Friday, May 24, 2019
Gordon Bennett Essay
The following contemporary artists twain represent their works in a post-modern frame. Post-modern can include irony and paradox, annexation and pastiche and intersexuality. Gordon Bennett and Fiona Hall fit into one of these categories. Bennetts painting Outsider, Oil and acrylic on canvas, 1988 is a lurid painting using appropriation of Vincent Van van Goghs artwork, and the treatment of aboriginals in todays society. Fiona Halls sculpture of the Nelumbo nucisera, lotus, elum, thamarei, atomic number 13 and steel, 1999 is made up of a sardine tin rolled down revealing a bare stomach, and plant leaves.Bennetts work can be seen as post-modern as Bennett takes Van Goghs famous images and recreates them in his own manner. Bennetts painting Outsider, is a violent painting using appropriation of Vincent Van Goghs artwork Vincents Bedroom in Arles, 1888 and Starry Night, 1889, and the treatment of aboriginals in todays society. He fits into the category of appropriation where he uses anothers work in a new context, with the intention of altering its meaning. He seizes copies and replaces the original imagery of Gough, by interpreting it in his own way. He uses cultural aspects of aboriginal art and is in search for meaning and identity.Bennett identifies with the world through quite a little, events and issues involving the aboriginal people. His work is political about both Aboriginal and European-Australian history. It helps him and his people to redress the disparity between the two cultures. Many of his views about Aboriginal culture have been understandably formulated from a European perspective. His shocking, violent and traumatic work was painted while Bennett was still at art school. The painting raises many issues from Aboriginal deaths in custody to Bennetts olfactory perception of isolation. Frustration is also evident with the suggestion that it can lead people to suicide or self-mutilation, as in the case of both Van Gogh and the figure in the pic ture.The Aboriginal figure complete with ceremonial paint is frustrated and confused, that his head explodes, with blood whirling into Van Goghs disruptive sky. The classical heads with eyes closed, may relate to Europe, or the famous Greek marbled heads, blind to the consequences of its actions and unwilling to acknowledge the blood on its hands. They are sing or dreaming to block out the exploding head. Bennett figuratively displays his own dilemma of violently contested genealogies. The hands on the figure reach towards or excerpt away from the closed eyed heads on the bed. The red hands on the wall represent the hands of the white people. It may suggest that the white people are caught red handed by the way they react to the mutilated figure.The red in the painting is strong and contrasting with the other natural tones the selfsame(prenominal) red is taken from the bed cover, and used in the handprints on the wall and the blood on the wrists and neck of the figure. The windo w seems to be a window to the hidden swirls of the nighttime, which may represent death. The figures head is almost exploding into the dark metaphysical zone, here drawn from Starry Night. For Van Gogh the comet-like night was a forbidding of death and return to an ultimate peace for which he longed. Bennet seems to deliberately take on this same theme. The dots, dashes and roundels in Bennetts starry night may suggest Western Desert Aboriginal paintings.