First Nations artist Richard Bell proclaims himself to be an ‘activist masquerading as an artist’. His confrontational work and attitudes have stirred the Australian art world while being lauded internationally, taking him from a childhood in a rural Queensland shack to the lofty halls of the Tate Modern. Schooled in the rough and tumble politics of Redfern and the Canberra Tent Embassy, his work challenges the institutions of colonisation in Australia and asserts the rights of First Nations people around the world. Through this collaboration with Emory Douglas, a Black Panther known as the ‘Revolutionary Artist’ Bell’s work links the fight for rights in Australia and the U.S. He has profoundly challenged the Australian art world with his scorching manifesto, Bell’s Theorem, that labelled the Aboriginal Art industry as ‘a white thing’ defined by colonial power structures that profit most from it. At a time when Australia is contemplating voice, truth and treaty, Bell’s ideas cannot be ignored.
Director: Larissa Behrendt