Cover Versions: Mimicry and Resistance

11 Nov 2017 - 14 Jan 2018

This exhibition explores ideas around mimicry and impersonation, re-performance or reiteration, as artists and collectives expand on the notion of the cover version and its subversive potential within the digital age.

Cover Versions: Mimicry and Resistance quotes from the histories of music, popular culture and the internet, ethnography and the natural world. This is expressed through a range of mediums that include sound art and instrumentation, video, photography, installation and robotics. In music the cover version is realised as the re-performance, sampling or development of an existing piece, creating an expanded version or new original. In the natural world, animals use mimicry as a mode of camouflage for the purposes of survival, while humans employ it for social commentary or political subversion. In contemporary net culture and social media this is signalled by the repost, retweet or meme: in homage or critique, or towards the construction of identity. Mimicry has been equated with camouflage but also like holding up a mirror. Through the artifice of their construction, these works reveal something about the nature of our times.

Artists:
Arthur Merric Boyd / Neil Douglas, Michael Candy, Maria Fernanda Cardoso, Percy Grainger and Burnett Cross, Yuki Kihara, The Kingpins, LOUD+SOFT (Julian Day and Luke Jaaniste), Frédéric Nauczyciel, Soda Jerk vs The  Avalanches, Super Critical Mass, Christian Thompson, Jemima Wyman.
Curator: Anna Briers

Image: The Kingpins, VERSUS, single channel video, 2001, 5:30. Courtesy the artists and Neon Parc.

 

Jemima Wyman artwork featuring protest figures arranged in a circular pattern
Image: Jemima Wyman, Aggregate Icon (RBW) from center to periphery clockwise: Free-Gaza protester, Palestine, 5th May 2012 (Che Guevara t-shirt), Anti-government protester, Milan, 14th December 2010 (screaming skull), Union member protester against labor and fiscal reform, Madrid, 31st March 2012 (striped t-shirt), Indigenous land rights protester, Caledonia, 28th February 2006 (camo hoodie), Protesters occupying city hall against the shooting of Michael Brown put a keffiyeh on the George Washington Statue, Chicago, 11th August 2012 (Statue), Supporter of the Syrian uprising recording fellow protesters, Beirut, 15th August 2011 (mustache facemask), Protesting NATO at summit, Chicago, 20th May 2012 (badge), Anti-government protester in solidarity with jailed freelance photographer Ahmed Humaidan, Bahrain, 1st March 2013 (black keffiyeh), College student stages performance against air pollution, Xi'an, China, 5th December 2013 (dust mask), Anti-austerity protester clashing with police, Greece, 29th June 2011 (sling-shot) May Day Protester, Bogota, Colombia, 1st May 2013 (Che Guevara flag), A ‘Sister of perpetual indulgence’ at the hunky Jesus contest, San Francisco, 24th April 2011 (spotted nun), University student against Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, Caracas, 26th January 2010 (red fabric over eyes and mouth), Supporter of Michael Brown, Ferguson, Missouri, 10th August 2014 (dreadlocks), Zapatista Children protesters, Chiapas, 5th May 2015 (Six at a desk), G20 protester, Canada, 26th June 2010 (heart glasses), Pro-government supporters, Thailand, 30th November 2013 (Yingluck and Thaksin printed shirts), Zapatista, Chiapas, 8th March 2011(black belt), Albanian celebrating 100 years of independence from the Ottoman Empire, 28th November 2012 (red and black face paint), Protesting grand jury decisions in police-involved death of Eric Garner, Berkeley, California, 6th December 2014 (holding donut), Protesting the disappearance of 43 students, Chilpancingo, Mexico, 11th November 2014 (profile red bandanna), Palestine youth protesting Israel’s military occupation, Beit El settlement, 28th January 2016 (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine headband), Anti-NATO protestor, Prague, 21st November 2002 (Che-Guaver Mask), Pro-Palestinian protesters, West Bank, 11th October 2015 (Group wearing keffiyehs), May Day protester, Oakland, California, 1st May 2012 (occupy mask), Zapatistas, Chiapas, 15th August 2013 (red and white spotted cape), Anti-Fascist protester, Bulgaria, 17th November 2013 (Anti-Fascist flag), Anti-Nuclear protester at Tokyo Electric Power Co. headquarters, 27th March 2011 (Nuclear No Thanks), Anti-government protestor, Bangkok, Thailand, 9th June 2013 (bandanna Guy Fawkes mask), Protester against the shooting death of teenager Michael Brown, Ferguson, Missouri, 13th August 2014 (white t-shirt mask), High school student protests lack of quality education, Santiago, Chile, 15th March 2012 (red t-shirt mask), Unknown (hoodie with patches), Millions Mask March, London, 5th November 2015 (Guy Fawkes mask with Camo), Protesting at the RNC for good jobs, healthcare, affordable education, equality and peace, Tampa, Florida 27th August 2012 (A’s painted on shirt), Free Pussy Riot supporter at the Russian Embassy, London, 17th August 2012 (rabbit mask), Black Block group defending anti-Morsi protesters, Egypt, 11th February 2013 (red face on black masks), 2016. Hand-cut digital photographs collage. Image courtesy the artist, Sullivan + Strumpf, Sydney and Milani Gallery, Brisbane.