Dark Mofo Slammed (Again) For Failing To Recognise Why Indigenous Blood Artwork Is Offensive

Dark Mofo Slammed (Again) For Failing To Recognise Why Indigenous Blood Artwork Is Offensive

A Dark Mofo project that will see the Union Jack flag immersed in the blood of First Nations people from British colonies has been slammed for being disrespectful. Now, the festival has released a statement addressing the backlash.

In the statement, the festival defended Spanish artist Santiago Sierra‘s Union Flag by calling art a “fundamental human right.” Dark Mofo also defended the Union Flag artwork by stating that they had consulted with Tasmanian Aboriginal people, prior to starting the project.

“We understand, respect and appreciate the many diverse views in relation to this confronting project,” Dark Mofo Creative Director, Leigh Carmichael said in the statement.

“Self-expression is a fundamental human right, and we support artists to make and present work regardless of their nationality or cultural background.

“It’s not surprising that the atrocities committed as a result of colonising nations continue to haunt us.”

The statement has been criticised for falling short, and once again, lacking understanding of about why Sierra’s proposed art is deeply offensive.

“It’s obvious you don’t respect, appreciate or understand why us mob are fighting against this. You don’t understand at all. Would love to see these ‘conversations’ since you don’t seem to grasp concepts of history or generational trauma,” one commenter wrote on Facebook.

“I feel like this response lacks accountability and also isn’t listening to all of the people (many of whom First Nations) that you’re requesting blood from in the first place,” another wrote.

On Saturday, Dark Mofo announced that they were were inviting First Nations people to donate a small amount of blood, facilitated by a medical professional before the festival. However, the art has been slammed because Sierra is a white man, and as such, shouldn’t be speaking on behalf of First Nations people.

Union Flag has also been criticised for its clear lack of consultation with First Nations people, as they have already given “enough blood” to white colonial powers.

“What a way to reveal that there are no First Nations folks in your curatorial/consulting teams,” musician Kira Puru wrote on Dark Mofo’s Instagram page.

“White people further capitalising on the literal blood of First Nations people. Are you fucking kidding?” She added.

“We already gave enough blood,” rapper/activist Briggs wrote.

Image: MONA/Rosie Hastie