When Napoleon Bonaparte was ruling France, he ordered an expedition to Australia led by Captain Nicolas Baudin. In 1801, Baudin reached the shores of what was then called New Holland and started extensive scientific research. During that time, he and his men encountered the Aborigines. The French explorers were, reportedly, courteous to them. Baudin’s team learned of 2,500 new species and gathered countless artifacts, which were brought back to France. Today, over 200 years later, the Australian indigenous artist Jonathan Jones investigates the colonial transport and trade of his continent’s native plants and objects. Sculptures, crown wreaths, video works, and a soundscape examine the ins and outs of this complicated story. —E.C.
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