“Does My Bum Look Big in This?” – Dr Anita Heiss

The wonderful Dr Anita Heiss (author, political commentator and Indigenous rights activist) gave a fun lecture for the Nude at Night series at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. During her talk, titled “Does my bum look big in this?”, she told fictional stories of famous artworks from the Nude collection at the Tate Gallery currently on exhibition in Sydney. Continue reading “Does My Bum Look Big in This?” – Dr Anita Heiss

Vernon Ah Kee, “Not an Animal or a Plant”

Gallery 1:  This exhibition deals with the ongoing impact of colonialism on the way in which Australian culture perceives Aboriginal Australians. It has only been 50 years since the 1967 Referendum, which amended two racist articles from our Constitution. First, the changes allowed Parliament to make laws about Indigenous people, and second, the Census could now count Indigenous people. The title of this exhibit reflects that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders were not seen as fully human people for much of our history and that this view prevails. Amongst the many powerful portraits seen here is “Tall Man.” Other works include the famous piece “Unwritten” and the graffiti drawn on toilet doors, “Born in this Skin.” Continue reading Vernon Ah Kee, “Not an Animal or a Plant”

Memory Lines

“A place to reflect upon our right to work and earn a fair wage.” Memory Lines is a memorial in Sydney, Australia, that has sociological interest, specifically to applied sociology. It commemorates workers who died at work, and provides a space to ruminate over the dignity and respect of all workers. It also pays respect to the traditional owners of this land, the Gadigal people. The statue was commissioned by Fair Work Australia, who look after the rights of workers.

Tall Man

“tall man” by Vernon Ah Kee (2010) a video installation depicting the Palm Island protests in 2004, following the autopsy results of Mulrunji Doomadgee (aka Cameron Dooadgee), confirming his death at the hands of police.

The title of this work refers to the role of Councillor Lex Wotton who acted like the tall man in Aboriginal stories; the boogey man or spirit “who elicits the truth from wrong doers.” The film depicts protests against police brutality and a call for the end to deaths in custody which almost uniquely affects Indigenous Australians. “We are oppressed people,” explains a woman after this footage.

Lot Lost

“Lot Lost” the mind-expanding exhibition by Indonesian artist Eko Nugroho is on now at the Art Gallery of NSW.

The artist started making his zines two decades ago and later expanded to paintings, sculpture and other media. His work is equally political and immersed in pop culture, influenced by global issues, street art and sci fi, as much as by local relations and traditional Javanese art forms of wayang theatre and batik.

Well worth visiting for all ages, with hands-on art activities for kids.

Primavera at 25

Happy New Year! Primavera at 25 is an exhibition showcasing the best of young Australian artists from the past quarter century.

This video starts with a focus on Rebecca Baumann’s “Automated Colour Field,” made from 100 flip clocks, before whipping around the room. Some of the works you see include “Unlimited Residence” by Nell, which reflects the Buddhist concept of “the one and the many” using 20,000 sequins.

Another great centre piece is “Native Gold” by Danie Mellor who explores her mixed Indigenous and European heritage. Sangeeta Sandrasagar’s “Its Feet Were Tied with a Silken Thread of my Own Hands Weaving” hangs from the roof.

Now on at the Museum of Contemporary Art.

Tatsuo Miyajima: Connect with Everything

A Japanese artist who started off doing street performance art, Tatsuo Miyajima sees his installations as performance objects, as he sees that art can only fulfill its function if it is viewed by the audience. His art has much overlap with sociology, especially social constructionism.

This exhibition showcases Miyajima’s work with counting devices made of Light Emitting Diode (LED), as symbolism for time, life and social connectedness. Continue reading Tatsuo Miyajima: Connect with Everything

Lights, Travel, Action

Our visual sociology for the end of the year sees lots of change for this intrepid visual sociologist. From interstate travel to lots of Christmas lights everywhere, to women’s art. November-December 2016 was never-ending with surprises.

Sociology of Hotel Art: Cairns

4 November: Travelling back to back for work, from Canberra to Melbourne to Cairns. This is not the worst hotel art, by far. I was in Cairns for a workshop I ran on the health impact of intimate partner violence for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women elders, community and health workers.

Continue reading Lights, Travel, Action