Gordon Bennett: Untitled (dismay, displace, disperse, dispirit, display, dismiss)

Art Artwork from Australia. Published by M.C.A. on Thursday 09 October 2014.

Gordon Bennett: Untitled (dismay, displace, disperse, dispirit, display, dismiss) image Gordon Bennett: Untitled (dismay, displace, disperse, dispirit, display, dismiss) image Gordon Bennett: Untitled (dismay, displace, disperse, dispirit, display, dismiss) image Gordon Bennett: Untitled (dismay, displace, disperse, dispirit, display, dismiss) image Gordon Bennett: Untitled (dismay, displace, disperse, dispirit, display, dismiss) image Gordon Bennett: Untitled (dismay, displace, disperse, dispirit, display, dismiss) image

Gordon Bennett’s work Untitled (dismay, displace, disperse, dispirit, display, dismiss) (1989) uses word and image to explore notions of language as a tool with which the colonisers of Australia subjugated the country’s original inhabitants.

When this work is installed at the MCA, near the site of the landing of the First Fleet, the work has an added significance. It confronts colonial stereotypes of representation through language and deals with the way in which language is used to categorise and interpret Indigenous people from a Western perspective.

English words with a ‘dis-’ prefix mean to reverse, undo, or to subject to the reversal or undoing of, the meaning of the word to which it is prefixed. It can thus refer to negation, opposition, separation, or deprivation. A conceptual relationship is therefore established between the method and the intention. The play of the prefix ’dis’ could be seen as a kind of poetry and can be related to its contemporary use such as in disrespecting someone.

http://www.mca.com.au/collection/work/1993281/