Please enter a search

Media Release: World Premiere: The Dark Current

Still from The Dark Current (2023) by Angela Tiatia. Image courtesy of the artist and Sullivan + Strumpf

World premiere of new video work from celebrated contemporary artist Angela Tiatia set to open at ACMI this September

8 August 2023

ACMI, in partnership with The Ian Potter Cultural Trust, is delighted to present the premiere of The Dark Current, a new exhibition from Angela Tiatia – one of Australia’s leading video artists.

Exploring where digital and physical realms intersect, this single-channel moving image work stares unfalteringly into the impacts of promises left unfulfilled. The work’s visual narrative brings into focus a story of labour, culture and femininity. Both personal and global in outlook, it traces the promise of a glamorous, easy life that lured Tiatia’s mother and her generation to migrate from small islands to big cities.

The Dark Current will be exhibited 5 September–12 November at Australia's national museum of screen culture in Melbourne with free entry for all visitors.

The Dark Current is the final work in a decade-long series of the Ian Potter Moving Image Commission (IPMIC) for new moving image works by Australian artists, with $100,000 in commission funding awarded to New Zealand-born, Australian and Sāmoan artist Angela Tiatia.

Representing the most ambitious project of Tiatia's career, this lush and futuristic vision signals a new direction from the Sydney-based artist. It weaves together meticulously crafted live-action scenes with hyper-realistic animation made using software used in the production of video games. The resulting work creates a dream-like visual poem that carries the audience through a range of moods.

Opening with a striking close-up of a glamorous woman with a pearl in her eye, The Dark Current seduces the viewer with its highly polished beauty but reveals the artifice of such idealised fantasy. The artist lays bare the construction of her own image-making and, for the first time in Tiatia's work, breaks the fourth wall in a scene allowing the viewer to see the usually hidden production elements.

Artist Angela Tiatia said: "The Dark Current reaches for the essence of a multi-generational experience. One that starts with my mother's generation, through to mine and on to the next generation. I am very honoured and privileged to work with my team who have unfalteringly supported me for many years. Thank you to The Ian Potter Cultural Trust and ACMI for awarding me this landmark commission. I have grown both personally and professionally and as a result, have made a work that I am so very proud and cited to present."

ACMI Director & CEO Seb Chan said: " Over the decade Angela Tiatia has emerged as one of Australia's foremost artists working with video. Her examinations of contemporary culture draw attention to the politics of representation, gender and new forms of colonialism. Together with The Ian Potter Cultural Trust, we are proud to premiere The Dark Current at ACMI and showcase this major development in her practice. It is a fitting time for this work to be showcased at our national museum of screen culture as we continue to celebrate groundbreaking women across ACMI's programming."

Lady Potter AC, Trustee of The Ian Potter Cultural Trust said: "We are delighted that this work closes out the Ian Potter Moving Image Commission series. The Ian Potter Moving Image Commission has truly earned a place amongst Australia's most prestigious and significant art awards."

Previous recipients of the Ian Potter Moving Image Commission (IPMIC) include Angelica Mesiti (The Calling), Daniel Crooks (Phantom Ride) and Gabriella Hirst (Darling Darling).


Angela Tiatia: The Dark Current will show in ACMI's Gallery 3 from 5 September 2023 - 12 November 2023. For further details visit

Join Angela Tiatia for an evening of film and conversation in an ART + FILM event which will include a selection of films drawn from over a decade of artistic practice on 17 October in AMCI"s Cinema 2.


About Angela Tiatia

About IPMIC and its partners





We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we work. We pay our respects to their Elders past and present.