Djalkiri #1 and #2

Gurrumuruwuy, David Bukulatjpi, Deger, Jennifer, and Marrawakamirr, Susan (2009) Djalkiri #1 and #2. [Creative Work]

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Two video artworks combine in a performative installation about relationships mediated and maintained through new technologies. Djalkiri#1 is a mixed media bark and video work; Djalkiri #2 is a fixed frame video performance by Susan Marrawakamirr, the widow of the man ritually celebrated in Djalkiri#1.

Research Statement

Research Background This multimedia collaborative artwork is the result of a longstanding research relationship between Deger and Yolngu artists and filmmakers in the community of Gapuwiyak. Produced especially for the exhibition interventions: experiments between art and ethnography (2009), it combines video and bark painting in an installation about the creative, ritualised labour involved in maintaining relationships between the living and the dead. Informed by Deger's relationship to the late Bangana Wunungmurra, a renown cultural broker and filmmaker who died tragically and prematurely in 2001, the work materially embodies the innovation and inter-cultural prowess for which Wunungmurra had been known in both form and content.
Research Contribution Produced collaboratively with Wunungmurra's widow, Susan Marrawakamirr, and nephew, David Bukulatjpi, the work breaks new ground in creative, collaborative ethnography. To our knowledge this is the first bark-video mixed media installation from Arnhem Land, performatively demonstrating the Yolngu view that there is no necessary categorical distinction between 'new' and 'old' media.
Research Significance This work, undertaken as part of Deger's ARC post-doc,was produced as Deger's own artistic contribution to the 'interventions' exhibition, which she was invited to curate on behalf of the Australian Anthropological Association annual conference in 2009. As a result of this installation, Deger was invited to present the work at an international conference on portraiture held at the National Portrait Gallery in 2010. The artwork is now the subject of a book chapter in (forthcoming) Hinkson, M. (ed), Portraiture in a Digital Age, ANU-ebooks.
Item ID: 34907
Item Type: Creative Work
Media of Output: 1 x HD video; 1 x Mixed media: SD video, bark and acrylic paint
Event Details: Interventions: experiments between art and ethnography
Macquarie University Art Gallery, Macquarie Park, NSW, Australia
7 December 2009 - 12 February 2010
Keywords: experimental ethnography, collaborative methods, anthropology and art, Aboriginal art, ritual
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Additional Information:

This artwork was exhibited at "Interventions: experiments between art and ethnography", Macquarie University Art Gallery, Macquarie Park, NSW, Australia, 7 December 2009 - 12 February 2010.

See records in ResearchOnline@JCU for the exhibition catalogue ( and the show/exhibition (

Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC), Macquarie University, UNSW College of Fine Arts, Gapuwiyak Culture and Arts Aboriginal Corporation
Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2014 12:08
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1601 Anthropology > 160104 Social and Cultural Anthropology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9502 Communication > 950201 Communication Across Languages and Culture @ 50%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society @ 20%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970119 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of the Creative Arts and Writing @ 30%
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