Brook Andrew - Double Feature

Brook Andrew is of Wiradjuri and Scottish descent. While he is concerned not to be pigeonholed as an Aboriginal artist, his work centres on Aboriginal politics. Conflating contraries, it confounds clear political readings.

Art Exhibition previously on at IMA - Institute of Modern Art in Brisbane precinct, Queensland, Australia.
From Saturday 25 September 2010 to Saturday 20 November 2010
Launch Saturday 25 September 2010, 5–7pm

Brook Andrew The Cell 2010, 3-D render/Urban Art Projects. image Brook Andrew The Cell 2010. image Brook Andrew The Cell 2010. image Brook Andrew The Cell 2010. image Brook Andrew The Cell 2010. image

Published by Institute of Modern Art on Tuesday 29 June 2010.
Contact the publisher.

This year he created two newsworthy sculptures in the form of jumping castles, both decorated in his dazzling, now trademark Wiradjuri/op-art pattern. One takes the form of a war memorial, the other a cell. They will both be seen in Brisbane soon, Jumping Castle War Memorial at UQ Art Museum (17 September–3 October 2010) and The Cell at the IMA (25 September–20 November 2010).

Jumping Castle War Memorial presents itself as an ethical problem. It sends out mixed messages: should we stand back and regard it respectfully as a mechanism of mourning, or should we pounce upon it and have our fun? Is it about memory or amnesia?

The Cell–a three-by-twelve-by-six-metre inflatable room–is more oblique. To enter, one must first don paper overalls covered in the pattern. The overalls recall those worn by forensic technicians to avoid contaminating–and being contaminated by–crime scenes. In wearing them, are we donning ‘the skin of the other’, to merge with his environment and feel at one with him? Or, conversely, are the overalls camouflage or disguise, protecting us from our new environment, allowing us to lurk? Is this ‘padded cell’ punishment or playpen–for us or against us?

Andrew says, ‘The original idea for The Cell is an extension of my wall pattern installations, where one is immersed in the pattern and experience. You are immediately transformed once you don a costume and enter. You become an inmate, a cellular astronaut, or asylum seeker. Experiences of loss, asylum, and genocide are turned on their head. The Cell is a conundrum; a monument to such stories; a space for quiet contemplation, disorientation, and spectacle.’

Jumping Castle War Memorial was commissioned by Detached, Hobart, and UQ Art Museum. It debuted at this year’s Biennale of Sydney (12 May–1 August 2010). The Cell was commissioned by Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation, with support from the IMA and Nelson Meers Foundation, and debuted at Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation, Sydney (8 July–18 August 2010).

Brook Andrew, as IMA artist-in-residence, will give two talks: at UQ Art Museum in front of his work (Wednesday 22 September at 12 noon) and at the IMA (Thursday 4 November at 6pm). He is available for interviews and photographs.