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Artist Talk: Christian Thompson

Desert Melon, from the We Bury Our Own series, 2012. 100 cm x 100 cm, C Type Print on Fuji Pearl Metallic paper.
Courtesy of Michael Reid Gallery, Sydney and Berlin; and Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne.

Lecture Nancy Stephenson Nichols Lecture

Harvard Art Museums, 32 Quincy Street
Cambridge MA

Christian Thompson, who is among the artists featured in the special exhibition Everywhen: The Eternal Present in Indigenous Art from Australia, will discuss his paper “Creative Responses to Australian Material Culture in the Pitt Rivers Museum Collection: Parallels between Christian Thompson—We Bury Our Own and Fred Wilson—Mining The Museum.” He will also perform songs in Bidjara, an Indigenous Australian dialect.

The Australian-born, London-based artist creates works that explore notions of identity, cultural hybridity, and history, with a focus on sexuality, gender, and race. Formally trained as a sculptor, Thompson engages multiple mediums, such as photography, video, sculpture, performance, and sound. In his live performances and conceptual portraits, he inhabits a range of personas, achieved through handcrafted costumes and carefully orchestrated poses and backdrops. His works are held in major international and Australian collections. In 2010, he became the first Aboriginal Australian to be admitted to the University of Oxford, where he earned a doctorate in fine art.

Thompson’s work has been included in exhibitions such as Australia, Royal Academy of Arts, London; We Bury Our Own, Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford; The Other and Me, Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization, United Arab Emirates; Hijacked III, QUOD Gallery, Derby, United Kingdom; Shadow Life, Bangkok Art and Cultural Centre; and The Beauty of Distance/Songs of Survival in a Precarious Age, 17th Biennale of Sydney.

Following the lecture, the Everywhen exhibition will remain open until 8pm.

Free admission

The lecture will take place in Menschel Hall, Lower Level. Please enter the museums via the entrance on Broadway.

Complimentary parking available in the Broadway Garage, 7 Felton Street, Cambridge.

Reflecting the personal and professional pursuits of the late Nancy Stephenson Nichols (Harvard A.M. ’77, Ph.D. ’80), this annual lecture provides a forum for international leaders in the arts, culture, and museums to share their expertise and ideas on topics of importance in the worlds in which they work. Modern and contemporary art programs at the Harvard Art Museums are made possible in part by generous support from the Emily Rauh Pulitzer and Joseph Pulitzer, Jr., Fund for Modern and Contemporary Art.

Cosponsored by the Harvard University Native American Program.

Lead support for Everywhen: The Eternal Present in Indigenous Art from Australia and related research has been provided by the Harvard Committee on Australian Studies. The exhibition is supported by the Australian Government through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Australian Consulate-General, New York.