Christian Thompson Berceuse

Christian THOMPSON, Berceuse, 2017. Three channel HD video with sound, 5:25 minutes, edition 5 of 5. Purchased for Boola Katitjin 2022. Image courtesy of the artist and Yavuz Gallery.

  Boola Katitjin: Level 4, Breezeway North (on rotation)

Christian THOMPSON

Born 1978 Gawler, South Australia

Lives and works Melbourne, Victoria.


Dr Christian Thompson AO is a Bidjara man of the Kunja Nation with Chinese-Australian heritage. His multidisciplinary practice spans video, photography, sculpture, performance and sound. While employing various modes of research, he connects his own experiences to larger social, political and cultural meanings and understandings, to address issues of colonialism, identity and cultural representation.

In this video work, Thompson sings a berceuse – a cradle song or lullaby – as a gesture of re-imagining his traditional Bidjara language, which has been categorised as extinct or lost. The work is premised on the notion that if one word of Bidjara is spoken, or in this case sung, it remains a living language. Combining evocative chanting and electronic elements, Thompson invokes the cultural experiences and narratives of his Bidjara culture.

Thompson seeks to allow a sensory experience of language through the vocal textures he creates via the sole use of his voice, and simultaneously evokes the textures of the Australian landscape via gentle silhouette forms. Berceuse draws the audience into an intimate place, a hypnotic melody that transcends space and time whilst being powerfully connected to the contemporary present.