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Maarten Daudeij

Plain Red (Mildura)

Painting
Dimensions not available
 
 
Maarten Daudeij
Plain Red (Mildura), 2013
Painting
Dimensions not available
Photograph: Kristian Häggblom


This work stems from an engagement with questions like what does the creation of art in this country mean, as someone who is currently settling here?  What is painting in Australia? And is it possible to create art that transcends political debate and historical trauma? As an artist, and through this work, I engage with a discourse on how I relate to the problem of appropriation of a territory’s cultural and spiritual dimension through the introduction of foreign artistic strategies, where the indigenous strategies are often under threat and moreover kept largely hidden from my experience. As a result the work can be interpreted as a conglomerate of paradoxical questions. On the one hand it is a painting in the tradition of abstract expressionism; on the other hand it makes reference to Indigenous depictions of country. The work simultaneously balances a sublime experience with questions relating to the ethics of employing the earth for the work’s production. The work ties in with the theme and rationale of the biennial in that it demonstrates a complex layering of artistic and cultural traditions that conceptually vie for consideration.  Plain Red (Mildura) can function as a focal point in the debate revolving around cultural and spiritual custodianship of territory, on a local level as well as in a global context. Locality is unpacked through the use of the contested soil from Mildura, which telescopes me as an artist, the exhibition, Australia and the world into the (post-) colonial argument.
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