Far From Settled Installation Image

Katarina Matiasek

Biennale of Sydney

Biennale of Sydney
Sydney, Australia

“My artistic practice is marked by formal and medial interventions that shift given modes of perception and narrative. In this sense, NIRIN structurally lies at the core of my work, requiring at the same time that I set out and keep searching for it. To embark on this journey with Indigenous communities is an immense privilege and will bring me closer to an understanding of NIRIN in the proper sense of the word."

Over the last two decades, there have been an increasing number of repatriations of different kinds of objects and archives, as well ancestral human remains, to their original communities after being long held in museum and university collections. The removal of these objects and the anthropological framing of Indigenous cultures through collection and display practices, has been a central part of the colonial project. While the return of high-profile items may attract some media attention, the on-going story of what happens following repatriations and the effects on community have been little investigated. Katarina Matiasek’s Far From Settled aims to trace the cultural, political and personal reverberations that resurface with acts of repatriation. Through experimental interview-based filmmaking and a sculptural infrastructure, Matiasek presents an un-doing of the anthropological archive, imbuing it with places, people, and stories originally ignored or erased through processes of collection, storage and display.


  • Title: Far From Settled Installation Image
  • Creator: Katarina Matiasek
  • Date Created: 2020
  • Location Created: Cockatoo Island
  • Physical Dimensions: dimensions variable
  • Provenance: Commissioned by the Biennale of Sydney with generous support from the Phileas - A Fund for Contemporary Art, Vienna; and generous assistance from the Federal Chancellery of Austria. Courtesy the artist. Interview Participants; Christine Doherty, Dr Lyndon Ormond-Parker, William "Bill" Risk OAM, Roberta Skinner. Camera Assistant; Tanja Bruckner. Archival Images; Courtesy Department of Evolutionary Anthropology, University of Vienna.
  • Type: installation
  • Rights: Biennale of Sydney
  • Medium: mixed media installation
  • Edition: 22nd Biennale of Sydney (2020): NIRIN

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