This Brutal World by Dr Christian Thompson AO - 2017 | Michael Reid Gallery

Dr Christian Thompson AO
This Brutal World, 2017

c-type print on Fuji Pearl Metallic Paper
120 x 120 cm
edition 1 of 6 + 2AP
$14,000 framed in black

Commissioned by the Australian Centre for Photography for the exhibition Under the sun: Reimagining Max Dupain’s Sunbaker.

EXHIBITED
Under the sun: Reimagining Max Dupain’s Sunbaker at Monash Gallery of Art, Melbourne, 2017
WALL POWER: Contemporary Australian Photography, traveling between Cologne, Berlin, London, Paris, with Michael Reid Sydney + Berlin, with support of the Australian Government as part of the cultural initiative Australia now, 2017


With This Brutal World, Christian Thompson focuses on portraiture and its ability to trouble the relationship between past and present. Where Dupain’s Sunbaker supposedly conveys a quintessential Australian identity, Thompson reminds us of assimilation policies first outlined at the Aboriginal Welfare Initial Conference of Commonwealth and State Aboriginal Authorities in 1937. Here the artist wears a costume borrowed from London’s National Theatre. His eyes are covered with dried roses and his body is superimposed on the glittering shallow creek beds – images captured during trips to his traditional homelands in outback Queensland. Thompson employs references to the natural world to evoke spirituality.

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