Yukultji Napangati

The Dreamtime hyper object.

Untitled 2011 by Yukultji Napangati

When I look at Untitled 2011 by the aboriginal artist Yukultji Napangati, I am gripped immediately in the tractor beam of the painting...

which seems to be gazing at me as much or more than I am looking at it. As I approach it, it seems to surge toward me locking onto my optic nerve and holding me in its force field.

I don’t experience the painting as a series of lines that I resolve into a whole. It leaps at me as a unit. The painting is a slice of the Dreamtime, the Aboriginal hyperobject, and a map of a desert sand hill where a small group of women gathered food and performed rituals. Even though Untitled 2011 is a piece about a larger space, both cosmic and earthly, the painting is a quantum all to itself, not an incomplete part. In no sense do I assemble the painting. I find it impossible to leave the painting. Hairs standing up on my body, tears streaming down my face, slowly I tear myself away, only to return an hour later to be drenched in its resonance.

Timothy Morton