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Nicholas Galanin interviewed for ABC Radio National, Australia

Nicholas Galanin is a Tlingit/Unangax̂ multi-disciplinary artist and musician from Alaska whose work is featured in the 2020 Biennale of Sydney.
Image:  Don Arnold/WireImage

What do we do with colonial statues like the one of James Cook in Sydney’s Hyde Park?
Are they scrap metal?

Do we sequester them in a theme park as the historian Dr Gary Foley has suggested - or do we rarefy them in a museum and contextualise them as hollow relics of a bygone era?

Public statues like Cook’s monumentalise a certain kind of history.

The same could be said of the statues to Confederate generals in the American South or Mount Rushmore in the Black Hills of South Dakota. 

Nicholas Galanin is one of the artists commissioned to create new work for the Biennale of Sydney.

The Tlingit/Unangax̂ multi-disciplinary artist has dug a grave for the Cook statue on Cockatoo Island.

It's called Shadow on the land, an excavation and bush burial.

The title also harks back to a painting hailed as a masterpiece which also puts a certain version of Australian history - one that blanks dispossession and colonial violence.

Duration: 13min 36sec
Broadcast: Sat 11 Jul 2020, 6:07pm

Nicholas Galanin
Tlingit/Unangax̂ multi-disciplinary artist from Alaska

Producer: Daniel Browning

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