Dean Cross: Sometimes I Miss the Applause


Arrived early at the Heide Museum of Modern Art and saw two simultaneous exhibitions Sidney Nolan: Finding Paradise When Dean Cross: Sometimes I miss the applause.. I had to wait a few minutes for the gallery to open, so I was seated in the museum’s overwhelming sculpture park. As I waited, the magpie family walked in and shouted at me for food. This encounter was strange. I’m used to being ambushed by magpies and, on better days, hearing magpies crowing from the top of a tree.

Another rare magpie is depicted in Sidney Nolan Wombat Hall Policeman (1946). Sitting on a rifle barrel, the bird presides over a police police officer who has his head buried in a wombat hole. Magpies are an absurd insertion that mocked the police, where you might expect to see funeral symbolic birds like crows and other carrion species.

The policeman’s arms stretch like a messy flower, and his fingers clench anachronistic handwritten notes. “Ned Kelly and others stuck us today when we were disarmed. Shot by Ronigan and Scanlon. I’m hiding in a wombat hole until dark. The Lord has mercy on me. Scanlon tried to take out his gun. “The insertion of the language looks like a joke that comes directly from the present that the painting depicts, a series of linear times that positions the history of the past. Destroy Here, history has been reconstructed and maintained in modern moments.

With an interest in history and mythology, Wombat Hall Policeman I remember the story of another buried frontier. It reminds us of a collection of two figurative sculptures by Wagilac artist Wally Wilfred. Both are set in the Northern Territory and tell the story of Ayaiga, who saved a police police officer from drowning in 1911, and Dakiyar Wilpanda, who claimed self-defense and sovereignty in 1933.

Modernity stories, anecdotes, and myths are interwoven with indigenous culture through practices such as Wilfred and others who mediate indigenous knowledge to a wide audience through art while addressing the imposition of modernism on culture. .. This is different from settler artists like Nolan, who are legitimate tools that modernist paintings use to overtake regionalism.

Another painting on display at Find paradiseteeth Ned Kelly: “No one knows about my case except me.” (1945), where the artist used a black square helmet – Malevich’s Black square – Depict an outlaw Bushranger. The slits show distorted, argent eyes, dotted with lightly painted red, blue, and yellow stippling. The eyes are angled to suggest hints of hints, highlighting the fragmentation of the inner and outer self. Beyond the personalized “self”, this appearance seems to resonate with the turmoil of settlers-Australian artists trying to grasp the disagreement between the European sign system and his local context.

Kelly acts as a symbolic device for the “Australian” of the new self-image. They need to be aware that they live in landscapes that they cannot properly belong to and that they are at odds with the colonial authority they depend on. Their legitimacy. In part, Nolan’s dedication to Kelly’s anti-hero myths made him one of the icons of modernism and the national hero of Australian art.

Dean Cross Sometimes I miss applause A dual channel video installation for Nolan’s iconic 1942. Self-portrait (1943). The video shows two identical characters. It is assumed that each of these characters is being played by Cross on a separate screen. They wear black Adidas tracksuits and sneakers as well. Both figures wear a series of masks made from a paper shopping bag that is a parody of a Bushranger helmet, with a replica of Nolan’s face. Self-portrait..

Mask draws the biographies of Cross, Nolan, and Kelly into a cross-time and place relationship. When Cross, an indigenous man, wore a Bush Ranger helmet, he was tied up in Romanticism and indigenous body crackdowns around Kelly, slaughter, death in custody, and 17-year-old Dylan Voller’s prison. Collides with the spitting hood.

Along with the entire gallery, the performer’s hands are painted in the same red that fills the background of Nolan. Self-portraitt. Like Wilfred, Cross brings modernism into contact with indigenous aesthetics. Here, the interest of the self-portrait of the modernist with an inner spirit becomes the social interest of the “self” that can only be maintained collectively. This person’s red hand is reminiscent of recent activity, cracking down on a collective threat to the lives of indigenous peoples printed on the walls of the Yuendoom police station by indigenous activists after Kumanjai Walker was shot dead by police officer Zachary Rolf. Reflects the red bill protesting against.

The two people appear to be performing or dancing rehearsals. They hover, step, shuffle, step and clap in an empty old community hall with a wall of notches. You can hear the sharp and jarring sound of orchestra tuning in the background.Cross sets performance to refer to Stravinsky’s avant-garde ballet Spring celebrationIn an everyday community environment – ​​a space for everyday performance.

The fact that the cross repeats the same element on two screens indicates that the action takes place in a transparent timescape. It’s not just about Kelly engraving Nolan, which engraves the cross. Repeatedly rehearsal, Influence is an open bilateral process. These three figures intersect, maintain, and change with each other.

Cross, an artist of the Warimi family, assembles indigenous aesthetics within the framework of modern and contemporary art, without being bound by a strictly reactionary or culturally essentialist rebirth, while negotiating the politics of expression. I will delve into the predicament. Cross, who simultaneously plays Nolan as his self-portrait and Kelly as a mythical hero, stages his self-imagination as a process of transculturation and transculturation that is partially dependent on performance and rehearsals.

It’s encouraging to see Heide subtly interrogating his modernist hero. It is true that Nolan is an important figure in the history of art in this country. The problem is that Cross’s work is very complex and sophisticated in itself, but is only allowed in Nolan’s footnotes. This will provide more gallery space and a 204-page hardcover catalog.

Exhibition held at the same time Find paradise When Sometimes I miss applause The gallery sits within a wide range of impetus to reassess colonial history and standards. But rather than going to the “awakened” rebranding of choice by several other institutions, Heide seems willing to stay in the problem, complicate the problem, and learn from it.

Sidney Nolan: Finding Paradise It’s on until June 13th Dean Cross: Sometimes I miss the applause It will be held at the Heide Museum of Modern Art in Breen until May 29th.

This article was first published as a “colonial mask” in a printed version of the Saturday, February 26, 2022.

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