Cybele Cox, Dean Cross, Chris Dolman, Liam O'Brien, EJ Son The Stand UpsOpening: Tuesday 5 October, 2021 Dates: 5 October - 6 November, 2021
The Stand Ups brings together six artists whose work deals directly or indirectly with notions of humour. The exhibition considers how artists can use humour as a methodology to subvert traditional forms of power, language and self.
Jokes have long played a fundamental civic function: to ridicule the powerful is a universal desire. In the current political climate, comedy and satire are readily used as forms of communication, entertainment and public address. Humour can also be inherently internalised and self-deprecating, operating as a coping mechanism to deal with anxiety, failure and loss. The Stand Ups will explore humour through the complexity of its rhetoric, delivery and form.
Comedy often acts as a vehicle for criticism and persuasion. The exhibition will also comprise of a public program in the form of a stand up set with emerging comedians to deconstruct the role of humour in the everyday and explore how audiences can understand themselves to be fabricated through comedy.
Exploring the western art canon, Cybele Cox’s practice reconstructs a polyphony of ancient Pagan symbols as feminist archetypes, disrupting hegemonic narratives. Using hand built ceramic totems, figurative sculpture, painting, collage and more recently costume, Cox seeks to invoke sexual empowerment as a re-flowering of the spiritual. Her work has been curated into significant exhibitions including, Romance Died Romantically, Strange Neighbour, 2015, Art Month Sydney, 2018, The Ideas Platform, 2019, What we have to say, at The Hawkesbury Regional Gallery and the Rookwood Sculpture Walk. Cybele has been featured in several art journals including Museum Magazine, Art & Australia and has had full reviews in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald. She was the winner of The Stonevilla Wearable Arts 2017 and in the same year presented a significant solo presentation at Firstdraft. After completing an exchange at The Vienna Academy of Fine Arts in 2017, Cox exhibited in Vienna and was a recipient of the 2018 One Year Studio Artist Program at Artspace. In early 2019 she presented a performance of The Baubo at the MCA Art Bar and again at The Giant Dwarf. Her most ambitious work to date, The Trumpet Player was staged at Kudos Gallery in The Ghosts of Exquisite Materials.
Dean Cross was born and raised on Ngunnawal/Ngambri Country and is of Worimi descent. He is a trans-disciplinary artist primarily working across installation, sculpture and photography. His career began in contemporary dance, performing and choreographing nationally and internationally for over a decade with Australia’s leading dance companies. Following that Dean re-trained as a visual artist, gaining his Bachelor’s Degree from Sydney College of the Arts, and his First Class Honours from the ANU School of Art and Design. Dean has shown his work extensively across Australia. This includes the Indigenous Ceramic Prize at the Shepparton Art Musuem, curated by Anna Briers and Belinda Briggs (2018), Tarnanthi at the Art Gallery of South Australia, curated by Nici Cumpston (2017), RUNS DEEP a solo show at Alaska Projects, Sydney (2018), The Churchie Emerging Art Prize (2016), The Redlands Konica Minolta Art Prize (2015), and the Macquarie Group Emerging Art Prize (2015) where his work was awarded the Highly Commended prize by artist Joan Ross. In 2018 Dean has also exhibited at the Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney, as a part of the NEXTWAVE Festival Melbourne, with curator Amelia Winata, and at Artbank, Sydney in Talia Smith’s “In a World of Wounds”. Also, Dean has been a year-long Artist in Residence at the Canberra Contemporary Art Space (CCAS). Dean was also selected to be a part of the 4A Beijing Studio Residency Program in Beijing, China, and in 2019, Dean undertook the inaugural Canberra/Wellington Indigenous Artist exchange. Dean’s work has been collected extensively and is held in significant public and private collections including the National Gallery of Victoria, The Art Gallery of South Australia, The Queensland University of technology Art Museum, and the Canberra Museum and Gallery.
Chris Dolman lives and works in Sydney, Australia. He makes paintings and objects imbued with incongruent and self-deprecating humour. Drawing from personal experience, art history and popular culture, his work hovers between existentially driven narrative and slapstick caricature. Dolman’s areas of interest include failure, superstitions, pathos and loss, which he explores through his practice with an equal mix of sincerity and irony.
