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Wiradjuri people

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia born 1970

Possessed I 2015 Place made: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Materials & Technique: photographs, gelatin silver photograph

Dimensions: image 190.0 h x 127.0 w cm Framed 193.5 h x 130.4 w x 6.0 d cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 2016
Accession No: NGA 2016.228
  • Purchased 2016
  • Over the last two decades, Brook Andrew has used his practice to comment on a range of issues related to race, the continuing impact of colonialism, and on history and memory. In the series Possessed he draws on a rare collection of late nineteenth-century glass lantern slides showing the Australian landscape. Taken by government and other official photographers, such images were popular and used to promote travel. For Andrew, they represent the way 'dominant cultures manipulate power and history through the making and dissemination of photography'. A range of strategies including doubling, mirroring, copying and pasting fragments within the same picture, contest the power and authority once seen to rest in the original views. 'The first thing I think of is smashing – subverting – the horizon line,' he has said. Each of the photographs is mounted into hand-torched frames, and can be displayed upside down; there is no 'correct' way to view these landscapes.

    Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra