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Peculiar Culture: The Contemporary Baroque

December 8, 2006 - December 8, 2006

Curated by Lisa Baldissera

Peculiar Culture explores contemporary expressions of the Baroque through the works of Victoria-based artist Luanne Martineau and British artists Jake and Dinos Chapman.

Like the Baroque artists, they combine beauty, perversity, humour and horror to engage the audience with their elaborate executions. Luanne Martineau addresses social realism, racism and conceits of high modernism. Using traditional felting techniques, she creates beautifully grotesque soft sculptures and intricate drawings. Her influences span from Francisco Goya to R. Crumb and children’s literature, combining attraction and repulsion to reveal taboo aspects of embodiment.

Turner prize nominees Jake and Dinos Chapman also challenge taboos through their “collaborations” with Goya, drawing on Georges Bataille’s concept that representation is always a process of transformation and resignification. The Chapmans rose to prominence in the early 1990s with their three-dimensional recreations of Goya’s series of etchings, The Disasters of War. The Chapmans continue to challenge the boundaries of taste, forcing the viewer into an uncomfortable position that fluctuates between fascination and revulsion. Their subversive wit and black humour is paired with an elegant and meticulous craftsmanship.

(Some images are graphic in nature)

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