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Rabaul is famous for its twin volcanoes, which erupted simultaneously in 1994. Unknown photographer Image supplied by David Bridie and Gideon Kakabin

The A Bit na Ta exhibition reminds us of our forgotten links to Papua New Guinea

An exhibition at the Melbourne Museum tells the history of colonialism in East New Britain, PNG, from the perspective of the local people. This is history from the ground up, told through film, art and music.
Taylor Mac sacrificed the audience in a ‘Radical Faerie realness ritual’. Fortunately we survived. Melbourne Festival

How our arts critics saw 2017

2017 gave us a blockbuster female superhero, radical faerie realness rituals, and the 'frenetic flapping of male genitalia'. Here's what our arts critics made of all that.
Jake Arditti (Nero) in Coronation of Poppea: the production is a haze of drug-fuelled violence, erotic drive, and dog eat dog power plays. Brett Boardman

Pinchgut’s Poppea plays hedonism, violence and passion to the hilt

The Monteverdi opera exploring passion in ancient Rome has been transposed to a contemporary gangster setting in a new Sydney production.
Ngathu, in Bangarra’s Ones Country, is a brilliant combination of the contemporary and traditional, telling the story of the ngathu, or cycad, in Arnhem Land. Photo by Daniel Boud

In Bangarra’s Ones Country, new voices show the many faces of Indigenous Australia

Bangarra’s current season of three new works, Ones Country, is uneven in parts but worth seeing for the diversity of Indigenous stories from some new choreographic voices.
Sabbia Gallery - Alison Milyika Carroll working on a pot at Ernabella Arts ceramic studio, 2017. Photo Ernabella Arts, Courtesy of Sabbia Gallery

All fired up: Clay Stories is a triumphant display of contemporary Indigenous ceramics

Clay Stories, a travelling exhibition, showcases ceramic art from Indigenous artists across the country. It is a triumphant display of specific stories and Dreamings, standing against cultural and political amnesia.
Installation view of Del Kathryn Barton: The Highway is a Disco at the Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, 17 November 2017 – 12 March 2018. Photo: Tom Ross © Tom Ross

Del Kathryn Barton explores powerful female sexuality but reproduces the male gaze

The paintings in Del Kathryn Barton's new show at NGV Australia are visually stunning and painstakingly executed. But the women depicted are often de-personalised objects or headless cauldrons of destructive passion.
Jason Mamoa as Aquaman and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman are the best things about Justice League. Atlas Entertainment, Cruel & Unusual Films, DC Comics

Wonder Woman and Aquaman are the only charismatic leads in Justice League

The makers of Justice League embed the film in a post-9/11, post-global warming, post-Brexit, post-Trump context. But it is loud and disappointing with some genuinely unimaginative action sequences.
In Per Te (For You), the circus troupe Compagnia Finzi Pasca offers its audience an acrobatic garden of remembrance. Compagnia Finzi Pasca

Per Te: a garden of earthly delights

The production Per Te, by circus troupe Compagnia Finzi Pasca, seeks to reaffirm our humanity in face of an often cold and capricious world.

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