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October 24, 2015 - December 20, 2015
Slavs & Tatars. Mirrors for Princes
24 October – 19 December 2015
Institute of Modern Art
The IMA is pleased to present a major solo exhibition by the art collective Slavs and Tatars: Mirrors for Princes. In this show, the artists look to a medieval genre of advice literature known as ‘mirrors for princes’. These guidebooks for future rulers were a literary tradition shared by Christians and Muslims, with Machiavelli’s The Prince the best-known example. The texts present issues that continue to resonate today across the world, providing a case study of the balance between faith and state. In the exhibition, visitors traverse two immersive and contrasting environments: an audio-sculpture installation featuring multilingual excerpts from an 11th-century Turkic ‘mirror for prince’ called Kutadgu Bilig (Wisdom of Royal Glory), and a dark, psychedelic space revealing a series of glowing, fetishistic sculptures that share the text’s concern with grooming. Kutadgu Bilig has been translated into six languages, including the Aboriginal language Yuggera. It represents one of the few known recordings of Yuggera, and was translated by language custodian Uncle Des Sandy.