Mildura, Victoria 1985
Cloaked Combat #2
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Materials & Technique: audiovisual, multimedia videos, single-channel high definition video
Paton's practice explores tradition, race, colonial encounters and postcolonial experiences. By adopting a contemporary aesthetic, employing a wry sense of humour alongside a strong performative approach, he tackles anew and with acuity the vexed territory of contested ownership, particularly that associated with culture, property and place. Victoria is the centre of deer hunting and duck shooting in Australia and Paton reminds us that this is not the first time that this land has been associated with the killing fields. The technology of the bow and arrow is not found in customary Indigenous practices in Australia, but it reflects the artist's interest with hybrid productions and intercultural encounters. For Paton, it is not just the historical encounters of the Victorian frontier that are significant, but its trajectory through space and time.
Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra