Look Closer – Daniel King

Opening Night: Tuesday 4th October 6-8pm with speech by Dr Tony Birch – writer, historian and curator, Melbourne and ‘Welcome to Country’ by Caroline Briggs – Boonerwrung Elder.

What ideas and attitudes are held by various people towards those of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent? In response to this Melbourne-based Indigenous film-maker and artist Daniel King has produced a series of black and white photographs that invite us to ‘look closer’ at what assumptions might underpin some of our ideas. In doing this he provides an opportunity for viewers to review, recognize and perhaps reconsider their thoughts regarding the range of negative social and cultural stereotypes that seems to prevail in a large proportion of the nation’s unconscious.

Human pathos and a wry sense of humour add to King’s acute art-directing skills with playful but powerful results. The critical impact of his resulting images can be equated with that produced by some of his peers and forebears in their own fields: from playwrights, actors, visual artists and musicians to activists and political spokespersons – some of whom appear as models in his photographs. It is only through the process of observation – the looking closer – demanded by King’s striking images that their double-edge is revealed, and while his sometimes confronting representations of Indigenous stereotypes will be exposed to some viewers for the first time, many will be forced into acknowledging that they actually hold them themselves. As someone recently remarked: “Framed with an expert eye, King’s affecting images burrow into that most personal of places: the prejudices we tell ourselves we don’t have.”

As with many issues, particularly recently, it seems that only when they are publicallyrevealed can they begin to be discussed. Hopefully one day there will be no need or desire for stereotypical ideas or attitudes to be held about the original inhabitants of this country, and King’s images will assist all who look/see them to understand how this might be possible.

Venue: Level 17 Artspace @ Victoria University, 17/300 Flinders Street, Melbourne

Opening Night: 4th October, 6-8pm.
Exhibition Dates: 4 – 15 October 2011, Mon-Fri 10am–5pm Sat 12-4pm

Website: http://creativeindustries.vu.edu.au/level17.html and http://www.melbournefestival.com.au/program/

All enquires to Director/Curator: Kirsten Rann kirsten.rann@vu.edu.au 0402 354 046