from the series Native Instincts
c-type print on fuji lustre paper
100 x 100 cm
edition 3 of 10 + 2AP
$17,000 framed in white
Note: this is the first edition of this highly sought-after work to return to the secondary market.
Chalk Horse Gallery, Sydney
Private Collection, Sydney
Nothing is true, everything is permitted, Chalk Horse, Darlinghurst, 07 Jul 2011–13 Aug 2011
Embodiment, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 12 Dec 2014–22 Mar 2015
Christian Thompson, Orange Regional Gallery, Orange, 26 Sep 2015–15 Nov 2015
The Art Gallery of New South Wales
In The Devil Made Him Do It from the series Native Instincts, 2011 Thompson plays with the impersonations of Indigenous people that are to be found within popular culture and are presented as an authentic image of Indigeneity. Within his guise, Thompson appears in full ceremonial regalia, with lurid blue face paint and a crown of feather adornment. Appearing almost clown-like, he ridicules these representations while questioning notions of authenticity and what this means in Aboriginal culture today.
The uncertainty of truth or implicit intention defines much of Thompson’s practice, with his photographs emerging from a performative and experiential process which allows him the freedom to interrogate. Of course, influencing this technique is the historic positioning of photography as scientific and anthropological support material. Thompson explores the complexities of Indigenous photography and participation, by placing himself in front of the camera and carefully orchestrated props and movements. As both photographer and subject he has absolute control.