RMIT Gallery’s façade comes alive for White Night Melbourne

White Night Melbourne – Saturday 20 February – Sunday 21 February from 7 pm to 7 am – will again delight as the city comes alive, enticing people on a journey of discovery through the heart of Melbourne with music, food, film, art, and light. And for the third year in a row, RMIT Gallery has a showcase of events planned for art lovers.

 

Located in RMIT’s grand Victorian building Storey Hall, RMIT Gallery’s façade comes alive with a dazzling light show and morphs throughout the night thanks to “Architectonics” a custom projection mapping technology by Joshua Batty and Mitchell Nordine from MindBuffer.

 

The work, which sits at the intersection of science, architecture and digital media seeks to explore a variety of architectural perceptual tricks at the extreme level of detail MindBuffer have become known for. With the aid of custom visual granular synthesis software developed by Joshua as part of his PhD at RMIT, the architectural features of the building will be disintegrated and rebuilt into an evolving generative form throughout the duration of the night.

In 2015 RMIT Gallery opened its doors all night for Experimenta Recharge, and in 2014 Music, Melbourne and Me: 40 years of Mushroom and Melbourne’s Popular Music Culture delighted art lovers from dusk till dawn.

This year, bring your family and friends into RMIT Gallery in the centre of the city in the Northern Precinct, and enjoy an adventure into German subculture with the exhibition Geniale Dilletanten [Brilliant Dilletantes] Subculture in Germany in the 1980s + Australian Ingenious Amateurs,  along with an all night film festival dedicated to the subculture scene of both East and West Germany of the era.

 

From Nick Cave to Blixa Bargeld, Einstürzende Neubauten to Die Tödliche Doris, this new international touring exhibition from the Goethe-Institut celebrates the radical movement and alternative artistic scene that exploded from Germany in the 1980s, with a taste of the alternative music and art scene from Australia of the era.

Ride the Einstürzende Neubauten Klangbewegung Maschine by (((20Hz))) to really feel like you are in a 1980s Berlin club.

 

The Klangbewegung Maschine is a single participant installation for sound, movement, sensed vibration and light. Sitting in a reclaimed Audi passenger seat, the participant selects their preferred Neubauten composition, Merle (Drawings of Patient OT), Prologue or Feurio (Haus Der Leuge). The music is thrown into movement by a six degrees of freedom motion simulator, extended into vibration through a bass transducer and transmuted into light via eyelid-projections controlled by sound.

Dress up in 1980s gear and get a photo from our print booth as a souvenir.

From 7 pm to 7 am, the free 1980s German Subculture Film Festival at the RMIT Kaleide Theatre next door will show a program of music, documentary and experimental films from the 1980s presented by RMIT Gallery and the Goethe-Institut Australien (all films are in German with English subtitles).

KALEIDE THEATRE – 1980s GERMAN SUBCULTURE FILM FESTIVAL (FREE ENTRY!!!)

(Note: no lift access to Kaleide Theatre, 360 Swanston St, Melbourne)

7.00pm – 9.00pm Berlin Super 80 (1978-1984), 120 min.

Compilation of 18 short movies shot in Super 8 by West German experimental film makers during the late 1970s/early 80s. Music: Malaria, Reflections, Einstürzende Neubauten, Frieder Butzmann and Die Tödliche Doris.

9.00pm – 10.30pm Einstürzende Neubauten live at Palast der Republik (2004) 82 min.

Einstürzende Neubauten concert performance filmed at the former Parliament building Palast der Republik in Berlin.

10.30pm – 12.30am Flüstern und Schreien: ein Rock Report (Whisper & Shout – the East German Rock revolution) (1988), 120 min.

Documentary exploring the East German (DDR) rock music scene of the late 1980s. Music: André + Die Firma, Chicorée, Die Zöllner, Feeling B, Sandow, Silly and This Pop Generation.

12.30am – 2.00am B-Movie: Lust & Sound in West Berlin (Unclassified Strictly 18 +) (94 min)

Director Mark Reeder (Factory Records) weaves memoirs of his own life together with super-8 archival footage of subculture luminaries of the era such as Nick Cave, Gudrun Gut and Blixa Bargeld.

2.00am – 4.00am Flüstern und Schreien: ein Rock Report (Whisper & Scream) (1988), 120 min.

4.00am – 6.00am B-Movie: Lust & Sound in West Berlin (Unclassified Strictly 18 +) (94 min)

*Some videos may contain nudity and strong adult themes. All Videos German with English subtitles.

RMIT Gallery videos explore Geniale Dilletanten exhibition

Celebrating the radical movement and alternative artistic scene that exploded from Germany in the 1980s, RMIT Gallery’s new videos document the current exhibition Geniale Dilletanten [Brilliant Dilletantes] Subculture in Germany in the 1980s + Australian Ingenious Amateurs (13 November 2015 – 27 February 2016).

Watch the video – sound designer Darrin Verhagen talks about the Einstürzende Neubauten’s Klangbewegung Maschine, an audiokinetic jukebox by (((20Hz))), which provides a viscerally embodied, multisensory experience of three classic Einstürzende Neubauten tracks from the 1980’s.

 

Watch the video – Munich based exhibition curator Mathilde Weh and Dr Motte, Berlin
based DJ and founder of The Love Parade, talk about the exhibition and subculture in the 1980s during their visit to RMIT Gallery in November 2015.

 

Watch the video – Australian musician Ash Wednesday, photographer Peter Milne and artist Jenny Watson talk about the Australian subculture scene of the 1980s.

Experience the exhibition for yourself at RMIT Gallery’s exhibition Geniale Dilletanten [Brilliant Dilletantes] Subculture in Germany in the 1980s + Australian Ingenious Amateurs until 27 February 2016.

 

Book now! Geniale Dilletanten: Brilliant Dilletantes – public program events

RMIT.GenDill.FINALEVITEwebresRMIT Gallery’s exhibition Geniale Dilletanten (Brilliant Dilletantes): Subculture in Germany in the 1980s (Nov 13 – 27 Feb 2016) presents a comprehensive survey of 1980s German subculture: a rich array of video, audio, photos, record covers, gig posters and other artefacts.

Initiated and curated by the Goethe-Institut, the exhibition showcases the work of experimental bands such as Einstürzende Neubauten, Deutsch-Amerikanische Freundschaft (DAF) and Die Tödliche Doris, as well as visual artists, filmmakers and designers from West and East Germany.

As part of the exhibition, RMIT Gallery presents + Australian ingenious amateurs – a flavour of what was happening in Melbourne from 1979 – 1989 through an exploration of Australian subculture that was characterised by large numbers of short-lived bands, more concerned with artistic expression than mainstream.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a rich program of concerts, panel discussions, and artist talks featuring eyewitness accounts by protagonists such as Einstürzende Neubauten and Automat guitarist Jochen Arbeit and Love Parade founder Dr Motte, who were involved in the scene at the time and have been active artists since then.

Opening Night Party: Thursday 12. November 2015, 6-8 pm. All welcome. German 80s subculture music to be played by Tony Irvine, 3PBSFM.

RSVP: 03 9925 1717 or rmit.gallery@rmit.edu.au

B-movie flyer small

Film Screening: B-MOVIE: LUST & SOUND IN WEST-BERLIN
A fast-paced documentary by British film maker Mark Reeder of mostly unreleased footage from a frenzied but creative decade, starting with punk and ending with the Love Parade: B-Movie: The movie
Date: Friday, 13. November 2015. Time:  6-8 pm. With a pre-screening introduction by curator Mathilde Weh and Professor Alison Lewis, and Australian writer & Berlin resident Stuart Braun whose new book City of Exiles: Berlin from the Outside In features research that draws from his interviews with Mark Reeder, the film director.
Venue: RMIT Gallery, Storey Hall Auditorium, 344 Swanston Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000
Free entry.
Booking required: https://b-movie.eventbrite.com.au

Mathilde Weh at the Geniale Dilletanten exhibition, Haus der Kunst, Munich.

Mathilde Weh at the Geniale Dilletanten exhibition, Haus der Kunst, Munich.

Artist Talk: Curating SUBCULTURE
RMIT Gallery Director Suzanne Davies & curator Mathilde Weh in conversation
Date: Monday, 16 November 2015. Time: 1pm – 2pm
Venue: RMIT Gallery, 344 Swanston Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000
Free entry.

