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MELBOURNE ART FAIR – REVIEW, by Tasneem Chopra, July 2018

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

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review by robert shuster in the village voice 2011

i am posting some old reviews and articles. this review written by robert shuster was in the village voice 2011 and is about my exhibition at ronald feldman gallery that year.

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Orphanages make the best skyscrapers,
2011
oil on linen
78 x 100 inches

Article by Evan Maloney from 2004

i am posting some old reviews and articles. this one was in the Cordite review written by evan maloney,

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The rescued refugees had to live off what was on the container ship, which because it was headed for Australia was full of fake Italian fashions and pet food by Cameron Hayes, 2002, oil on linen, 66 x 89 inches.

Review by Grace Glueck, NY Times from 2004

i am posting some old reviews and articles. this one is about  my show in new york at Ronald Feldman Gallery. . it was in the new york times.

CLICK THIS TO READ THE ARTICLE

The Cambridge nursing home won the freeway mural project by Cameron Hayes. 2001-2, oil and glitter on linen, 84 x 66 inches.

Review by Robert Nelson from 2004

i am posting some old reviews and articles. this one is about my show in 2004, i put it up in melbourne for people here to see before they were sent to my gallery  for my show in new york. so robert got to see it and wrote about it.

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Before there were laws for corporate
pedophilia, 2003
oil on linen
84 x 78 inches

my show on 7.30 report tonight !

tonight on the 7.30 report cherly hall will do a story on my show. here are some photos of me and marielle soni (the art centre co-ordinator at the time i was in milikapiti ) being inyerviewed for it.

me being interviewed

marielle soni being interviewed

mariele soni being interviewed