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Melancholy Debris: black humour and colonial memory in 'grids' by Julie Gough
journal contributionposted on 2023-05-21, 03:37 authored by Marita BullockMarita Bullock
Since the Mid-1990s, the Indigenous artist, Julie Gough, has mined the absences of Tasmanian historical narratives as the basis of her practice. Drawing upon the scraps and fragments that have been tactically discarded from Australian cultural memory - the banal, kitsch remnants that have been consigned to the op-shops and garage sales throughout Tasmania - Gough has created a series of strict, gridded formations that have been riveted to the walls of galleries in Australia and overseas. These images contribute to the various revisionist histories of Lyndall Ryan, Jim Everett and Henry Reynolds. Gough's gridded displays of colonial detritus are particularly adept at addressing the white bias of Tasmanian histories due to their visual play upon the methodological limitations of conventional historical narratives. They unearth the unsettling forms of colonialism that few claim ownership for - the melancholy detritus that is conventionally obscured from the historical record.
Department/SchoolSchool of Humanities
Place of publicationSydney, Australia