Musician Penny Ikinger. Photo by Marilyn Jeanette.

Musician Penny Ikinger. Photo by Marilyn Jeanette.

Artist Talk: The Subversive Voice: Women in the Arts in the 1980s
Curator Mathilde Weh in conversation with musician Penny Ikinger about the role that women played in the art and music scene of the 1980s
Date: Tuesday, 17 November 2015. Time: 1-2 pm
Venue: RMIT Gallery, 344 Swanston Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000. Free entry.

RMIT_2015HoffLecture_new_webPanel discussion: “The Influence and Legacy of 1980s German Subculture” (2015 Ursula Hoff Contemporary Lecture)
Speakers: Moderator Dr Stuart Grant, Dr Motte, Jochen Arbeit, Mathilde Weh, Jenny Watson, Ash Wednesday
Date: Friday, 20 November 2015. Time: 5.30-7 pm
venue: RMIT Storey Hall Green Brain Seminar Room, Level 7, 342 Swanston Street
Free entry. Booking required: https://ursulahofflecture.eventbrite.com.au

Live-Concert: AUTOMAT from Berlin
Berlin post-industrial dub-rock trio featuring Jochen Arbeit (Einstürzende Neubauten, Die Haut), Achim Färber (Project Pitchfork, Prag) and Georg Zeitblom (Sovetskoe Foto). Automat live in Australia.
Date: Friday, 20 November 2015. Time: 8.00pm
Venue: John Curtin Hotel, 29 Lygon St, Carlton VIC 3053
Entry: $20 + Booking Fee: http://bit.ly/1S8rEoj

Darren Verhagen and the 'klang maschine

Darrin Verhagen and the ‘klang maschine”

Artist Talk: The “Klangbewegung Maschine” (please note the date for this talk has been changed due to illness. We apologise for any inconvenience.)
Sound artist Darrin Verhagen and musician Ash Wednesday (Einstürzende Neubauten) discuss the legacy of the 1980s subculture and its music and the creation of the sound-installation “Klangbewegung Maschine”.

This audiokinetic jukebox is a single participant installation for sound, movement, sensed vibration and light. Sitting in a reclaimed Audi passenger seat, the participant selects their preferred Neubauten composition, Merle (Drawings of Patient OT), Prologue or Feurio (Haus Der Leuge). The music is thrown into movement by a six degrees of freedom motion simulator, extended into vibration through a bass transducer and transmuted into light via eyelid-projections controlled by sound.

NEW Date: Tuesday 8 December Time: 1 – 2 pm Venue: RMIT Gallery, 344 Swanston Street. Melbourne. Free entry.

Stuart Braun

Stuart Braun

Book Talk:  Berlin from the Outside In
Australian writer & Berlin resident Stuart Braun discusses his new book City of Exiles: Berlin from the Outside In with photographer Peter Milne. Stuart interviewed Mark Reeder, the central character in the film B-Movie: Lust & Sound in West-Berlin, and that research features extensively in City of Exiles.

Stuart Braun completed a doctorate in history before living across Asia, Australia and Europe and publishing widely as a journalist and writer. Moving to Berlin in 2009, he soon started working on his ode to his adopted city, City of Exiles: Berlin from the Outside In (2015), a book that explores why Berlin has long held a special allure for visionary artists, musicians and free spirits from around the world – including Iggy Pop, who graces the cover.

Peter Milne is a documentary photographer known for his documentation of Australian Independent rock band Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds in the early 1990s. In 1992, Milne toured Europe with the band and his photographs reflect the everyday realities of the tour from the ‘Boredom of the Road’ in Germany and backstage glimpses, to the glamour stage shots of band members and images of adoring fans.
Date: Thursday, 3 December  2015. Time: 5.30-6.30 pm
Venue: RMIT Gallery,  344 Swanston Street, Melbourne.
Free entry

Geniale Dilletanten: 1980s German Subculture comes to RMIT Gallery

Mathilde Weh, curator, Geniale Dilletanten, at the exhibitionat the Haud der Kunst, Munich. Photo: Evelyn Tsitas

Mathilde Weh, curator, Geniale Dilletanten, at the exhibition at the Haus der Kunst, Munich.

