Richard Bell

Castello di Rivoli presents a new commision by Aboriginal Australian artist and political activist Richard Bell


Bell tells a story often hidden in an attempt to recognise the autonomy and aesthetics associated with the political power of contemporary Aboriginal art.

The solo project in the frame of ESPRESSIONI is installed in the gardens and the Conference Hall of the Manica Lunga wing of Castello.

Bell’s projects include a life-size reproduction of his Aborigine family’s tin shack demolished by the Australian authorities, installed in the gardens with typical furnishings and with his new video installation (Bulldozer Scene No Tin Shack, 2022) about the demolition of his house when he was 14 years old. The looped projection shows a teenager who, in an attempt to stop the bulldozer that was demolishing the tin shack in which he was living in 1967, imitates the gesture of the man who had stopped the advance of a tank in Tiananmen Square in 1989. In the video, the teenage boy stands still and, despite his resistance, the bulldozer destroys the shack, leaving a pile of rubble.

A mini-retrospective of Bell’s work in the adjoining Conference Hall presents works including Prelude to Imagining Victory of the series Umbrella Embassy, 2013, which is the first installation version of the work Tent Embassy, 2013 – in progress; the recent paintings U Can’t Touch This, 2021, and Immigration Policy, 2017; works from the past, such as Ministry Kids (Children’s Parliament), 1992, and Pigeon Holed, 1992, which reflect the fear that Aborigines may access Australian institutional and power positions. The painting Bell’s Theorem, 2002, will also be installed along with original notes from the artist’s writings. Finally, the video Scratch an Aussie, 2008, will also be on display.