Raymond Zada

Born 1971, Adelaide, Australia. Barkindji/Paakintji People. Lives and works Adelaide.

Acknowledged 2014
Plinth, perspex, soil, cut-out map, digital animation 40 x 110 x 70cm

Photography: Mark Ashkanasy, Courtesy RMIT Gallery. 

Raymond Zada’s work speaks to the erasure of Kaurna history and culture in his hometown of Adelaide. While documenting the monuments and statues that adorn the streetscapes of Colonel Light’s City (as Adelaide is often referred to) he began to take notice of the more prosaic markers of the city – its street signs. In this installation these signs have been stripped of their physical reference and hypnotically float towards the viewer above the red earth of the Adelaide plains.

Whilst Adelaide City Council adopted an Indigenous acknowledgement to be used at all official functions in 2002, only its central square bears a Kaurna title in the dually named Tarntanyangga/Victoria Square. It is this square that Zada’s disembodied signs float over, and he has placed the words of the City Council’s acknowledgement around the centrally located statue of Queen Victoria.