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By Sharne Wolff
Since 1989 the contemporary project space at the Art Gallery of NSW has shown the work of over 100 living contemporary artists. The current project is an installation from artist, and member of Aboriginal collective ProppaNOW, Tony Albert. Projecting our Future is the third in a decade-long trilogy of works by Albert that consider the ongoing ramifications of colonial rule.The display is, in fact, a large armada of paraphernalia – around 12 metres in length. It consists of reworked objects, sculptures and photographs. Like the first two parts of the trilogy this arrangement also features art made by fellow artists and here three distinct works by Daniel Boyd, Dale Harding and TextaQueen are included.
Albert grew up in the small town of Cardwell, North Queensland, home of the Girramay rainforest people. As a kid he loved to visit second hand shops trawling for “treasure” – tacky souvenirs and kitsch objects such as tea towels, ashtrays and boomerangs that he terms ‘Aboriginalia’. To the young Albert, the people depicted on these items represented familiar faces. As an adult he has recoded their purpose and charged it with political intent to demonstrate the racist manner in which Aboriginal people were clandestinely cast in the category of the “other”. Grouped together here with a targeted Aboriginal figure at their centre, these once inert objects become powerful symbols of the resistance.
Until July 7
Contemporary Project Space, Art Gallery of NSW
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