2022 IMA

This language that is every stone, Institute of Modern Art

Curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist, Asad Raza, and Warraba Weatherall

More information about the exhibition can be found online here.



Moving beyond the line, 2022.

Book, water, aluminium, ochre, and electromechanical components. 360 x 80 x 60cm.


Robert Andrew’s practice unearths histories that have previously been denied or forgotten—constructing a foundation or knowledge system to move forward and build on. Andrew’s works reflect his personal relationship to land, culture and language, as well as wider narratives related to the encounter between Indigenous and colonial cultural heritages.


Knowledge systems are neither fixed nor fully predictable—each word can erode, build, and direct the path of history. Moving beyond the line mines cultural histories to uncover how the written word impacted the course of Andrew’s familial lineage. A constant slow drip erodes the principles expressed in A.O Neville’s publication ‘Australia’s Coloured Minority: Its Place in the Community’ (1947). Neville was Western Australia’s Chief Protector of the Aborigines 1915–1936. Each word expresses and builds political and philosophical systems that directed and controlled the families, livelihoods, and the formation of history. This process obscures and reclaims these histories, re-inserting First Nations voices overwhelming the written word with ancient minerals to build new imagery in the pooled residues of ochre and ink.