2001/0174 L.H.O.O.Q. ERE!

L.H.O.O.Q. ERE!

Artist

Dianne JONES
Indigenous
Birth:
1966
 in
Northam, Western Australia

Artwork

Title
L.H.O.O.Q. ERE!
Date
2000
Medium/Material
inkjet print on treated canvas mounted on Kappa board using Gloy 870 AGWA frame (fake colonial decorator with painted surface) at request of artist
Dimensions
111.2 x 88.8 cm (sheet)128.0 x 104.2 cm (framed) (Height x Width x Depth)
Credit line
Purchased 2001
State Art Collection, Art Gallery of Western Australia
Accession Number
2001/0174
Currently not on display

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Extended Label

As I was listening to a talk by the National Portrait Gallery of Canberra I was a littlesurprised when it was revealed that the NPG of C recently purchased the John Webberportrait of Captain Cook for an incredible price of $3.5m. What was particularlydisturbing was what this actually represented. Captain Cook who is considered one of thegreatest maritime explorers in history claimed New South Wales for Britain in 1770.Cook spoke highly of the Indigenous of New South Wales as "noble savages" living inharmony with the earth and sea. When the British arrived in 1788 they assumed powerwithout negotiation. According to Captain Cook and the First Fleet's estimationAustralia was 'terra nullius', land that had not been possessed effectively by the currentinhabitants.At the time of this purchase John Howard was under extreme pressure to say sorry to the'Stolen Generation'. He has continued to ignore any pain that his actions may cause tothe 'Stolen Generation' and anyone affected by it. I felt that this purchase was eitherparticularly insensitive or an insult to the Indigenous People of Australia because it isabout the beginning of the arrival of the white people in Australia and the devastatingeffect that has been felt ever since by the Original Inhabitants. I understand that whiteAustralian needs to feel some sense of belonging and pride but if the truth is notacknowledged then the reconciliation process will take longer. Actions of this kind willnot create favourable impressions. I have referenced DuChamps's L.H.O.O.Q. becausewhen DuChamp added a moustache and beard to Leonardo's Mona Lisa he caused acollapse of the idealised. What is now an historic gesture was a reaction to the attentionthat the Mona Lisa was receiving. By writing L.H.O.O.Q. as the title DuChamp reducedthe painting to latrine humour. I have kept the original title L.H.O.O.Q. which soundslike 'look' in English and added the word' ERE!' which is slang for 'here' because oftenthe words ' look ere!' are used by Indigenous People to draw attention to something inparticular.MR 20/09/18

Artist statement, 2001As I was listening to a talk by the National Portrait Gallery of Canberra, I was a little surprised when it was revealed that in 2000 they purchased the John Webber portrait of Captain Cook for an incredible price of $3.5m. What was particularly disturbing was what this actually represented. Captain Cook who is considered one of the greatest maritime explorers in history claimed New South Wales for Britain in 1770. Cook spoke highly of the Indigenous of New South Wales as ‘noble savages’ living in harmony with the earth and sea. When the British arrived in 1788 they assumed power without negotiation. According to Captain Cook and the First Fleet's estimation Australia was ‘terra nullius’, land that had not been possessed effectively by the current inhabitants. At the time of this purchase Prime Minister John Howard was under extreme pressure to say sorry to the Stolen Generation. He has continued to ignore any pain that his actions may cause to the Stolen Generation and anyone affected by it. I felt that this purchase was either particularly insensitive or an insult to the Indigenous People of Australia because it is about the beginning of the arrival of the white people in Australia and the devastating effect that has been felt ever since by the Original Inhabitants. I understand that white Australia needs to feel some sense of belonging and pride but if the truth is not acknowledged then the reconciliation process will take longer. Actions of this kind will not create favourable impressions. I have referenced [Marcel Duchamp's 1919 artwork] L.H.O.O.Q. because when Duchamp added a moustache and beard to Leonardo's Mona Lisa he caused a collapse of the idealised. What is now an historic gesture was a reaction to the attention that the Mona Lisa was receiving. By writing L.H.O.O.Q. as the title Duchamp reduced the painting to latrine humour. I have kept the original title L.H.O.O.Q. which sounds like ‘look’ in English and added the word ‘ERE!’ which is slang for here because often the words ‘look ere!’ are used by Indigenous People to draw attention to something in particular.

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Vernon id: 16044