Tiger Yaltangki, Malpa Wiru (Good Friends), 2018, acrylic on linen, 48 × 59 1⁄2".

Tiger Yaltangki

Alcaston Gallery

In the western and central deserts of Australia, singing and painting are profoundly linked practices. Writings on Papunya Tula artists such as Yukultji Napangati, to cite a prominent example, often describe them as singing their paintings into being: Sitting around canvases stretched on the floor, each simultaneously sings and paints stories of her country, its topographies, and Dreamings (creation myths). As such, it is not an uncommon museological practice in Australia to exhibit paintings by desert artists alongside vocal recordings. This custom suggests that observing a painting in isolation from its song, dance, and other ceremonial performances will afford only a partial experience. What the painting points to, in other words, can only be expressed across multiple mediums at once.

Tiger Yaltangki, an artist who works in the small community of Indulkana in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the September 2018 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.