zahalka (AU)

Future Past Present Tense

01 March - 06 April
Image: Anne Zahalka, [Cast Adrift], 2023. Source Australian Museum. Courtesy the artist and ARC ONE Gallery.

Image: Anne Zahalka, Cast Adrift, 2023. Source Australian Museum. Courtesy the artist and ARC ONE Gallery.

Reimagining centuries-old ‘educational’ museum habitat displays.


01 March - 06 April


ARC ONE Gallery [i]
45 Flinders Ln, Melbourne
Wed – Sat, 11am – 5pm
or Tues by appointment


Environmental Futures


Wheelchair access



Anne Zahalka has been working with photographic records of historical museum dioramas for many years. These educational ‘habitat displays’ from the 19th century presented pristine environments, frozen in time, communicating apparent ‘truths’ about the natural world and humanity. By disrupting this idealised space, Zahalka subverts the idea of fixed information to reimagine the changing relationship that exists between people and the natural world.

Future Past Present Tense is a new series, pushing her diorama-based compositions into exciting and ambitious forms. Zahalka adapts historical Australian dioramas via digital interventions, reimagining these original habitats. Instead of presenting a fixed historical truth, the artist forecasts other possible futures. Introducing some of the original creators, she digitally reconstructs these habitats to consider the impact of climate change and reflect on the permanent altering of the Australian environment in the age of the Anthropocene, with small windows of hope for the future.

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Founding Partners
  • Bowness Family Foundation
  • Naomi Milgrom Foundation
Major Government Partners
  • City of Melbourne Arts Grants Program
  • Creative Victoria
Major Partners
  • Maddocks

PHOTO Australia respectfully acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands upon which we work and live, and the rich and diverse Indigenous cultures across what is now called Australia. For over 60,000 years, Indigenous arts and culture have thrived on this sacred land, and we honour Elders and cultural leaders past and present. This was, and always will be, Aboriginal land.

01–24 March