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"New Australiana: photomedia exhibition"
2002-03-15 until 2002-04-06
24 HR Art - Northern Territory Centre for Contemporary Art
Lively, up beat and irreverent, New Australiana, a touring show from the Australian Centre for Photography in Sydney, explores the popular culture of contemporary Australia. Many of the icons of mass market 'Australiana' remain locked into a mid-twentieth century mythology: the swagman and the surf lifesaver, the Hills Hoist, the barbecue and the battler. This exhibition, curated by Alasdair Foster, throws these stereotypes into the ring and sheds light on some 'other' visions of 'Australiana'.
Artists: Stevie Everton Smith WA, Cathy Laudenbach NT Graham Miller WA, Gia Mitchell QLD, Lee-Anne Richards NSW, Glenn Sloggett VIC, Doug Spowart QLD, Lyndal Walker VIC, John A. Williams NSW, Anne Zahalka NSW
The exhibition was first conceived as a response to the Centenary of Federation celebrations where endless images of bearded 'Founding Fathers' in Victorian suits were the representative model. This collection of images promises a very different, largely humorous, decidedly non-PC, view of Australia. Much more in the vein of 'Football, meat pies, kangaroos and Holden Cars' these photographers, present, at times, disturbing visions of a unique popular culture that is feral, funny, eccentric, full of testosterone-fuelled larrikins, definitely behaving badly.
Titles of the work give the game away starting with Stevie Everton Smith's 'Skimpy Girls and Pissed Turkeys'; Gia Mitchell's 'Mutton Dressed as Lamb: The Journey of the Pineapple Princess'; Lee-Anne Richards 'Serious Yahoos'; Doug Spowart's 'Surf to live – work to surf'; John A. William's 'The Priscilla bus goes to Emmaville' and Anne Zahalka's 'Leisureland'. The NT is represented in the show with Cathy Laudenbach's photographs of the interiors of NT roadhouses on the track between Alice and Darwin.
Drawing on work by documentary photographers from Australia's metropolitan and regional centres across the country, the exhibition brings us up to date, reflecting shifting mores, the enrichment of multi-culturalism and the sheer energy we Australians put into having a good time.