Michael Cook’s photographic works reinterpret Australian history and reframe entrenched narratives through the eyes of Indigenous Australians.
In Livin’ the dream, Cook offers a retake on Australian history by imagining a contemporary Indigenous community with Frist Nations people living the lifestyle prescribed by white norms in the 1960s. The disjuncture between the reality of Indigenous life and the white Australian dream/ideal raises the question ‘What makes a person civilised?’ and suggests how different history might have been if those Europeans had realised that the Aborigines were indeed civilised. Cook asks provocative questions, ‘If the British had realised Aborigines were indeed civilised, would history have been different?’
Cook’s carefully choreographed images reflect on notions of truth and identity and consider how art and images shape history and cultural memory. The images explore the continued effects and ongoing aftermath of colonisation and cultural marginalisation.
This exhibition can be viewed on the This Is No Fantasy website. View exhibition here.
This exhibition can be viewed on the Andrew Baker Art Dealer website. View exhibition here.
Read more about this show and Cook’s practice in Art Collector’s current issue. Grab the issue or subscribe here.