The Hanging: Splitting Sides
February 2nd 2016
Srisurapon, “Wash”(detail), 2014, Pigment print on resin coated photo paper. Photo courtesy of the artist
Australia – home to endless beaches, daylight savings, the pavlova, gumnut babies, backyard BBQs and casual racism.
For many, it’s easy to forget that not every citizen of Australia is sitting out on the patio, breathing the humidity and watching the lightning crack over canefields. For the six artists featured in the Splitting Sides exhibition, experiencing day-to-day life in Australia can mean an ongoing battle with cultural identity in both social and political contexts.
Splitting Sides is a group exhibition co-curated by Andrew Christie and Brigitte Gerges, featuring six young emerging artists from diverse cultural backgrounds and perspectives who present personal approaches to this issue of cultural disparity.
The exhibition shows the work of Dominic Byrne, Frankine Chow, Navid Ghezelayagh, Martin James, Hanadi Saleh and Andrea Srisurapon. The diverse array of sculpture, performance and photography in Splitting Sides is increasingly loaded with every minute you spend in the gallery.
There are the multiple ‘books of success’ by Dominic Byrne for viewers to leaf through which feature the career trajectories of successful white Australian celebrities. Then there’s the installation by Martin James of stubby holders printed with controversial quotes from our mate Tony Abbott. And the photographic depiction of artist Andrea Srisurapon having yellow paint removed from her face by her mother while wearing a traditional Thai headdress.
Splitting Sides uses personal narratives to communicate a national issue. Through the lens of contemporary art, we are able to address a need for change, and this exhibition definitely captures an ongoing dialogue surrounding social and political reform in Australia.