Vernon Ah Kee

Vernon Ah Kee

At Cairns Indigenous Art Fair

04 July–22 August 200904 Jul–22 Aug 2009

In the 2008 Biennale of Sydney, indigenous artist Vernon Ah Kee appropriated a disused toilet block on Cockatoo Island as an art work, titling it Born in this Skin. Full of racist, sexist, homophobic, and otherwise repugnant graffiti, the room offered a chilling reminder of the reality of living with prejudice. For the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair, he presents graffiti-covered doors from the toilets. These obscene found drawings offer a counterpoint to the ennobling portraits of relatives for which Ah Kee is known.

The Institute of Modern Art acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land upon which the IMA now stands, the Jagera, Yuggera, Yugarapul, and Turrbal people. We offer our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the first artists of this country. In the spirit of allyship, the IMA will continue to work with First Nations people to celebrate, support, and present their immense past, present, and future contribution to artistic practice and cultural expression.