Songlines – Singing Australian Desert Tracks

April 4 - July 2, 2023, PARIS.

The Musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac presents an exceptional exhibition:

Immersed in the heart of the world of the Australian First Nations, the Songlines exhibition invites you to travel through several desert regions of central and western Australia, on the trail of the Seven Sisters, one of the largest founding stories. and the most important of this country-continent. Entirely designed by the Aboriginal communities whose knowledge and works are presented, the exhibition offers visitors the opportunity to experience an Aboriginal perception of the world, supported by immersive scenography.

For millennia, the memory of Australia's Aboriginal populations has been passed on through the words of the elders, stories told in paintings, ceremonies and songs. Passed down from generation to generation, these songlines – literally “songs of the tracks”* – guide the steps of the Aborigines through the territory and throughout their lives, like a real map. Much more than legendary stories, they are real corridors of knowledge, paths traced over millennia that contain the fundamental rules of social cohabitation, and ecological, astronomical or geographical knowledge essential to survival.

Built in close collaboration with the communities, Songlines does not content itself with “showcasing” works of Aboriginal creation. Through nearly 200 pieces, created by more than 100 artists, and around twenty immersive devices (audiovisual installations, filmed ceremonial performances, sound stories, etc.), the exhibition invites you to experience an Aboriginal perception of the world in following the story of seven sisters pursued by a powerful wizard on earth and in heaven. One of Australia's most popular epics that the elders, true memory keepers, have chosen to entrust to us.

*Translation by Jacques Chabert for the French title of the book The Songlines by Bruce Chatwin: Le Chant des pistes de Bruce Chatwin © Editions Grasset & Fasquelle, 1988.

International traveling exhibition produced by the National Museum of Australia (Canberra) with the support and ongoing association of the custodians and custodians of traditional Aboriginal knowledge of this history.

Useful information :

April 4 – July 2, 2023

Quai Branly Museum - Jacques Chirac
37 Quai Branly
75007 Paris
Phone: +33 (0)1 56 61 70 00

Satellite Exposure:

Songlines – Australian Desert Art Centers
April 4 – July 3, 2023
Australian Embassy in France, Paris

Poster picture:

"Yarrkalpa (Hunting Ground)" 2013 by Kumpaya Girgirba, Yikartu Bumba, Kanu Nancy Taylor, Ngamaru Bidu, Janice Yuwali Nixon, Reena Rogers, Thelma Judson and Nola Ngalangka Taylor, Martumili Artists © the artists/Copyright Agency 2020. Image: National Museum of Australia.