Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Not Really Aboriginal...

I thought I might give you an update on some of my old work.  This seems to be a topical series to add right now giving the recent Andrew Bolt ruckus.  In fact, it was this series that brought me to his attention.  He ended up seeing a media release on the series which was part of the 2008 Next Wave Festival at the Centre for Contemporary Photography.  I made this series in response to certain prevailing attitudes that I was aware of.  The first being that when I identified as Aboriginal, people would often respond by saying, but you're not really Aboriginal.  This was because I don't fit the stereotype of what Aboriginal is ie. living in a remote community, very dark skinned and suffering from dysfunction.  However, my grandmother always taught me to identify as Aboriginal and to be proud of the heritage I shared with her. The second attitude was one of lack of integrity.  That, in fact, the only reason I was identifying as being Aboriginal was to obtain some amazing benefits that were to be had by being Aboriginal.

So I was well aware of these attitudes.  The response that I got from Bolt completely validated my thoughts and well, now, the rest as they say, is history.  My identity and integrity was challenged by Bolt, brought to the light in Federal Court and proved to be genuine and honest.  Now both his identity and integrity, on the other hand, have been brought into question.

Tip of the day:

You better make sure that the position you take when making artworks that provoke, is one you stand by as you may end up defending that position in court.

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