RMIT Gallery visited curator Mathilde Weh in July Munich at the Haus der Kunst to talk to her about the new Goethe Institut exhibition she curated – Geniale Dilletanten: Subculture in Germany in the 1980s.

A touring version of the exhibition will be held at RMIT Gallery from 13 November – 27 February 2016, with a local component – Australian Ingenious Amateurs – reflecting aspects of the Australian scene.

Mathilde Weh will visit Melbourne for opening week events at RMIT Gallery.

RMIT Gallery: So, you had a big opening night for the exhibition just recently. Tell us a little bit about the party, who played there?

Mathilde Weh, at the Geniale Dilletanten exhibition at the Haus der Kunst, Munich. Photo: Evelyn Tsitas

Mathilde Weh, at the Geniale Dilletanten exhibition, Haus der Kunst, Munich. 

Mathilde: There was a concert two days after the opening from the band Einstürzende Neubauten and it was a really great concert and I think Blixa Bargeld was in Melbourne very often because he played with Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.

RMIT Gallery: That’s right, so it’s very familiar to Melbourne audiences and a lot of Australian audiences who came of age as artists and musicians in the 1980s will find this exhibition really fascinating. Why did you decide to pursue this idea of German subculture in the 1980s?

Mathilde: We, from the Goethe-Institut, wanted to make an exhibition about subculture and then we decided to do it about the 80s because it was a very interesting time. The medias were mixed; music, painting, literature. It was a mixed-media time!

RMIT Gallery: That’s true also in Australia because we had so many people who were involved in the music scene, who were making films, who were painting. Australian musician Ash Wednesday who was a touring musician with Einstürzende Neubauten recalls the local ‘ingenious amateur’ scene, and that’s exactly what this exhibition celebrates, isn’t it?

Mathilde: Yes, yes. And the new possibilities to make films with Super Eight. And you have samplers and Casios and all the new recordings. This was a new feeling for musicians.

Casio PT-30, Casio Computer Co, Ltd, Japan, 1984. From the Geniale Dilletanten exhibition, Haus der Kunst, Munich.

Casio PT-30, Casio Computer Co, Ltd, Japan, 1984. From the Geniale Dilletanten exhibition, Haus der Kunst, Munich. 

RMIT Gallery: The exciting thing about this was it was a cheap technology for the time, and people could readily get their hands on it and it wasn’t complicated so they could all have a go. (Hence – Brilliant Dilletantes – the English translation of the exhibition title)

Mathilde: Yes, it was not too expensive and everyone could make a film. There will be many of these films in the exhibition not seen before by many people.

Geniale Dilletanten exhibition, Haus der Kunst, Munich. Photo: Evelyn Tsitas

Geniale Dilletanten exhibition, Haus der Kunst, Munich. 

RMIT Gallery: So to be a ‘Brilliant Dilettante or Brilliant Amateur in this scene, you didn’t have to be a professional film maker?

Mathilde: Yes, yes. That’s right. And also many artists in the eighties didn’t want to be a rockstar, they didn’t want to play a rock show… not to be able to play very good instrument. That was okay.

RMIT Gallery: Can you talk about the intriguing home made instruments that were part of the scene?

Mathilde: The artists had self-made instruments, like a plastic box with lego, children play with it. You can make noise with it and other instruments. And this is the Robotron. I don’t know, it is an instrument that can make noise and they change it a little bit, edit and change. With Einstürzende Neubauten (Blixa’s band and he played with Nick Cave) the first time they played together they had no money and they sold the drums and they found things (hammers, electric drills, saws) and used it to play. In one legendary show, the music was recorded without an audience in the hollow interior of a motorway bridge shortly after the band performed. And it was a really small space, you couldn’t stand up but it was a big noise, strange noise.

Mathilde Weh with the Robotron, at the Geniale Dilletanten exhibition, Haus der Kunst, Munich. Photo: Evelyn Tsitas

Mathilde Weh with the Robotron, at the Geniale Dilletanten exhibition, Haus der Kunst, Munich. 

RMIT Gallery: Politically, what was happening in Germany in that time in the early eighties? How did that impact the subculture?

Mathilde: Here were many demonstrations against the government.  It was an important time. The Berlin wall was still up, yes. And it was really a subculture.

RMIT Gallery will be showing a new movie as part of our public program events that explores 1980s German subculture of the time and the political climate. It is called “B Movie: Lust & Sound in West Berlin (1979-1989)”. Stay tuned!

RMIT Gallery: Can you talk about the paintings in this exhibition and how they fit in with the period.

Mathilde: Many of the painters made music too. Musicians and painters and film makers. Some of the pieces are very big – 28 metres. It was painted in three days, the exhibition lasted one day and then it was over. A little bit like a performance. And the base of the techno music was in the eighties with these bands.

Mathilde Weh, with group of Armchairs Dress (three part), Die Todliche Doris, Geniale Dilletanten exhibition, Haus der Kunst, Munich. Photo: Evelyn Tsitas

Mathilde Weh, with group of Armchairs Dress (three part), Die Todliche Doris, Geniale Dilletanten exhibition, Haus der Kunst, Munich. 

RMIT Gallery: How many bands represented in this exhibition?

Mathilde: We feature seven bands from across Germany – Einstürzende Neubauten; Die Tödliche Doris; Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle (F.S.K); Mode & Verzweiflung; Palais Schaumburg; Ornament und Verbrechen; and Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft (D.A.F.) They used German titles not English titles because suddenly in the beginning of the eighties the musicians were using the German language. Not the English language but the German language. This was new. I think many of the singers said they wanted to express the lyrics in their own language.

'Disco today, revolution tomorrow, a country outing the day after tomorrow,

‘Disco today, revolution tomorrow, a country outing the day after tomorrow,” poster from the Geniale Dilletanten exhibition, Haus der Kunst, Munich. 

RMIT Gallery: Have these bands and this scene had a lasting impact on art culture in Germany?

Mathilde: Yes I think so because now young German bands play music in the tradition of the eighties and use the sounds and equipment from the eighties like the little Casios. Also, very important in the eighties was the cassettes. CDs didn’t exist. Cassette recorders were very important because the bands were not with big, professional record labels. They had their own little record labels. Everything was self-made. It was also the time that music videos began to be bigger. Some bands had music videos but only in West Germany not in East Germany, it was not possible to make them.

Genial Dilletanten exhibition, Haus der Kunst, Munich. Photo: Evelyn Tsitas

Genial Dilletanten exhibition, Haus der Kunst, Munich. 

RMIT Gallery: What’s really fascinating as well in this exhibition are the documentaries you have made with the artists and singers and musicians from the period, and their reflections on that time and the work they did.

Mathilde: Yes, I made two video’s, one is one hour and a short one, twenty-five minutes long, with the artists and some other people, with photographers and film-makers, not only the musicians and I think painters,  It was very interesting to me to track these artists down and speak to them because I know them from the stage and from the records, from the paintings.

Screen grab - documentary made by Mathilde Weh for Geniale Dilletanten. Photo: Evelyn tsitas

Screen grab – documentary made by Mathilde Weh for Geniale Dilletanten. 

RMIT Gallery: You have put together an interesting range of public programs and events for the exhibition in Munich.

Mathilde: Yes, there are concerts and artist talks at the Haus der Kunst.

RMIT Gallery: RMIT Gallery is going to have a similar range of public programs – with some big name German artists coming. Including yourself. We look forward to seeing you in Melbourne in November.

Mathilde: Thank you, and I am very happy the show goes to Melbourne. I will see you all there!

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RMIT Gallery’s special connection with Germany

A special meeting: (left to right) Mr Volkmar Klein, Chairman of the German-Australian-New Zealand Parliamentary Group, Member of German Parliament; Dr Frithjof Schmidt, Member of German Parliament and Member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs; Ms Suzanne Davies, Director and Chief Curator RMIT Gallery; Professor Dr Norbert Lammert, President of the German Bundestag.

A special meeting: (left to right) Mr Volkmar Klein, Chairman of the German-Australian-New Zealand Parliamentary Group, Member of German Parliament; Dr Frithjof Schmidt, Member of German Parliament and Member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs; Ms Suzanne Davies, Director and Chief Curator RMIT Gallery; Professor Dr Norbert Lammert, President of the German Bundestag.

