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From June 16th to November 10th, 2024, Fondation Opale presents the exhibition ARTIST ACTIVIST ARCHIVIST: BERNHARD LÜTHI INVITES.

This exhibition highlights the career of Bernhard Lüthi, an artist and curator from Bern, who has been a staunch advocate for the recognition of Australian Aboriginal art in Europe.

Since his first trip to Australia in 1974, he documents cave art and forms strong bonds with Aboriginal artists and activists, shaping a commitment that continues to resonate today.

Gradually shifting away from his own artistic practice to focus on curatorial work for the Aboriginal Arts Board, Lüthi has made a major contribution to bringing Aboriginal art to Europe. His groundbreaking exhibitions have challenged the norms of contemporary European art,: MAGICIENS DE LA TERRE in 1989 in Paris, ARATJARA, ART OF THE FIRST AUSTRALIANS in 1993-94 in Düsseldorf, London and Copenhagen and the retrospective exhibition RARRK, dedicated to Kuninjku artist John Mawurndjul at the Museum Tinguely in Basel and in Hanover in 2005-06.

At the heart of the exhibition ARTIST ACTIVIST ARCHIVIST lies Bernhard Lüthi’s meticulously curated archive, a testament to five decades of dedication. Complementing this archive is a site-specific art installation by Wiradjuri artist Brook Andrew. The exhibition features a selection of Lüthi’s own works, alongside works by artists who have played a key role in his career. These works critically engage with themes of colonialism, Eurocentrism, and racism that persist in both the visual arts and society at large, both in Australia and Europe.

Starting out as a tribute to one of the most dynamic advocates for Australian First Nations art and culture in Europe, this exhibition offers insight into the significant milestones in the history of Aboriginal art in Europe. It also serves as an artistic exploration of the intimate mechanisms that drive individuals to stand against injustice.

Past exhibitions

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