17th Biennale of Sydney 2010

17th Biennale of Sydney 2010

MAY 12, 2010 - AUGUST 1, 2010

Artworks by Christopher Pease featured in the 17th Biennale of Sydney.

The 17th Biennale of Sydney was curated by David Elliot, and presented across all four floors of the Museum of Contemporary Art along with other venues around Sydney Harbour, including Cockatoo Island, Artspace, Pier 2/3, the Royal Botanic Gardens, and the Sydney Opera House.

The 2010 Biennale was sub-titled The Beauty of Distance: Songs of Survival in a Precarious Age

‘In a land that has traditionally regarded distance as a disadvantage, the art specially chosen for this exhibition will celebrate the many different beauties of distance by showing contemporary perspectives from all around the world. It will be an exceptional experience – challenging, but above all enjoyable.’ – David Elliot, Curator

Many of Christopher Pease’s works investigate how indigenous people have been portrayed throughout colonial history. By adopting the painting style of the early European settlers, Pease references the way colonisers categorised and de-contextualised Indigenous Australians – much in the same way they did they claimed, sectioned off, and bought and sold the land. Pease portrays his western subjects as strangers in an unfamiliar country, battling to control the unpredictable elements of nature that surround them.

The icon of the target often appears in his work. Initially, he is associated it with the work of American pop artist Jasper Johns, but subsequently it came to hold another meanings: the ‘target’ that Indigenous Australians represented for the settlers who pointed their rifles at them; and the indigenous pictogram of campfire.