THE FIGHT BETWEEN MOOMBA AND LENT 2019 by Cameron Hayes – Australian Galleries, Sydney 3-22 Sept.
In Bruegel’s 1559 painting THE FIGHT BETWEEN CARNIVAL AND LENT the public performance of piety (LENT) is shown to be undermined by suspicions fakery and signs of evil and therefore as bad as the public performance of sin in the Carnival. The two behaviours portrayed in Carnival then Lent lead to the question- can you pay for bad behaviour with good? Can you buy permission for bad behaviour with public performances of good behaviour?
picture of bruegel’s
In THE FIGHT BETWEEN MOOBA AND LENT the government – via the Moomba parade – gifts the people the opportunity for a public performance of their acceptance of cultural diversity and their tolerance of racial and religious difference.
Australians are accepting of the idea of consistent appalling behaviour being insured against with very public displays of much less expensive good behaviour: Richard Pratt’s PRATT FOUNDATION , Shane Warne’s THE SHANE WARNE FOUNDATION, the major banks with their charitable partnerships and sponsorship programs
Melbourne city is the backdrop for the Moomba parade but the city buildings are barely visible now amongst the growing stacks of shipping containers. Everything Australian’s want comes from overseas shipping containers : fashion, music, cars, tv, acclaim….. and everything Australians fear comes from overseas ; wars, poverty, queues, sharks, refugees……
Australians are constantly told they are the “ lucky country”. When everything you have is because of luck then nothing you have is earned and therefore nothing you have is owned and everything can be taken by unlucky people from unlucky countries. At the back of the Moomba parade representatives of different ethnic communities are stealing our natural resources they have hooked up their toasters to our power lines and dragging the power poles along the parade route.
The Tampa float shows the stranded asylum seekers still living in their Tampa container building more and more empty letterboxes and feeding on a single pig and cow.
The children overboard float has two women “dressed as Muslims “ turning small paddle steamer wheels with babies tied to them through the water below.
Lindy Chamberlian’s Seventh Day Aventism was enough to forfeit her burden of guilt re; baby killing. The Lindy Chamberlian float has two bikini models wearing dingo costumes fighting over Azaria’s jumpsuit underneath a clothesline heavy with dingo bitten infant jumpsuits.
The 2007 fake flyer from the fake Islamic Federation of Australia created and distributed by members of the liberal party to create new fear of Islam and inflame existing hatred of muslims is celebrated in the next float. The man in the float wearing a fake beard and wig continues to hand out the flyers, the float is decorated with suitcases ,planes and bombs.
The parade has been held up because a boy riding the Australian Mining float has become trapped under the wheels of that float. While his father leans onto the float to get a closer look the mother meets the boys outstretched hand with a lit cigarette.
The African gang fear is sponsored by channel seven and represented by giant giraffes around whose necks hang the front doors they have broken into and in their mouths they are devouring fluffy white sheep.
To continue the fear dolphins are dressed up as sharks and white men in life saver costumes are everywhere to sedate, lead and justify our need for protection. The Aboriginal Wheelchair ballet school celebrates our ability to decorate a few aboriginals for achievments in sports and the arts in order for us to be able to ignore the major problems of the many. The parade seperates immigrant Australians on one side and older 2nd., 3rd and 4th. Australians on the other.These older whiter Australians wear head bands and wrist bands and tennis outfits. For white Australians , Australia is something they remember not something they experience.
After everyone went blind, everyone was afraid they wouldn’t be able to remember what they now couldn’t see
After Everyone Went Blind, Everyone Was Afraid They Wouldn’t Be Able to Remember What They Now Couldn’t See
oil on linen
overall size: 82 x 100 inches
Courtesy Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York
After everyone went blind, everyone was afraid they wouldn’t be able to remember what they now couldn’t see. And everyone became overprotective of their memories and antagonistic towards any contradicting memories. When someone died everyone thought they should build the coffin in the shape of their memory of the dead person. Many corpses were torn apart in the fight for their right to their contradicting memories of the dead. Some grievers agreed on a compromise but had to squash or cut off parts of the hardening corpse to fit it into the compromised coffin shape.
Fingerprints and footprints became an important part of recording where you were and who you were when your memory failed you. The city became covered with fingerprints and footprints. And it became illegal to wash any surfaces. Because of this the world became an incubator of disease and then was ruled by disease. Also models had to be touched now instead of looked at and modelling became the most unglamorous job ever there was.
When people couldn’t see they became more aware and afraid of the things they could never see in the first place ; like radio waves, love and bacteria. Bacteria like Tibercle, Entamoebe and Bacilli became household names and there was even a petting zoo of bacteria.
Most people try to keep their memories through taste. They would have cake, soft drinks and lollies to remember their childhood, junk food to remember their teenage years and alcohol for the rest. They mainly became fat which wasn’t a big deal because no-one could see them anyway.
What happens when pretend politicians pretend to be terrorists
In the week of the 2007 Australian federal election, it was clear that the Liberal Party were going to lose power to The Labor Party after 11 years in government. The electorate of Lindsay was made up of middle to lower earning white Australians with pockets of immigrants and first generation Australians from the Middle East. The seat was held by Jackie Kelly for 11 years, but she was retiring and hoping to pass the seat onto a Liberal Party colleague, Karen Chijoff, on the Thursday before Saturday’s election. The husbands of Kelly and Chijoff were seen putting pamphlets in the Lindsay voters’ letter boxes.
The husbands had invented THE ISLAMIC AUSTRALIA FEDERATION. They printed pamphlets from this fake organization, thanking the Labor Party for seeking clemency for terrorists, building more mosques in Llndsay, and for supporting the Bali bombers. The husbands put the fake pamphlets in letterboxes in the poorest white areas.
This painting is about what happened in the local girl’s school and the local shopping mall when the white parents thought that the “Islamic Australia Federation” was targeting Lindsay to be an Islamic/Sharia enclave, with mosques on every corner, bombs in every bus shelter, and most frightening, women with scarves on their heads. The white fear of Lindsay becoming Islamic spread to the schools and made the most vulnerable (Muslim girls) the most accountable for the fear. The Muslim girls already in semi-denial were forced to completely deny their identity.
They had to leave home in traditional dress and change at bus stops and the shopping mall, semi-naked in front of predatory white men – cleaners, gardeners, and business men. The girls had to hunt around shopping malls for the cheapest possible versions of non – Muslim dress: singlet tops, short shirts, high heels, and brand names. While their parents, particularly their fathers, did laps at the mall, anti-clockwise, oblivious to the children’s struggle.
Before there was a terrorist in a cake shop everyone was afraid of what came out of the water ; sharks, stingrays, refugees, blue ring octopus ect….Australians grow up believing that they are the lucky country , everything they have is because of good luck, nothing they have is earned so nothing they have is owned. So everything they have is illegitimate – subject to a change of luck – subject to a change in circumstances.
Before there was a terrorist in a cake shop Australians feared that eventually the unlucky people from the unlucky countries would come and bring their wars, their hunger , their poverty and their queues. A plague of experimented on rabbits; Indian dancing bears , tortured TV animals, baby drowning muslim mothers and card box living Phillipinos can’t be held out much longer by the shark net that surrounds Australia’s waters and the handful of lifesavers that surround Australia’s beaches .
In Australia people are so afraid of the water that they make bridges that go in circles and on those bridges people drag their yachts along the roads, they pile their sealess yachts on top of each other to make luxury seaside apartments looking out on the water they will not sail on.
Before there was a terrorist in a cake shop Australian’s favourite pastime was to tell each other how lucky they are compared to other countries. They hold big raffles where the first prizes are ; the ability to have children, running water, or a free and healthy press. Everybody has a ticket but nobody can tell you where you can’t have a child or turn on a tap and Melbourne has two newspapers and one of them is the Herald Sun. It’s like an old T.V. commercial for Gumbaya Park where you could go to play chasey or do push ups or play totem tennis providing you bring your own totem tennis pole.
Like most criminals and lottery winners Australians have a semi-conscious guilt that they are taking more from the world that they are worth. Rituals that dress up dress up the rest of the world as corrupt are important to us ; Muslims dressed as baby drowners, dolphins dressed as sharks, seventh day Adventists as baby sacrificers , Sudanese kids as the apex gang ect…
Australians are simultaneously bonded and excited by their fear of their coming bad luck , they go to Lunar Park and stand in two buckets of water and are encircled by a carousel of dolphins wearing fake shark teeth and tied on shark fins. After that they can relax in their second favourite pastime – shouting things out of the windows speeding cars at minorities walking on the footpath.
Amongst all the fossil fuels, beautiful beaches , blue skies and all those sheep and suntans Australians can’t fully enjoy their luck – like children held hostage in a chocolate shop.
By the time they opened the first Museum of Rap in Fatehpur Sikri no-one could taste, smell, feel, hear or remember it anyway
By the time they opened the first Museum of Rap in Fatehpur Sikri no-one could taste, smell, feel, hear or remember it anyway
Fatehpur Sikri was a city built by a Mogul king to be a perfect city; but it was on high ground and not near any lakes or rivers, so no-one ever lived there because there was no water. In 2004, the National Bank of India opened the first Museum of Rap there.
All the stars from television, film, and music were expected to arrive in cabs and step out of a painting or a limousine onto a red-carpet conveyor belt. The stars then had fifteen minutes to line up behind and then have their photos taken in a wooden picture of Beyonce Knowles, Justin Timberlake, Tupac, or the cat from Friends. Many stubborn stars refused to take their heads out of their image and stumbled around until they accidentally hanged themselves in the wood.
Outside the Museum of Rap, many entertainers have come to cash in on all the hype. Ten-year-old girls have brought their dancing bears dressed as Madonna, Brittany, and Run DMC. A dance school has opened next door for girls to train their bears using only bells, knives, and scissors. Another entertainer painted many different species of animals with black and yellow stripes, and people pay to see them raped by a real tiger.
Because the way everyone and everything looked was all important, people lost their sense of smell and needed dogs to smell if food had expired, and homeless people carried bees in glass jars to check if their bodies were decaying badly enough to worry about.
As people’s sight strengthened they lost more and more memory, so musicians were able to do cover versions of hits while they were still on the charts. And many sitcoms were able to use the scripts from other sitcoms the day before.
REVIEW, by Tasneem Chopra, July 2018
ARTIST: Cameron Hayes
AUSTRALIA: A History of Terrogees
Hayes contemporary analysis of Australia’s political landscape, makes no apology for a culture entrenched in xenophobia. The satirical jabs at white privilege and entitlement stemming from the fragility of a white settler colonial mindset, manifest in his works, particularly, The End of the Moomba Parade, Terrorists in a Cake Shop and What happens when pretend politicians pretend to be terrorists, 2009-2011.
Each piece examines an event in Australia’s recent history or demographic make-up, highlighting the revulsion shown for migrants matched only by an unwitting dependence on their economic value. The contradiction and conflict of this dependence, renders the morality of the powerful as inherently self-serving. The assertion that Aboriginals, African, Asian and Muslim Australians, for example can only be of worth if at all, when they ascribe to the parameters set for them by the State, is inferred repeatedly. And when these communities fail to abide the standards of a well behaved minority, they instantly become demonized – the folk devil we have to have.
Themes of racism, Islamophobia, exploitation, ostracizing, greed, deceit, corruption and collective delusion of both the elite and inept strata’s of society, permeate Hayes artworks in varied degrees. The intricacy and detail of his paintings provide a layered analysis that probe beyond the banal ugliness of socio-political obfuscation. That is, when you delve further, the messaging is clear; no amount of political clout and media distortion give legitimacy to abuse of power. The ripples of humanity in silenced voices and diligent work ethic of the migrant and refugee ‘other’, loom clear in the background – representing the beating heart that keeps this nation moving, despite the relentless malfeasance.
The colloquial conflation of Muslim-with-Islam-with –refugee-with-terrorist, proposing all labels equate with the same cultural bogeyman as an endpoint, allows for a powerful artistic take down by Hayes of this tired trope of Australian minorities.
Hayes’ work is vibrant, provocative and formidable. As a viewer you cannot help but be absorbed by the brilliant colours and intricate detail that draw you into this satirical quagmire. The art makes bold assertions about Australia’s political culture that doesn’t just question the integrity of our migration policy, but expose the racist undercurrent of a system centred on racial profiling. Further, he reveals the dehumanising of Indigenous Australians whose existence it seems, pivots on either their entertainment value, or, burden to the State. In all, Hayes’ brilliantly encapsulates the myopia of white saviour/master/supremacy ideology, masquerading as conservative political dogma in the name of patriotism.
Review by : Tasneem Chopra, Cross Cultural Consultant, former Curator at Islamic Museum of Australia and the Immigration Museum, Melbourne
Orphanages make the best skyscrapers, 2011
Orphans make up the best corporations because so many of the people who work in them, especially investment bankers, lawyers, and management consultants, need to win the approval of older men in suits. The more neglected a child is, especially as a boy by his father, the harder he will work as an adult for the corporation.
The rise of conservatism in the working population is a direct result of the increase of absent and negligent fathers.
The Human Resource departments of big companies see a generation of needy workers unconsciously drawn to being patted on the head by rich old white men in suits. HR departments know these people will take work home, work for unpaid overtime, eat lunch at their desk, and adopt the goals and values of the corporation as their own.
Without fathers, these workers still live in the wish fulfilled fantasy world which they and their mothers created. They expect everyone else to know intuitively what they want and how they feel. They believe in blowing out candles, gambling, and throwing money in wishing wells. They pray in front of gym equipment as orphans pray in front of phones that don’t ring for them, empty letterboxes, and taxis that never return their fathers.
In these skyscrapers the elevators only go up. Not to strive to the top through work is to freefall to the bottom. Many workers carry their chalk drawings in their brief cases, and many psychiatrists are sent straight to the top of the skyscrapers to wait for the most successful workers.
The rats in the monkey’s cage, 2011
At the Mumbai Zoo the star attraction is the rhesus monkeys, and because of this, the zoo management has given them the biggest cage proportionate to their size. They are fed the best by the zoo staff and the visitors who ignore the “Don’t Feed the Animals” sign. The monkeys hang on to the ropes and cling to the car tires tied to the bottom of the ropes.
If you throw some food onto the cage floor, the monkeys will lean down from the rope and stretch for the food. The rats lay in wait for the monkeys to leave their rope prisons and to go for the food. They attack instantly and, all together, chase the hungry monkeys back up the rope or up the cage walls. Then you notice the bloodied bandages around the feet and hands of the monkeys, the faces of the monkeys that never sleep, and their stomachs that never get filled. The rats in India are the meanest in the world, and in the zoos they are the fattest. They bully all the animals in the zoos from the elephants to the lions.
This painting is about the many star attractions in the world which are really miserable and under the control of the rats under the surface.