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Australian art

Contemporary art

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Across the Nile



Ian Burns

Australia, United States of America

1964 -


Ian Burns's sculptural-video work 'Across the Nile' 2008 addresses production and consumption and screen culture in our postmodern world. Burns's 'Across the Nile' is a kinetic assemblage of everyday items and technology that have been sourced from building supplies and homeware shops. Burns's irreverent re-contextualisation considers aesthetic and cultural values upheld by both artist and viewer in an amusing and playful manner. Amongst the heap, a computer monitor displays an animated video of pyramids in the desert which has been autogenously produced by the work 'filming itself' with a camera. Jonathan T.D. Neil has commented on the exploration of simulation and representation in Burns's practice which blurs distinctions between concepts and media: 'mimesis arises as an emergent property of Burns's art, an ontological reality that is separate and distinct from any part of the apparatus itself' [1].

1. Jonathan T.D. Neil. 'Future greats', Art Review, March 2008, p 92




Media categories

Sculpture , Time-based art

Materials used

found object sculpture producing live video and audio


135.0 x 180.0 x 150.0 cm

Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.


Gift of Christopher Hodges and Helen Eager 2016. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Ian Burns

Works in the collection


Shown in 2 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 2 publications


Peter Hill and Stephen Bush, Art World (issue 5), 'The 2008 Melbourne Art Fair', pg. 182, Sydney, Oct 2008-Nov 2008, 182 (colour illus.).

Ross Woodrow., Ian Burns: It's all good, 'Aesthetics from the Greek temple to Freddy's Fishing World', Brisbane, 2008, not paginated.