Dark Mofo comes under fire for confronting art project asking for First Nations blood

Dark Mofo comes under fire for confronting art project asking for First Nations blood

Photo by Dark Mofo/Jesse Hunniford

The likes of Briggs, DRMNGNOW, Kira Puru and thando have responded to a controversial expression of interest from the festival.

Dark Mofo has come under fire after posting a call out to Instagram asking for First Nations people to offer their blood as part of an art project created by Spanish artist Santiago Sierra.

What you need to know

  • Dark Mofo is being criticised after sending out an expression of interest asking for First Nations people to donate blood for an art project
  • The post has received a wave of condemnation, with the likes of Briggs, DRMNGNOW, Kira Puru and thando offering their censure
  • Dark Mofo has yet to publicly respond to the criticisms

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The Instagram post was published over the weekend – represented by an image featuring the wording, “WE WANT YOUR BLOOD”. The caption for the post read, “On behalf of artist Santiago Sierra, we are looking for people to take part in Union Flag: a new artwork that will see the Union Jack immersed in the blood of its colonised territories at Dark Mofo 2021.

Expressions of interest are now open to First Nations peoples from countries claimed by the British Empire at some point in history, who reside in Australia,” the post continued. “Participants will be invited to donate a small amount of blood to the artwork, facilitated by a medical professional before the festival. Register now via link in bio.”

 

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A post shared by Dark Mofo (@dark_mofo)

The post has since received waves of criticism, with thousands of comments slamming the proposed installation – something perceived as monetary exploitation of First Nations people from someone who is not a First Nations person themself.

The likes of Briggs, DRMNGNOW, Kira Puru and thando have responded to the post.

“We already gave enough blood.” Briggs said in a comment.

“white [sic] people further capitalising on the literal blood of First Nations people. Are you fucking kidding?” Puru said, echoing the exploitation concern. “what a way to reveal that there are no First Nations folks in your curatorial/consulting teams.”

Another Instagram user criticised the installation for being hypocritical, suggesting the notion of a Caucasian person asking First Nations people to donate blood while highlighting that Australia is stolen land is conflicting.

DRMNGNOW created his own post across his Facebook and Instagram pages. His Facebook post read, “Dear Dark Mofo, the colony has taken way too much of our blood already. As you know full well. But in fact every drop of blood has been one too many. As a First Nations artists [sic] that had performed at your event previously, I find this is sickingly disturbing that you would release an EOI for our blood. I have no words.”

Dark Mofo have yet to publicly respond to the criticisms. After having to cancel its 2020 event due to COVID, Dark Mofo is taking place as a shorter, more intense event in 2021 – going down across seven days in June. The 2021 program is set to be unveiled in April.

View the Instagram post here.