Join us for the U.K. premiere of You Can Go Now. The film examines the life and art of contemporary First Nations artist, Richard Bell. His confrontational work and his irrevent attitude have challenged the Australian art world while receiving international acclaim. A self-proclaimed 'activist masquerading as an artist', Bell's work speaks to the parallel story of the struggle for First Nations rights in Australia and civil rights movements around the world.
Schooled in the politics of Redfern in the shadow of the 1972 political protest at the Tent Embassy in Canberra, Bell's work continues to challenge the institutions of colonisation in Australia at the same time as it asserts the rights and sovereignty of First Nations people. His political world view and artistic practice has seen him form a creative partnership with Emory Douglas, a Black Panther who was known as the 'Revolutionary Artist'. Through this collaboration and friendship, Bell continues to draw transnational links between the fight for rights in Australia and those globally.
In addition, Bell's manifesto entitled Bell's Theorem interrogates the Aboriginal Art industry, branding it a 'white thing' defined by colonial power structures who eventually profit most from it. These ideas resonate at a time when art institutions have committed to both expanding and critically engaging with their collections and audiences.
The film will be followed by a discussion and Q&A with the artist.
This screening takes place in the context of Richard Bell's Embassy on view at Tate Modern until 18 June.