– Highlights

Mca Collection

MCA Collection: Today Tomorrow Yesterday

01 Sep - 31 Dec


Kader Attia

12 Apr - 30 Jul


Jenny Watson

05 Jul - 02 Oct

– Learning Events

Special Event

ARTBAR June 2017

30 Jun, 7.00pm, MCA


NAIDOC Week 2017

05 Jul, 5.30pm, Level 2: Veolia Lecture Theatre


Master Class For Teachers

09 Jul, 10.00am, Level 3: National Centre for Creative Learning

– News from inside the MCA

5 Years of ARTBAR

Roaming carrots, Hummer limos, tea ceremonies and bikes in the galleries. Five years proof that anything can happen at #MCAARTBAR more

MCA at the 2017 Venice Biennale

Canals, cats and curators. Clothilde Bullen reflects on the experience of attending the 2017 Venice Biennale on the occasion of Tracey Moffat’s Australian Pavilion. more

From the archives: Unconventional Materials

From the Archives is our blog series unearthing gems from the MCA’s archives, written by resident archivist Stephanie Ferrara more

– Spotlights from the collection online

MCA Collection

Works from the MCA Collection

Collection Artist Interviews

Watch our latest interviews in the MCA Video Portal

Joint acquisitions by MCA and Tate

The Program promotes Australian art globally, helping Australian artists reach new audiences.

Destiny Deacon: Walk & don't look blak

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA)


26 Nov 2004 to 30 Jan 2005

Guest Curator: Natalie King

about the exhibition

Destiny Deacon: Walk & don’t look blak was the first museum survey exhibition of the work of the Aboriginal Australian artist Destiny Deacon. Spanning 15 years, this exhibition demonstrated Deacon’s versatile and innovative practice including photographs, installations and videos produced using relatively straightforward, low-tech methods: what the artist herself calls ‘el cheapo’.

Deacon makes her work in her suburban Melbourne home, replicated in the opening installation My living room, Brunswick 3056 (1996/2004). Deacon creates uncanny, beautiful, frightening and funny vignettes of contemporary life from her domestic surrounds, utilising predominantly Aboriginal friends and family as collaborators and subjects, as well as her large collection of ‘Aboriginalia’ and black ‘dollies’. Dolls are given personality and life within a melodramatic arrangement of props and Deacon’s trademark ‘blak’ humour. The original function of such objects is overturned by the artist, who questions historical representations of Aboriginal people through the kitsch artefacts of popular culture; their playful appearance is often shadowed by more sinister forces of racism, incarceration and violence.

This exhibition drew out recurrent themes within Deacon’s prolific practice: landscape, portraiture, narrative and phantasmagoria. These themes intersected through repeated use of dolls and found objects, as well as Deacon’s revisiting of key images over time. The major photographic series Postcards from Mummy (1998) retraced Deacon’s journey to her mother’s country and Forced into images (2001) followed a child’s painful passage into adulthood. The artist’s poetic use of narrative explored memory, intimacy, cruelty and loss.

Destiny Deacon: Walk & don’t look blak also showcased Deacon’s long-standing work in video and television, often in collaboration with other artists, including Virginia Fraser and Michael Riley. Interspersing video amongst the photographs and installations, this exhibition revealed the relationship between still and moving image within Deacon’s practice, as well as to found objects. A new body of work united all three aspects through a camouflage motif comprising the photographic series D-coy (2004), the video work Crawl (2004) and the installation Camouflage cage (2004). Exploring ideas of concealment and the kitsch appropriation of military designs, this work was a humorous and timely reminder that seemingly harmless objects carry destructive potential.

This exhibition was made possible through the generous support of MCA Ambassadors.

Tour Itinerary

Adam Art Gallery, University of Wellington, New Zealand: 25 February – 9 May 2005
Centre Culturel Tjibaou, Noumea, New Caledonia: 1 June – 28 August 2005

In the Shop