Indigenous Lands

Paulo Nazareth

Biennale of Sydney

Biennale of Sydney
Sydney, Australia

“For this project, Nazareth aims to trace and document the history of an 11,500-year-old fossil named Luzia. The fossil, found in a cave in Belo Horizonte is said to be the Upper Palaeolithic period skeleton of a Palaeo-Indian. She was named Luzia as a homage to the Australopithecus fossil named Lucy, whose remains were found in Ethiopia that same year. Lucy, although scientifically categorised as a homogeny of human and ape, is believed to be one of the oldest hominids at 3.8 million years old."

Subverting the authority of anthropological and archaeological discourses, Nazareth charts a course across personal journeys, ancestral pathways, history, myth and fiction to create a speculative narrative. Playing on the fact that some anthropologists have proposed that Luzia may be from a population that immigrated to the Americas from Australia / Melanesia, Nazareth is able to draw speculative links and an imaginary journey across time and disparate places, that encounters both his own genealogy and relates it to his journey to and within Australia. This reflects his broader practice of using his own body and travel to challenge dominant histories of mobility and to reflect on Indigenous epistemologies and transnational and diasporic connections.


  • Title: Indigenous Lands
  • Creator: Paulo Nazareth
  • Date Created: 2020
  • Location Created: Cockatoo Island
  • Physical Dimensions: dimensions variable
  • Provenance: Commissioned by the Biennale of Sydney. Courtesy the artist; Mendes Wood DM, São Paulo / New York / Brussels; and Stevenson, Cape Town / Johannesburg.
  • Type: installation
  • Rights: Biennale of Sydney
  • Medium: mixed media installation
  • Edition: 22nd Biennale of Sydney (2020): NIRIN

Additional Items

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more


Google apps