Aptly titled 4 x 4, IMA presents a series of four exhibitions by Brisbane based artists with essays by four Brisbane based curators opened Thursday 12 June. Confronting, political, powerful and even haunting, four distinct exhibitions by Vernon Ah Kee, Jewel Mackenzie, Kim Demuth and Annie Hogan show the diversity and magnitude of their art practices.
Vernon Ah Kee. Gallery 1
Curator Michael Snelling
No-nonsense confronting text pieces by Ah Kee talk of the experience of being Indigenous in Contemporary Australia. Initially amusing but ultimately disturbing Ah Kee exposes ingrained racism. In his essay Michael Snelling states,
"The experience of Ah Kee’s art is more akin to a one-on-one debate. The whole tone is aimed at provoking a response. He’s there, in your ear, jabbing you in the chest with his forefinger – all the while keeping you laughing"
Jewel Mackenzie, Gallery 2
Curator David Broker
Mackenzie focuses on corporate culture, with strong political and social undertones, to deal with notions of control and power. Using the pin stripe Mackenzie creates absurd garments, conceptual paintings and replicates the back doors of galleries. In his essay David Broker states,
"Her characteristic brand of critique has the ability to amuse and entertain, even those at whom the criticism is directed. Like the skilled painter, her impeccable technique or dexterous craft always produces that sense of awe we often expect from a work of art."
Kim Demuth, Gallery 3
Curator Julie Walsh
Kim Demuth titles his exhibition seeing you seeing me seeing you to draw attention to the relationship between the viewer, the artwork and the artist Julie Walsh speaks of the experience encountering this exhibition,
"The darkened exhibition space may evoke a sense of unease, as it is filled with curious and disconcerting images; a headless body standing casually with hands in pockets; the toxic glow of advancing astronauts; a man’s haunted expression; the stripped interior of a PC and a winged cabinet containing jars and bottles emptied of pills and potions."
Annie Hogan, Gallery 4
Curator Ruth McDougall
In photographs of predominantly empty domestic interiors. Hogan moves from identifiably Queensland interiors to rooms of an abandoned American honeymoon hotel suite and various domestic spaces in the Chicago area. Ruth McDougall states,
"The ‘home’ provided by a female body is a difficult experience to represent… in this series of photographs Hogan explores ways of subverting the objectifying gaze and of providing triggers so that a repressed experience or memory can emerge."
Each of the artists in 4 x4 have developed a significant track record of exceptional work through their participation in group shows and artist run spaces. Vernon Ah Kee lectures at Queensland College of Arts and is represented by Bellas Gallery. Jewel Mackenzie is completing a Doctor of Visual Arts at Queensland College of Arts. Kim Demuth tutors at Queensland University of Technology, Creative Industries. Annie Hogan, a Samstag scholarship recipient, is undertaking postgraduate studies in Chicago.
'The punter', 2003.
Installation view, Soapbox Gallery, Brisbane.
Fiberglass, charcoal suit, black perspex,
b&w digital photograph, variable dimensions.