Kuku Yalanji/Yidinji/Waanyi/Gugu Yimithirr/Koko Berrin peoples
Innisfail, North Queensland, Queensland, Australia born 1967
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Materials & Technique: prints, ink; paper digital print, printed in colour inks, from digital file Support: polypropylene board, satin laminate
Edition State: Published state
Vernon Ah Kee belongs to a new wave of young politically motivated artists. His text-based work—photography, installations and films—expose the black and white dichotomy from historical times to the present. They are often cast in a sardonic and satirical light, lending his work a wry sense of humour. He was selected as one of four emerging Australian artists to exhibit at the Venice Biennale in 2009.
Ah Kee’s arresting, bold and innovative arrangement of letters and words reveal an underlying racial tension present in the written language. He uses direct quotes, puns, double entendres, split and repositioned and sometimes without spaces between them. Meaning and context are often changed, in effect turning them back on themselves to reveal an Indigenous perspective. Many Indigenous people living with issues of race every day connect with Ah Kee’s works, with many nodding in recognition and understanding as the words resonate with them. Many non-Indigenous people find a different perspective on race-related issues, which they had often never thought of or noticed before.
Austracism 2003 is a direct play on the word ‘ostracism’, looking at the commonly expressed and all too familiar sentiments surrounding racism in Australia. Each opening line starts with I’m not a racist but … , a powerful statement in itself that sets the scene for the following conflicting personal statements of others. This large panel uses black and white Helvetica font, typical of wall panels used in public art institutions. Direct quotes and playing on words provoke thought, encouraging the viewer to question their inner narrative about race, equality and identity.
Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2010
From: Franchesca Cubillo and Wally Caruana (eds) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art: collection highlights National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2010
阿吉·维农 (AH KEE, Vernon)
120.00(高) x 180.00(宽)厘米
Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra