Rainbow Serpent (Version) Daniel Boyd at Gropius Bau

Wednesday, April 26 2023

Opening Times

Wednesday to Friday: 11:00am - 7:00pm

Saturday & Sunday: 10:00am - 7:00pm


Gropius Bau
Niederkirchnerstraße 7
10963 Berlin-Kreuzberg
.How to get there

April and "springtime", that means Gallery Weekend in Berlin! This year it is the 19th edition of the art highlight that enjoys international and regional popularity. Since 2005, around 50 galleries have presented established and up-and-coming young artists to the art-hungry public, who will make the "fat B" a little thicker from 28 to 30 April.

But there is still some time before then, and you can spend it very well at the Gropius Bau, for example. We would especially like to recommend the exhibition currently on show there!

Why? Rainbow Serpent (Version) is not only the most comprehensive exhibition of the Australian First Nation artist Daniel Boyd in Europe to date, but it is also incredibly important in the truest sense of the word. Inconceivable in different ways: Once for Europeans* with our Eurocentric view of First Nation peoples in general, and here, in particular, the Australian ones.

"Aboriginal" is a term used by the majority, and that's usually where it ends. "First Nation" is an umbrella term for all people with family connections to Australia's first human inhabitants: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nations. These comprise many different indigenous communities, each with their own languages, cultures and customs. Boyd, who was born in Gimuy/Cairns in 1982, belongs to the Kudjala, Ghungalu, Wangerriburra, Wakka Wakka, Gubbi Gubbi, Kuku Yalanji, Budjalung and Yuggera and has ni-Vanuatu ancestry."

Danyel Boyd I Untitled I 2022
Danyel Boyd I Untitled I 2022
Danyel Boyd I Rainbow Serpent (Version) I 1
Danyel Boyd I Sir No Beard I 2009
Danyel Boyd by Tobias Rowles

These ancestors had lived on the continent for over 50,000 years before it was declared a separate colony in 1825. But as early as 1788, the first convict colony was established in what is now New South Wales. The seclusion of the location was intended to increase the colony's security. The arrogance alone of using an entire continent as a "holding place" for "undesirable subjects" in one's own society is actually "inconceivable", isn't it?

"Our spirituality is oneness and an interconnectedness with all that lives and breathes, even with all that does not live or breathe." - Mudrooroo.

Also incredible to us is the diversity and knowledge of Australia's First Nation peoples, and more and more people in the so-called "civilised world" understand that we need this knowledge if we are to turn the tide - just saying.

"We cultivated our land, but in a way different from the white man. We endeavoured to live with the land; they seemed to live off it. I was taught to preserve, never to destroy." - Tom Dystra.

It would not be the Gropius Bau if the architecture of the building did not play a significant role in the curation of the show, condensing Boyd's narratives, highlighting them, and giving them space and flow. Thus, "Boyd takes the neo-Renaissance architecture of the Gropius Bau as the starting point for a new series of paintings. He draws on the iconography of European classicism and neo-classicism - and relates this to the misrepresentation of people subjected to colonial and imperial violence and expansion."

The fact that all the rooms upstairs function as entrances and launches to the exhibition and that it does not follow an orderly route is also intentional and represents Boyd's "resistance to fixed categorisations such as those that characterise colonial violence and cultural homogenisation."

Much, much more can be said about this significant exhibition, but it cannot replace one's own comprehension, seeing, grasping and applying. Asked in the interview about the core of all his work, Boyd answers in one word: "Justice."

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Rainbow Serpent (Version) – Daniel Boyd at Gropius Bau
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