Dark Mofo announced its first major project which will see the British flag immersed in the blood of First Nations peoples from territories colonised by the British empire.
The artwork called Union Flag is the brainchild of Spanish artist Santiago Sierra. On behalf of Sierra, Dark Mofo is inviting First Nations people to donate a small amount of blood, facilitated by a medical professional before the festival. If interested, you can register here.
Participants must reside in Australia, but they can be First Nations people from any country colonised by the British, like Canada, New Zealand, Sudan or Fiji.
“We’re pleased to announce the inclusion of Santiago Sierra’s Union Flag in this year’s festival. Sierra’s work is complex, sometimes confronting and much of his work tends to deal with social inequities, ” Dark Mofo Creative Director Leigh Carmichael said.
Sierra is known for his performance and installation art, that can leave people feeling deeply uncomfortable. One example is 160cm Line Tattooed on 4 People, where Sierra invited four heroin-addicted sex workers to have their backs tattooed in exchange for a shot of heroin. His work tends to deal with topical social issues, and in this case it’s the suffering First Nations people have experienced under the hands of the British.
“The First Nations people of Australia suffered enormously and brutally from British colonialism,” Sierra said.
“Nowhere more so than in Tasmania where the Black War in the early nineteenth century had a devastating impact, almost killing the entire Tasmanian Aboriginal population—an act that has since been defined as genocide.”
Dark Mofo runs from 16–22 of June.