Dolman holds an MFA (research) from Sydney College of Arts, Sydney University, 2018, and a BFA with honours (first class) from the Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne, 2010. In 2019, he won the Fauvette Loureiro Memorial Artists Traveling Scolarship. He received the Dyason Bequest from the Art Gallery of NSW in 2017. ArtStart and New Work grants from the Australia Council for the Arts in 2013 and 2011. He was the recipient of the Wallara Travelling Scholarship, George Hicks award, and the NGV Women’s Association Award, VCA 2009. Dolman has undertaken international residencies at the Cité Internationale des Arts, Villa Belleville Paris, and Frans Masereel Centrum, Belgium. National residencies include: Hill End, Bundanon Trust, BigCi NSW, Ceramic Design Studio, Parramatta Artist Studios, and Artspace Sydney. He has presented work in solo and group exhibitions in Australia and overseas. He is represented by Galerie pompom, Sydney.
Liam O’Brien is an Australian artist based in Melbourne. His practice utilises photography, video, and performance to explore the primary concerns of Existentialism and their relationship to the construction of identity. Since graduating from the Queensland College of Art (Griffith University) with 1st Class Honours in 2010, O’Brien has been developing his practice through extensive solo and group exhibitions throughout Australia and abroad, including two solo exhibitions with his representative gallery, Sullivan + Strumpf (2014, 2016). During this time, O’Brien has been named the recipient of the Art & Australia Contemporary Art Award (2013/14), the Clayton Utz Art Award (2015), the Jeremy Hynes Award (2015), and has completed commissions for Artbank (2013) and the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (2016). In 2016/17 O’Brien undertook a six-month residency at the International Studio and Curatorial Program (ISCP) New York, generously supported by the Dr. David and Margery Edwards Charitable Giving Trust, and was awarded grant funding from the Australia Council for the Arts and the Dame Joan Sutherland Fund. O’Brien’s work is featured in several public and private collections throughout Australia, including the Artbank Collection, the Queensland Art Gallery Collection, the University of Queensland Art Collection, the Campbelltown Art Collection, and the Allens Arthur Robinson Art Collection.
EJ Son is a Korean Australian interdisciplinary artist, working predominately in sculpture along with installation, video and painting. She approaches her practice in a paradoxical way, in order to arouse or disrupt our subconsciousness while examining the complexity of power relations across gender, sexuality, race, politics and art history. Her recent works experiment with reconstructing found objects and casting them with unconventional materials such as candy or silicon, addressing the tension created in the disruption of the familiar assumption.
Son graduated first class honours at SCA in 2018, finalist of Emerging 2020 Gosford Regional Gallery, have exhibited at Verge Gallery, Pari, Delmar Gallery and Bus project in Melbourne. She’s also been in curated shows in alternative art spaces like the Sexual Health Clinic centre, Kennards storage and private apartments.
Elyse Goldfinch is an independent curator and writer based in Sydney. She has curated, co-curated and produced over 20 exhibitions across non-profit and independent spaces, collaborating with living artists to develop projects throughout the Asia-Pacific. Elyse currently works as Assistant Curator at Artspace Sydney, where she recently co-curated 52 ARTISTS 52 ACTIONS and the 2019 NSW Visual Arts Emerging Fellowship. She is also the coordinator for Contemporary Arts Organisations Australia, a network of sixteen non-profit peer organisations from every state and territory across Australia. Her curatorial practice draws on themes relating to failure and resilience, language and humour, power and vulnerability. She was selected to curate the 2017 Greenway Art Prize, an award focusing on the intersection of art and the natural environment; and has been invited as a judge of the 2021 Rockwood Cemetery Sculpture Prize. Elyse has written for print and online art journals including Ocula, Art & Australia, and un Magazine, alongside contributing texts to Angelica Mesiti and Mel O’Callaghan’s monographs and the National Gallery of Australia’s upcoming Know My Name catalogue.