University Of Tasmania

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The Desires of Mute Things

posted on 2023-05-25, 08:23 authored by Newitt, J
Research Background The ‘Colonial Afterlives’ exhibition consisted of contemporary responses from sixteen artists living in Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, Canada and Britain to the complex legacies of British occupation. The exhibition raised questions around the nature of post-colonial identity in an increasingly globalised world. The work Desires of Mute Things was included in the exhibition as a new commission and sought to question the ethics and legacy of presenting objects and images related to Tasmania’s colonial past, specifically in relationship to the colonial collection of the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery. Research Contribution The Desires of Mute Things responded to the colonial collection of the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery. It draws a broad outline around a network of contentious and problematic representations of people and place, specifically representations of early colonial history. The video in the installation shows objects, images and spaces within the museum while an anonymous voice follows a train of thought and speculates on the history and desires of the things that it encounters along the way. Research Significance The Desires of Mute Things was commissioned as part of a Salamanca Art Centre’s major international exhibition ‘Colonial Afterlives’ and was presented as part of the 2015 Ten Days festival program. The exhibition was curated by London-based curated Dr Sarah Thomas and will tour to several Australia galleries and regional museums over 2016-18.



installation, video projection, sound


School of Creative Arts and Media


‘Colonial Afterlives’ Salamanca Art Centre


14:10 mins

Event Venue

Salamanca Arts Centre, Hobart

Date of Event (Start Date)


Date of Event (End Date)


Rights statement

Copyright unknown

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

The creative arts

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