The Aboriginal Tent Embassy is many things. To most Aboriginal people it is a symbol of resistance to the colonial power structure that still oppresses us while to some, it is an abhorrent aberration that upsets their master/servant paradigm. So what on earth are Blackfellas doing setting up an embassy within our own country? Internationally, the move was seen as a distress signal from the Aboriginal peoples on the land now known as Australia. Blackfellas’ discontent with the policies of assimilation around the country demanded a line in the sand to be drawn. That line in the sand is a work of art.
Richard Bell, 2014.
Bell’s Embassy project has been invited into some of the most significant international exhibitions and venues of the past five years, including: the Moscow Biennale curated by Catherine de Zegher in 2013; Performa 15, New York City in 2015, curated by Rose Lee Goldberg; the 16th Jakarta Biennale, curated by Charles Esche; the Sonsbeek International in Arnhem, Netherlands, curated by ruangrupa; BELL Invites… an exhibition of Bell and work by friends and collaborators opened at the Stedelijk Museum SMBA, Amsterdam. In 2016 Embassy was presented as part of the 20th Biennale of Sydney, curated by Stephanie Rosenthal; the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair also 2016; the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane; the Jerusalem Show VIII curated by Vivian Ziherl. In 2017, Embassy travelled to e-Flux, New York City, in the Toxic Assets exhibition, and the Indigenous New York, Artists’ Perspectives program curated by Alan Michelson at the New School.