Queensland New Photomedia 2004
01 October–23 October 200401 Oct–23 Oct 2004
This is an exhibition that addresses important themes relating to our sense of identity and place. Through a variety of techniques all three artists provide us with an important and revealing insight into the true nature of modern society.
The work of Maurice Ortega is highly suggestive. It relies on an appropriated visual language that can be seen in other forms of media and advertising. His constructed scenes explore the narrative behind commercial imagery in order to move it to the front of the subject rather than letting it inform our acceptance of what we see from the background.
The technique of photo emulsion sees Deb Mansfield’s eerie mangrove landscape transposed straight onto the wall of the gallery. Much like traditional photographic techniques, photo emulsion relies on the absence and then the introduction of white light to set the image to the surface. The artist, through her method of reproduction, informs the viewer of her own viewpoint not only in the subject of the image but also by its temporal nature.
Much like Ortega, Ray Cook addresses the widespread conditioning of modern society by the mainstream media. With a focus on the construction of the gay man stereotype, Cook takes a look at this serious issue with a wry, bitter wit that serves to embrace rather than alienate the viewer. Importantly, Cook’s images provide a much-needed reminder of what it is to be a gay man in our society.