Benjamin Crowley $490 pcm (utilities not included)Opening: Wednesday 10 July, 6-8pm Dates: 10 July - 3 August 2019
$490 pcm (utilities not included), combines the process of exhibition hire with the politics of rentals, share housing, private real-estate and land ownership.
The item in the exhibition is colloquially referred to a Queensland chair, Squatter’s chair, or Settler’s chair. The object has its roots in private land ownership, with its usual place being on the balcony or patio of a Queenslander house. This particular chair is modelled off one my Grandfather made and was built in my university studio. My grandfather built two, one for his wife and himself, and for all of my life they have sat under the backyard pergola of their home.
The sentimental value attached to having built this object is real and connected to childhood memories and my close relationship with my Grandfather. However, the chair also embodies the colonial and patriarchal history of my family. Beyond sentimental value the object has no place in my life, I have no private patio for it to sit and feel at odds with the colonial history that created it. After this exhibition the chair will become a piece of communal furniture in my share house.
Benjamin Crowley is a contemporary artist newly based in Melbourne, due to complete a Masters by research in 2020 from RMIT. Benjamin completed his Undergrad and Honours at QUT in Brisbane and graduated from North Rockhampton State High School in 2008.
Benjamin works within a broader spatial practice building objects and installations informed by interests in Australian identity, his working life as an unskilled manual labourer, and contemporary art history, theory and practice.