RMIT Gallery Director and Chief Curator Suzanne Davies joined Prof. Dr. Norbert Lammert, President of the German Parliament, and his delegation for dinner on Friday 31 October at Circa Restaurant in St Kilda.

Dr Lammert is President of the German Bundestag (Parliament) and has held this position for the past nine years. He ranks second only to the President of the Federal Republic. As President of the Bundestag Professor Lammert ensures that Parliament’s rules are upheld and represents Parliament in the public sphere.

Dr Arpad A. Sölter,  Director of the Goethe-Institut Australien, said the special get-together allowed an exchange of thoughts with the German MPs.

(left to right) Dr Arpad A. Sölter,  Director of the Goethe-Institut Australien and Ms Josephine Ridge, Artistic Director of the Melbourne Festival.

(left to right) Dr Arpad A. Sölter, Director of the Goethe-Institut Australien and Ms Josephine Ridge, Artistic Director of the Melbourne Festival.

RMIT and the Goethe-Institut have celebrated more than 35 years of successful collaboration. Ms Davies said that the beginnings of this partnership can even be traced to the early 1970’s, when most educational institutions in Australia were hungry for information and cultural exchanges with countries other than the UK. Since then RMIT Gallery and the Goethe-Institut Melbourne, which was founded in 1972, have created an impressive visual presence of Germany in the heart of Melbourne.

“A key aspect of the early relationship between RMIT and the Goethe-Institut was
the combination of teaching design and fine arts with street front public access for exhibitions at Storey Hall, RMIT Gallery, particularly following its refurbishment in 1996,” she said.

Ms Davies said the partnership between RMIT Gallery and the Goethe-Institut, and Ifa was finely matched and mutually rewarding.

“RMIT Gallery has introduced many leading European artists to Melbourne and facilitated workshops and skill exchange with photographers, designers, architects, town planners, musicians and gold and silversmiths over the past 30 years.” 

Recent collaborations include the successful exhibitions Ulm School of Design (2014); New Olds: Design Between Tradition and Innovation (2012-2013) and Somewhat Different: Contemporary Design and the Power of Convention (2010).

Ms Davies said that next year RMIT Gallery would be the first venue for the new German touring exhibition Geniale Dilletanten (November 2015 – February 2016), which explores the short era of the West German artistic emergence from 1979 to 1989, an age of new ways and new expressions for all artists involved.

Characteristic for this was a broad approach to genres: musicians shot Super 8 mm films; painters played in bands or established clubs, which became incubators for the exploding Geniale Dilletanten [= Ingenious amateurs] scene – not only in Berlin, but also in Dusseldorf, Munich, Bonn, Rosenheim and Erlangen. The exhibition will include the work of Die Einstürzenden Neubauten featuring musician Blixa Bargeld, who produced unheard-of brute noise on their home-made instruments. 

Professor Dr Norbert Lammert, President of the German Bundestag.

Professor Dr Norbert Lammert, President of the German Bundestag.

On Friday 31 October Professor Lammert gave a talk at RMIT in the Kaleide Theatre about Europe, 25 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, hosted by the EU Centre at RMIT in conjunction with the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Australian Institute of International Affairs Victoria, the Goethe-Institut, Monash University and the University of Melbourne EU Centre on Shared Complex Challenges.

Ms Davies said that Professor Lammert’s talk was really riveting and acutely insightful and praised the enlightened vision of the German government in relation to its support of the arts and culture as vital components of public diplomacy and the maintenance of a civil society.

Warlayirti: The Art of Balgo exhibition tour: (left to right) Ms Suzanne Davies, Director and Chief Curator RMIT Gallery shows around Professor Dr Norbert Lammert, President of the German Bundestag and Dr Frithjof Schmidt, Member of German Parliament and Member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Warlayirti: The Art of Balgo exhibition tour: (left to right) Ms Suzanne Davies, Director and Chief Curator RMIT Gallery shows around Professor Dr Norbert Lammert, President of the German Bundestag and Dr Frithjof Schmidt, Member of German Parliament and Member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs.

After the talk, Ms Davies hosted the Professor Lammert and his delegation at RMIT Gallery and gave them a tour of the current exhibitions Garnkiny: Constellations of Meaning and Warlayirti: The Art of Balgo and spoke to them about the vitality and contemporary resonance of Aboriginal art and culture.