A major new work from durational performance artist Sarah-Jane Norman, Bone Library considers the living essence of so-called “dead” Indigenous languages. For five days during the festival, Norman occupies a room of the Melbourne City Library, where she begins the process of engraving a complete dictionary of “extinct” Indigenous Australian languages onto the prepared bones of sheep and beef cattle. On the final day of the festival, audiences will be invited to take a single bone into their custodianship. A haunting and visceral intervention into the public archive, Bone Library asks the audience to assume personal responsibility for what our culture chooses to remember.
About the Artist
Dates: 23-27 May
Location: City Library, 253 Flinders Lane, Melbourne (tram routes 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 16, 64, 67, 72, stop 13)
Times: 23-25 May 8am-8pm, 26 May 10am-5pm, 27 May 12pm-5pm
Ticket prices: Free
This event is also part of Day Pass 6
Wheelchair accessible: Yes
Warning: This work contains culturally sensitive content and animal bones
Note: On the final day of the installation, the audience will be invited to become public trustees of the collection. With the blessing of each language group’s living descendants, each bone-artefact will be placed in the care of an individual audience member. A national registry, detailing the whereabouts of each bone, will be created for the public record. Both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people are invited to become Bone Librarians.
This post is tagged: Annaki Kissas, art, bone library, city library, festival, free, intimate, melbourne, next wave, performance, Sarah-Jane Norman, visual art