Essay, Pages 5 (1166 words)
Peter Robinson and Gordon Bennett in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the have had the intention of commenting, exposing and reflecting on the occurrences of New Zealanders and Australians. Their works describe and state current day culture, considering the creation of country societies and histories after the colonial rule and also look into the function of an artist in the modern art industry. (Benjamin 127) The both have dissimilar degree of aboriginal descent in their personal past and this has manifested in production of the two artists work.
Robison at first gained skills as a sculptor and Bennett work was on painting.
Their origin has played a great role in their work for it is divergent in the art world and from how they define their own identity. They do not agree to be called native artists; they prefer their art not to be weighed down by the descriptions of others. In each artist art work there are some visible elements such as native history, post European arrival and the impact of social politics and conflict with the awful nature and other cultural and current experiences.
(Benjamin 127) Their works have been displayed in Three Colors Exhibition and Catalogue basically to give their work closeness rather than compare the two.
They both knew very little about the components work for they had not met prior, but Three Colors gave them this opportunity for their art to talk to each other. In compassion with Ross Gibson’s portrayal of a physical but also a thought of ‘badland’, ‘… a disturbing place that you feel compelled to revisit despite all your wishes for comfort or complacency’ Robison and Bennett react to and involve their cultures, to address problems that are likely to be ignored or serve that risk.
Their approaches of art make us to keenly look at the difficult issues at hand (Cambridge 34-40)
Bennett’s expression on the abstract notion of identity bothered specific conformist views that regarded the native Australians, the hegemonic perspective of native culture and past as formulated by the colonial dialogue, and brought close concentration to the widespread implication of such deliberating for viewer and subject. Bennett’s early works seemed to have a liberating sense, for they confronted the Anglo-Saxon Australian description of history seeking to acknowledgement, motivate understanding and re-examining of approach and communal actions.
(Cambridge 34-40) The Coming of light 1987 this is an indication of Bennett’s early works which was filled with anger i. e. a sarcastic tone going throughout his practice. His title was indicating modernization and bringing light to savage mind which was dark. The Urban European attack in this project is represented by elements such as typical city buildings, a backdrop of a mass of European white faces looking with eyes wide opened at one black native and a guillotined jack-in-the-box hanging from a nose.
Use of alphabets in his work is a symbol of capital and commerce, indicating the power in European language and other structures of thought. (Benjamin 127) Peter Robison in his work tried to answer ‘What kind of Maori person was I, if at all? He was from Maori tribe. By choosing g art as a career he was to revive political and cultural interest in Maori individuality, language and customs at that time. He went deeper into the Maori heritage in his work: ‘I am of Maori descent and maybe I’m aware of it, or completely unaware – but I’ve been de-tribalised.
So when I started producing Maori art it was like I was part of a lost tribe that had lost its roots in Maoriness and was finding its own roots. ‘ (Benjamin 127) Gordon Bennett and Peter Robinson work Tongue Of The False Prophet (1992), 3. 125% (1994) and Untitled (1994) are indication of Robinson’s reply, reviewing and investigating his individual stand in the intricacies of the New Zealand cultural state. Robison work the ‘percentage paintings’, 3.
125% (1994) symbolize the inquisitive position that he followed in answering to his ‘Maoriness’ in an opened-ended method, focusing on the dualities inside his individual state of affairs and the superior bicultural state, through its olden times of battle over dominion and privileges: ‘A large number of Robinson’s works have centered on this issue – not just the tools and methods that the power culture in New Zealand has used to de-legitimize and diminish Maori cultural identity and Maori rights to lands and resources, but also the impact that such experiences have had upon the Maori people.
‘(Benjamin 127) 3. 125 percentage , is the mathematics quantity of Maori blood containing Robinson’s ancestry, a number that can be thought as insufficient or sufficient to assert social or cultural rights, depending on the alternative of defining structure; blood, familiarity, or policy: ‘And then they accuse you of jumping on the Maori art bandwagon. The percentage paintings were a way of exposing these kinds of attitudes.
It is my belief that Maori identity is a matter of identifying yourself as Maori – belonging in terms of ancestral connections as opposed to being a concept of how much Maori you are in terms of blood quantities. ‘(Benjamin 127) Self Portrait (Good Guys) has a powerful mournful expression on the psychic, self and social effect of color disparity and assimilation. It is against generalization and subsuming of identities on grounds such as scientific, social religious, political or any other grounds.
‘This is what my project is all about – not only through my art but in my coming to understand for myself that I am a measure of Australia and of Australian culture, that I was conditioned and socialized into this culture in a fairly average way. I feel that by deconstructing my false notions about myself and my Aboriginality then, in some way, I am also reflecting how that is being falsely reflected within Australian culture. So, there’s this connection between my deconstructing this image in myself and deconstructing it in Australian culture.
’ (Benjamin 127) Robinson respond to current concerns with ethnicity and identity or other issues is to satirize political accuracy. The irrefutable legacy of lineage is closely examined by Robinson and Bennett in works acknowledging the difficulties of self identity. Self Portrait (Ancestor Figures) (1992) is one of Bennett’s work mostly documented among their works. (Benjamin 127) Boy Am I Scarred, Eh! (1997) there was a scarring and psychic damage to Maori after McCahons speculation.
’ I see much of my current work as History painting, not as a documentary History painting, but rather it is painting that investigates the way history is constructed after the event, always mediated by someone’s point of view, a teleological one point perspective that reflects a Eurocentric bias. ‘(Benjamin 127) In early 1990s Bennett’s painting had accounts of optical grids, perspectives, black voids signs and dates signifying the impact and actions of arrangements of thinking applied by European colonial governments and individual putting borders and giving significance to the land of Australia and its populace. (Benjamin 127)