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Exhibition Opening | 'Somewhat Eternal', 'Love Is the Message, the Message Is Death', and 'Avalanche'

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Event description

Join us for the opening of three new exhibitions from Darug/Sydney-based artist Justine Youssef, American artist Arthur Jafa, and Singaporean artist Dawn Ng.

Across video, textiles, and scent, Justine Youssef's Somewhat Eternal reveals the manifold impacts of displacement and considers our complicity in reproducing these conditions. Exploring the maintenance of her matrilineal family's rituals, Youssef considers broader cycles of dispossession and places belief in the alternatives and futures these cultural practices offer us.

In just seven-and-a-half minutes, Arthur Jafa’s roller-coaster montage video Love Is the Message, the Message Is Death encapsulates African American experience as a tale of resilience. It combines footage shot by Jafa—an artist with a long career as a cinematographer and director—with excerpts from films, newscasts, sports coverage, music clips, and citizen videos to create a poignant meditation on African American history, life, and identity.

Dawn Ng's expansive practice deals with time, memory, and the ephemeral. For Avalanche, the artist crafted pigmented blocks of ice, then filmed them melting away. Compressing hours into minutes, Ng fast tracks this glacial decay while evoking calming waterfalls and collapsing ice shelves, turning entropy into eye candy.


We are committed to making the IMA accessible to people of all abilities, their families, and carers, as well as visitors of different ages and different backgrounds.The gallery entrance is on the ground floor of the Judith Wright Arts Centre, on Berwick Street. There is wheelchair access and an accessible toilet with baby changing facilities also located on the ground floor, and we welcome guide and support dogs.To find out more, contact us at, call (07) 3252 5750, or ask our friendly staff on-site. Read our access information for visitors here.

Artist biographies

Justine Youssef is a Darug/Sydney-based artist whose work uncovers links between family ritual, superstition, ecology, displacement, and settler relationships to land through scent, performance, video, and installation. Her work has been exhibited at the Hawai’i Triennale (2022); Powerhouse Museum, Sydney (2022); and Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (2021). She was the 2019 recipient of the Copyright Agency’s John Fries Award.

Arthur Jafa is an artist, filmmaker, and cinematographer. He was born in Tupelo, Mississippi, and is based in Los Angeles. His work engages and questions representations of Black being. He received the Golden Lion at the 2019 Venice Biennale and the Best Cinematography award at the 1992 Sundance Film Festival. His work is held in numerous collections, including those of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Tate Modern, London; and Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.

Dawn Ng is a Singaporean artist, who works across sculpture, photography, light, film, collage, painting, and installation. Her practice explores time, memory, and the ephemeral. She has exhibited at the Musee d’art contemporain de Lyon, Art Basel Hong Kong, Art Paris Art Fair, Lille3000, Jeju Biennale, and Art SG. Her work is held in the collection of the Singapore Art Museum, and she has been commissioned by the Hermès Foundation, ArtScience Museum, and the National Gallery Singapore.

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