Mixed media sculpture – fibreglass moulded head, car tyre, buffalo horns, MAGA baseball cap, sunglasses with attached southern rebel flag pins, wind-up metal key, a length of rope and a wooden stool. H190 x W107 x D36 cm
Photographs by Vince Lovecchio
The accompanying text is an extract from Chapter 13 of an as-yet-unpublished illustrated memoir I have written:
As I had created an artwork around the 1992 USA election (https://victorgordon.com/art/lick-bush-in-92-1992/), it is useful to make the comparison to my revisiting of this leitmotif. The current threat to the American constitution and the degeneration of the rule of law in the USA over the last four years – demanded an artist’s response. One way or another, the November 2020 elections in the USA will affect the entire world. Australia, as the quasi 51st State of the USA, is directly impacted (eg. by blindly following the USA’s lead on addressing or ignoring climate change/global warming).
Unlike the lighthearted parody in my earlier 1992 USA election painting, I felt compelled to respond aesthetically to this election – in a politically loaded sculpture – that directly addresses the current fascist threat in the USA. More akin to the gravitas I accorded my anti-Apartheid art of the 80’s and 90’s, it specifically recalls the not-too-distant history of the white mob lynching of black Americans in the South – but in a stark racial role reversal.
Sporting typical symbolic paraphernalia – a make-america-great-again baseball cap and fashionable rebel flag pins (on the temples of his dark white-framed glasses), this clean-cut young white man – identifies himself as a GOP Trump supporter. The pair of buffalo horns mounted on the car tyre recall the roughneck frontier cowboy spirit of the Southwest. But, isolated from the herd, this individual’s life is clearly threatened – he is now the lone objectified target – the potential violent end-trajectory of an inverted bigotry. His head is positioned within the circle of the car tyre (reminiscent of necklacing in Apartheid South Africa). A conveniently knotted and ready-to-go noose is positioned around his neck, which forms a secondary circle – and a sturdy stool is provided. Circumstances appear very differently when the shoe is on the other foot – and this ‘mirroring’ gives cause for deep inner-reflection.
Adorned with real buffalo horns, the elephant in the room – is the rise in demand for a national return to the imposition of the death penalty.
On the reverse of the black tyre a warning has been lovingly written in white – indicating the dire consequences of the imminent election – “we will all remember the 3rd of November.”
The key to the work is just that – a wind-up key – inserted into the back of the scarified [red]neck’s white head.
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Oil on canvas W50 x H40 cm. Based on an Okavango Makoro dugout canoe 1989
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Oil on canvas in ornate frame. 71 x 95.5 cm (Frame included)
Didactic image stating the obvious. These terrestrial ‘stars’ of the Southern Cross, in their governance over Australia have and are orchestrated and overseen by the bloated arch-reactionary Puppet Master Rupert Murdoch. The short-sighted retardation of Australia’s political policies inter alia, in relation to the exploitation of natural resources, more particularly the mining and export of Fossil Fuels and the Fracking of subterranean natural gases, have placed Australia far-behind current global thinking and enlightened moves to renewable alternatives.
The bleeding white Australian flag references a politics still dominated by a climate-change denying patriarchy.
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Mixed media sculpture. H38 x W78 x D60 cm
No man is an island, don’t deny us a future.
Scott Morrison, an ideological right-wing politician is Australia’s Prime Minister. A man of extremes, he is an evangelical Pentacostal Christian who prays in tongues.
Hypocritically, in contradiction to his supposedly-held Christian tenets, this individual, in his capacity as Minister for Homeland Security showed his true(blue) colours by the boast that he had effectively “stopped the boats.” He was (then) responsible for implementing exceptionally cruel policies that ensured no asylum seeker arriving by boat would ever be settled in Australia. These people, including children, languish[ed] for years in off-shore detention centres for indeterminable periods. This effective torture has been roundly condemned by the international humanist community but lauded and held-up as an exemplar by xenophobic fascist leaders like Donald Trump et al. His (largely successful) domestic efforts to publicly demonize asylum seekers reached a particularly low-point when he wrongfully referred to these individuals as “illegal arrivals.”
A Climate Change denier, to his everlasting shame, he brought a lump of coal into Parliament (when Treasurer) and held it triumphantly aloft declaring that we need not fear coal.
In Parliament he has been accused of being a liar, and in response to his nick-naming his own political foes has been branded the “liar from the shire.” He is currently introducing draconian legislation (with dire punishment for infringement), intended to curb protest against entities who advocate and continue the exploitation of fossil-fuels.
“The right to protest does not mean there is an unlimited licence to disrupt people’s lives and disrespect your fellow Australians,” was his response to Australian youth participation in the worldwide “Extinction Rebellion.”
Early in his role as Prime Minister (read Prime Sinister) he acknowledged part of Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel, thereby partially-fulfilling the obscure prophecy in the Book of Revelations (and the Pentacostal mission of facilitation), that only when the Jewish temple is rebuilt in Jerusalem will the Messiah make his second coming – and bring with it the end of days (Armageddon).
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Oil on canvas. H40 x 50 cm
There is only one purpose for this particular knot. It has a terminal function. We live in a socially-imposed delusional State – our world is veritably assailed by a pandemic of suicide. And we have yet to acknowledge this fact as part of our reality and create a dialogue to begin addressing this lamentable state of affairs.
(The title references a well-known song by Violeta Parra and the alternate is from a skit by comedian Eddie Izzard)
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