Gropius Bau, Berlin
"RAINBOW SERPENT (VERSION)" is the most comprehensive exhibition of Daniel Boyd’s artistic practice in Europe to date. It provides an overview of Boyd’s image-making that counters the colonial narrative of Australia’s history, engages transnational networks of resistance, Indigenous knowledge production and personal family histories, which he reflects in relation to the context and architecture of the Gropius Bau.
Conceived in close dialogue with Daniel Boyd, "RAINBOW SERPENT (VERSION)" stages 44 of the artist’s paintings with two new large-scale installations that engage directly with the Gropius Bau’s historical architecture. Unfolding across the first floor and atrium, the exhibition emphasises non-linear connections between subject matter and ideas of temporality and space.
One important touchpoint in Daniel Boyd’s exhibition is the work of poet and philosopher Édouard Glissant. Glissant wrote of a "right to opacity", or the right to not be defined by a Western epistemology of transparency, which reduces and erases difference. Drawing on Glissant’s thinking, Boyd developed a unique visual technique: his paintings employ dots, made with archival glue. In interplay with black paint, these dots produce a trembling overlay. This technique emphasises the right for a representation focusing on opacity instead of Western-derived visuality of transparency. Boyd examines darkness as a means of Indigenous resistance to the inherited ideas of European Enlightenment thinking and its insistence on illumination, transparency and disclosure.
In "RAINBOW SERPENT (VERSION)", Daniel Boyd engulfs the building’s architecture in a second skin layered over the atrium and first floor windows. The atrium’s floor is covered in mirrors reflecting the existing architecture in a fragmented, ever-changing image. An integral part of the exhibition is a public programme that, much like a theatre, plays out on this floor installation.
Curated by Stephanie Rosenthal and Carolin Köchling.
Developed in partnership with the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane.