Do Rocks Listen? is a solo exhibition by the Karrabing Film Collective, a grassroots Indigenous media group, based in Australia’s Northern Territory, who create films and art installations as a way to analyze contemporary settler colonialism, and through these depictions, challenge its grip. Their films employ a highly inventive cinematic language that provokes disorientation and (mis)understandings of the multileveled worlds in which Indigenous Australian families dwell.
Do Rocks Listen? presents the first comprehensive survey of the Karrabing Film Collective’s films in Asia, by converting the ICA’s gallery into a microcinema and via virtual screenings online. The exhibition is organized into four screening series. The first is composed of their three earliest films, also known as the “Intervention Trilogy,” which stage the everyday lives of Indigenous families under competing demands from their ancestral presents and a settler colonial state.
In English and Australian Aboriginal English with Chinese subtitles.
Please register for the exhibition to receive a private link.
When the Dogs Talked, 2014
Video (single channel, color, sound); 34’08”
As a group of Indigenous adults argue about whether to save their government housing or their sacred landscape, their children struggle to decide how the ancestral Dreaming makes sense in their contemporary lives. Listening to music on their iPods, walking through bush lands and boating across seas, they follow their parents on a journey to re-enact the travel of the Dog Dreaming.
Windjarrameru, The Stealing C*nt$, 2015
Video (single channel, color, sound); 35’15”
A group of young Indigenous men hide in a chemically contaminated swamp after being falsely accused of stealing two cartons of beer, while all around them miners are wrecking and polluting their land. Their families worry that they’ll be harmed if they remain in the toxic swamp or incarcerated if they emerge.
Wutharr, Saltwater Dreams, 2016
Video (single channel, color, sound); 29’05”
Across a series of flashbacks, an extended Indigenous family argues about what caused their boat’s motor to break down and leave them stranded out in the bush. As they consider the roles played in the incident by their ancestors, the regulatory state, and Christian faith, the film explores the inescapable vortexes of contemporary Indigenous life.
In conjunction with Do Rocks Listen? an exhibition by Karrabing Film Collective
Do Rocks Listen? an exhibition by Karrabing Film Collective and related events are presented as the first season of Another Knowledge Is Possible (2021-23), a biennial artistic research program organized by the ICA at NYU Shanghai. From Fall 2021 through Spring 2023, the ICA will explore other knowledges that have been neglected or repressed and ask if it is possible for a deep decolonization of thought to reclaim these ways of knowing?