– Highlights

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Mca Collection

MCA Collection

29 Mar - 31 Jul

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Exhibition

Telling Tales

02 Jun - 09 Oct

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Exhibition

New Romance

30 Jun - 04 Sep

– Learning Events

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Special Event

ARTBAR July 2016

29 Jul, 7.00pm, MCA

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Workshop

Art Safari

09 Aug, 10.30am, Level 3: National Centre for Creative Learning

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Conference

THE FOREVER NOW

01 Sep, 6.00pm, MCA

– News from inside the MCA

What we've been reading: June

In the spirit of our current exhibition, Telling Tales, MCA Staffers share what they’ve been reading over the past month. more

Where do artists get their ideas from?

Artist Educators Stephanie & Athena are interviewed by kids about their art practice more

Meeting Jumaadi: MCA Kids Committee

Siobhan learns from artist Jumaadi about his shadow puppet performance The Life and Death of a Shadow more

– Spotlights from the collection online

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Volume One: MCA Collection

Works from the MCA Collection

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Collection Artist Interviews

Watch our latest interviews in the MCA Video Portal

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Joint acquisitions by MCA and Tate

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

Richard Bell

Uz vs Them 2006

Museum of Contemporary Art, purchased with funds provided by the Coe and Mordant families, 2008

single-channel digital video, colour, sound, 2min 47s

2 min 47s

About the Artwork

The work of Richard Bell tackles the position of Aboriginal art and artists within the contemporary art world, directly criticising its appropriation by non-Aboriginal artists and its domination by white curators, critics, academics, dealers and collectors. Combining political bite and caustic humour, Bell’s works argue for greater Aboriginal control over Aboriginal art, and by extension, Aboriginal culture within Australian society.

The use of language and text is a regular strategy for artists addressing political ideas in their work, and one that Bell embraces. Bell’s four-panel work Worth Exploring? challenges the position of Aboriginal art and artists inside the art system, linking it to the historical legal status of European colonisation. With his trademark directness and humour, Bell uses a combination of painting and legal documents to raise complex questions of artistic authenticity, appropriation and reception, as part of a broad debate on Australian race relations.

Uz vs Them stages a highly stylised physical and verbal sparring match between two men—one of whom is portrayed by the artist. The men’s dialogue is based on their opposing intellectual positions and political declarations.

This artwork examines and challenges existing socio-political power structures. Depicting a cool, calm, collected Black man against an angry white villain, it presents no apparent winner.

Richard Bell, 2007

Richard Bell

– About the artist

b.1953

Born 1953, Charleville, Queensland. Kamilaroi people. Lives and works in Brisbane

Learn more
– Other works by the artist

– View also

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