Body of objects
Dale Harding's work explores the traditions and untold histories of his communities. His recent research has focused on the stencilled imagery that can be found at sandstone sites across Carnarvon Gorge in Central Queensland. These extraordinary rock art galleries record weaponry, domestic tools and ceremonial objects that are specific to the region.
In response to these enduring indexes of Aboriginal material culture, Harding has produced a suite of silicon cast objects using the stencilled imagery as a guide, along with objects that relate to his family history. The resulting installation complicates any easy distinction between notions of original and copy, traditional and contemporary, utilitarian object and cultural fetish. The forms are variously opaque and translucent, flaccid, and sometimes embedded with spikes. This mutability works to unsettle the conventions of their museum-style display, which references the way in which such objects have been displaced, exchanged and interpreted since colonisation.
silicone, steel, nails
Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Contemporary Collection Benefactors & Aboriginal Collection Benefactors 2018
Not on display
© Dale Harding
Where the work was made
Shown in 1 exhibition
Documenta 14, The National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens, Athens, 06 Apr 2017–16 Jul 2017
Referenced in 2 publications
Angela Goddard, Dale Harding: Body of objects, 'Dale Harding: material traces', pg. 5-8, 2017, 6, 47 (colour illus.), 48 (colour illus.), 49 (colour illus.), 50 (colour ilus., detail), 51(colour ilus., detail), 52 (colour ilus., detail), 53.
Dale Harding and Hendrik Folkerts, MOUSSE, 'The present continuum: a conversation on Carnarvon Gorge, ambivalent artefacts and reproduction as artistic method in the work', pg. 244-245, Apr 2017-May 2017, 244 (colour illus.), 245 (colour illus.).