Whatever You Throw at the Sea...

Zara Julius

27 April 2023 to 2 April 2024

Whatever You Throw at the Sea… is a research-derived audio-visual project by Johannesburg-based artist and researcher Zara Julius. Having critically engaged the collections of the Weltmuseum Wien and those of the Phonogrammarchiv at ÖAW (Austrian Academy of Sciences) during a research residency in the summer of 2022, the project eventually culminates in an installation at Weltmuseum Wien in April 2023. Zara Julius’s work considers the ways communities in Africa and the African diaspora have been at the literal frontlines of both ecological and cultural pillaging.

Through sonic assemblage in the form of a limited edition 12“ vinyl and use of material from the Weltmuseum Wien’s photographic collection, the installation thinks through oceanic and rhythmic logics as bound up in loss, life, death, and possibility.

The Participatory Space

About the exhibition

About the exhibition

Central to Zara Julius’s practice is polyvocality. Consequently, Whatever You Throw at the Sea… has been produced with the participation of a number of cultural workers (based in Johannesburg and Vienna) whose personal histories are implicated in the project’s source materials from across the African continent and her diaspora.

It is at once a critique of ethnographic and ‘scientific’ collections in the global north with their impositions of time and history, and their co-presences of violence, extraction, and gatekeeping, as well as a critique on the current climate-discourse that fails to implicate coloniality in the enduring climate crisis. The work proposes an oceanic world

view, and centres African epistemologies as it thinks through the survival guidelines and subversive strategies that are concealed within the material locked up in the aforementioned collections. The project imagines new futures and survivals for those most affected by climate catastrophe in the wake of colonial and settler thievery.

Zara Julius is an interdisciplinary artist, researcher and vinyl selector based in Johannesburg, South Africa. She practices from a working methodology of ‘rapture’, and is concerned with the relationship between performativity, frequency, concealment, and fugitivity in the settler (post) colony, with a special focus on what we call the ‘Global South’. Working with sound, video, performance, and objects, Zara Julius’ practice involves the collection, selection, collage, and creation of archives (real, imagined, and embodied) through extensive research projects. She is especially engaged in thinking through the internal workings of the Black sonic, and how they might help us imagine new futures, and experience different present(s).

She holds a BAHons in social anthropology from the University of Cape Town and a MAFA in Fine Art by Research and Practice from the University of the Witwatersrand. Zara has exhibited and presented her work across South Africa and internationally.


(Text provided by artist)


Daily except Wednesday
10 am to 6 pm

10 am to 9 pm

Weltmuseum Wien

1010 Vienna, Austria


An exhibition in the context of TAKING CARE

The exhibition and the residency are part of the TAKING CARE – Ethnographic and World Cultures Museums as Spaces of Care project, which started in October 2019. TAKING CARE focuses on ethnographic and global culture museums in the search for potential strategies for researching possible connections between ethnographic collections and questions revolving around the climate crisis and the Anthropocene. This also involves questions in connection with the afterlife of colonialism.

The project, planned for a period of four years, brings together fourteen partner organisations and is co-financed by the EU programme Creative Europe. The exhibition is free and takes place in the zam, the new participatory space of the Weltmuseum Wien.

Accompanying programme

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