What the birds knew

Ken + Julia Yonetani What the Birds Knew (2012) (4a Centre for Contemporary Asian Art), 6 x 3.6 x 2.8m (Uranium Glass, Metal wire, UV lights), photo courtesy the artists, Artereal Gallery and GV Art London

What the birds knew

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1 October 2013

Another uranium-inspired work is ‘What the Birds Knew’, which relates to uranium mining in Australia and refers to the alternative title for Akira Kurosawa’s 1955 post-war film ‘Ikimono no kiroku/’I live in fear’ where the protagonist, frustrated by his family ignoring the threat of nuclear radiation in Japan, declares that the birds too would flee; artists Ken and Julia Yonetani, similarly, share environmental concerns with the incident of uranium discovered in the Northern Territory in 1970, close to the Gabo Djang/Green Ant Dreaming Aboriginal site. The Kuwiniku people had objections to the mining of their environment, feeling threatened by the fall out of the discovery and equally so by the disturbance to their traditional lands which  their beliefs held, would bring misfortune to all people. Uranium can do that as illuminated by the artists’ ‘take’ on the Green Ant Dreaming.

See also http://earth-emag.com/?p=933

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