Amos Gebhardt (AU)

In memory of stars

01 March - 24 March

Image: Amos Gebhardt, Dragonfish from the series In memory of stars, 2023.

Hauntings of history.


01 March - 24 March


Birrarung Lightboxes [i]
Southbank Promenade, Southbank


Environmental Futures


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Western cosmologists say bones are made from material traces of incredibly rare, calcium-rich  supernovas, the explosive death and afterlife of unique stars. Sourced from veterinary and scientific x-ray archives, the bones in these photographs belong to native animals injured or killed on Wadawurrung country and oceans off the coast of Australia. To see these bones and constellations that shone above  them, the process required a record of light frequencies so small that they pass through skin, and others  so vast their origins formed millions of light years away.

Whilst visually alluring, the x-rays reflect a deeper story of colonial impact. Close inspection reveals  lethal injuries from sources such as lawn mowers, vehicles and firearms. As a person of settler-colonial  heritage, Gebhardt seeks to foreground phenomena not visible to the human eye, as a way to reflect on histories and colonial violences that might be wilfully hidden or erased.

By revealing the luminosity of these once animated bones, the work suggests the entangled lines of  connection between cosmology, trauma & sentience of and beyond the human. Merged with elements  such as fire, smoke, stars and dust, the animals hover like hauntings, floating between deep time and  futurity.

A calling to lost futures.

Thank you to the Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation and the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation for their generous time, knowledge sharing and consultation. Special thanks also to Dr Paola Balla. Grateful acknowledgement also extends to Kane Wilson and the CSIRO.

Curated by PHOTO Australia Commissioned by PHOTO Australia and the City of Melbourne Dragonfish Image: X-ray courtesy of CSIRO

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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