Karrabing Film Collective: The Mermaids: Mirror Worlds
Bringing together over thirty individuals from different Indigenous groups from the Northern Territory and their non-indigenous colleagues, Karrabing Film Collective is a grassroots initiative championing new forms of Indigenous agency through the production of local film and artistic forms. Karrabing’s films are marked by an inventive artistic language aimed at challenging historical and contemporary structures of settler power.
Karrabing means ‘tide out’ in Eminyengal Indigenous language and refers to a time of coming together as well as to the coastline that connects members of the Karrabing Film Collective who come from many family groups in the far north of Australia. For their first solo exhibition in Australia, these award-winning film-makers are presenting their latest work, The Mermaids: Mirror Worlds (2018), a two-channel installation exploring the present and future of western industrial toxicity.
Karrabing Film Collective describes The Mermaids: Mirror Worlds as… “An exploration of the present future vision in a new exploration of western industrial toxicity. Screens alternate between publicly accessible promotional films of chemical giants such as Monsanto and a story of young Indigenous man, Aiden, taken away when he was just a baby to be a part of a medical experiment to save the white race, and who is then released back into the world of his family. As he travels with his father and brother across the landscape he confronts two possible futures and pasts embodied by his own tale and the current fantasies of multinational chemical and extractive industries.” Alongside, The Mermaids: Mirror Worlds, the IMA will present works that depart from an ancestral journey of the distant past, ‘Night-time Go’ (2017), and the present, ‘Seenandunseen’ (2017).
Image: Karrabing Film Collective, The Mermaids: Mirror Worlds (2018), commissioned by Frontier Imaginaries, the Van Abbemuseum, Institute of Modern Art, and PUBLICS. Installation view, ‘Trade Markings’ exhibition, Van Abbemuseum April 7-July 1, 2018. Photograph by Marcel de Buck