How Many Times Can the Same Image Change? The History of the Image in Murujuga

By José Antonio González Zarandona.

Published by The International Journal of the Image

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In this paper, I will analyze the history of the image in Murujuga, located in Western Australia, through three stages: creation, preservation and destruction. I will argue that each stage is linked to a turning point in the history of Australia. The first stage is linked to the Dreamtime, a time where Aboriginal cosmology sets the origin of the world. The second stage is linked to the arrival of the white settlers and colonialist practices, where surprisingly the images were neither appropriated nor destroyed, but neglected. The third stage is linked to destruction, where the Aboriginal images from Murujuga does not find a place, and instead are excluded from the multicultural frame of heritage, that Australia boasts. The conclusion will give me the opportunity to discuss how these changes have affected the meaning and perception of these specific images (Aboriginal rock art), by contesting the concept of heritage.

Keywords: Destruction, Heritage, Colonialism, Murujuga

The International Journal of the Image, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp.95-110. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 4.554MB).

José Antonio González Zarandona

PhD Student, Art History Program, School of Culture and Communication, Faculty of Arts, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

I was born in Mexico in 1980, where I did my undergraduate studies in Communication Sciences. During 2002–2003, I studied literature at the University of Salamanca, Spain, on an exchange student program. Back in Mexico, I graduate in 2005 with a thesis on the history of experimental cinema, which led me to apply to a Master Degree in Film Studies at the University of Melbourne. In 2008, I earned my Master of Arts degree, and was later accepted to pursue a PhD in the Department of Art History within the same university, supervised by Professor Jaynie Anderson FAHA CIHA. My topic is the destruction of heritage and I am looking at the destruction of rock art in the Burrup Peninsula in Western Australia. Between 2007 and 2009, I also worked as a multimedia designer at the National Gallery of Victoria, a role I performed in several small production companies in Mexico.