Archive | September 2019

PEOPLE ARE MAPS. Australian Galleries, Sydney. Sept.3-22

People are maps

Cameron Hayes
People are Maps, 2017
oil on linen
77 3/4 x 95 3/4 inches
photo: Vince Ruvolo
Courtesy the artist and Ronald Feldman Gallery, New York

As humans are evolving away from animals they are losing their ability to empathise
with, anticipate or relate to other animals. Within human
civilization people don’t need to know the agenda of other animals because they no
longer have to catch and eat them or run to avoid being eaten by them.

As people became more sophisticated and protected from attack they no longer need
to empathise with other people. Therefore, that part of the brain is unused and
continues to shrink to make room for more opinions – a requirement for contemporary
civilisation rather than for survival. Today, people are free to live their entire life without
having to empathise with or to understand another person.


Driving in your car is now the only place where you want to be aware of the needs of
other people – or you will crash. On the freeway there is a car crash, angry drivers get
out of their cars to start chasing each other in circles around the crash. While they are
blaming each other, they neglect to look behind themselves to see who is blaming
them.


To escape the violence at the car crash angry drivers climb down off the freeway into
the jungle. There they see animals eating other animals, but not looking behind to see
who/what is about to eat them. Lost in the jungle shoppers stare blankly at a carousel
full off snake skin shopping bags while being consumed by snakes and a woman
hunting for crocodile handbags can’t see the croc she is already halfway inside. This
is called “assertion fetish” where animals / humans are only interested and capable of
asserting their own view, oblivious to the views of others. This jungle is Milton’s version
of Eden destroyed when animals start thinking exclusively of themselves only, and so
become human
.

There are two radio receivers, because when people spend more time expressing
opinions rather than forming them you need talkback radio. On the freeway in the
privacy / safety of their cars people are phoning in unchallenged opinions about topics
they have no qualifications for, but do have rented costumes for. When they fall into
the jungle they lose their phones, so they have to drag their expert costumes around
on a rack using a megaphone to tell a ballerina how to dance and a pregnant woman
how to give birth. Tarzan thought because he wore leopard skin he understood
leopards – he was wrong, and his body parts are being shared amongst his animal
“friends”

 

Because every other person has something useful to tell, teach and show
us, people are maps for navigating life. Without understanding of, and curiosity for,
other people the fallen drivers start moving in ever decreasing circles, drilling
themselves down further and further into the one spot. They are not noticing this
because they are staring into their phones and all the mirrored reflections it provides
.

Even birds in the sky evolve into single winged birds and can only fly in circles. Cats
who only chase their tails, stretch their tails from trees so as to have a life more
extensive than the length of their original tail. Many trees have magician top hats in
them where magicians have put them in the branches still believing in their own
personal magic to conjure food and create a sustainable life.

detail typical idiot woman

 

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THE EMPTY SUIT. Australian Galleries, SYDNEY Sept.3-22

 

 

One Sunday I went to the antiques and collectables market in an empty ground floor carpark -112 West 25th.St. NY. The market was packed with people and covered in other people’s junk. In the far corner there was an empty space only two men and their few items for sale. Later that night I made a drawing of their space.

 

 

I had made a picture called ORPANAGES MAKE THE BEST SKYSCRAPERS it was about how the rise in public conservatism had mirrored with the rise of single mothers, absent fathers and public fatherlessness. Orphans – people without fathers were having their need to win affection/approval from a strong white male figure exploited by big corporations – skyscrapers.

 

Cameron Hayes
Orphanages Make the Best Skyscrapers, 2011
Oil on linen
78 x 100 inches
Photo: Bill Orcutt
Courtesy Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York

 

HR departments of big corporations look for people who are willing to work unpaid overtime, eat lunch at their desk, take home work and unconsciously absorb the ideals and objectives of the corporation. These people without fathers are still suffering from the wish fulfillment fantasy developed in infancy with their breast feeding mothers and needing a father to help them escape from. Attracted to the coldest and oldest men in suits orphans work their ways to the top of the skyscrapers only to be unfulfilled as they become the object of the needy themselves. Many orphans fall in the climb and chalk drawings circle around the bottom of the skyscrapers like sharks, others take their individually tailored chalk drawings with them in their briefcases.

 

 

A garage sale is a presentation of your life to the public, your stall is your life told in objects – junk. The two men in their stall at the antiques and collectables market gave off an immediate air of akward sexuality – they seemed captive to it. The first man caught in the act of stealing glances at a underwear catalogue was wearing a $2 shop wig and seated as if posing for a school photo. The second man wore thick make-up like a clown and wore a bright yellow rain coat that looks more like protection from judgement than the rain.

 

 

The two men of uncertain masculinity had surrounded themselves/their lives with ultra male objects ; toy soldiers, army equipment, hunting trophies, super hero comics, gun and hunting magazines. Their stall looked like a plea for us the public to confirm/buy their maleness.

 

 

 

 

I painted the repo man at art school, it’s a family portrait. As a child my family owned nothing everything was rented or on higher purchase. My father absent emotionally always and physically most of the time was an unreliable and dishonest money manager. My family faced having all our stuff reposessed regularly.

 

 

In the picture my father as the repo man is taking back the one thing the family feared the most – the TV. In an effort to stop the repo man an aunty on my father’s side is showing some leg to stop the repo man, while an uncle on my father’s side is offering one of my sisters as a trade for the T.V. My oldest sister has dressed up in her best first communion dress to beg for the T.V. In the background far corner of the room I’m holding tight what I feared most the repo man would take – my pet rabbit.

 

 

My mother used me as stick to beat my father with, she praised me for qualities he lacked and pointed out to him his lack of influence – bad influence on me.A feeling of stealing from my father his wife’s affection and the responsibility of being the sole recipient of my mother’s male love made me uncomfortable with female attention and compliments from girls made me cringe. For this reason I didn’t have a girlfriend till my late twenties. People thought I was gay, asexual or just too into painting to notice girls, I probably looked to them as the two men at the market stall looked to me.