Performing Aboriginality
Encountering Culture: A Dialogue
Out of Place
Atonement
Lost in Translation
Displaced Objects
Wind in Utopia
Habitat: A Question of Place

chris barry australian artist

Encountering Culture: A Dialogue 2006

Encountering Culture: A Dialogue is a contemporary document on the polemics of urban life in Alice Springs seen through the prism of Aboriginal youth - the site of testimony and lived experience. It examines the inter-subjectivities of contemporary Aboriginal life in Alice Springs. It presents both the mundane nature and theatricality of the everyday. Identity politics, performance, and self-presentation are played out within the specifics of place, together with the power of encounters and human relationships. It comprises of 60 large-scale photographic works, each work 112.0cm x 106.5cm.

 

 

 

 

 

Publications

Auto/Biography and
Mediation: Cultural Dialogues and Self-Constructions in Australia (Chris Barry)

Imagine…the Creativity
Shaping Our Culture (Zara Stanhope)

Towards Proximity (Catalogue Essay by Karen Burns) in, Imagine... the Creativity Shaping our Culture

Encountering Culture:
A Dialogue (Chris Barry)

 

 

Image Left:
Chris Barry

Julie Woodford, Rosie Parsons, Athena Magoufakis, Sasha AhChee, Lisa Kunoth & Ricki-Lee Tilmouth
Encountering Culture: A Dialogue (2006)

Digital photographic print
112.0cm x 106.5cm

Image Below:
Chris Barry
Athena Magoufakis, Julie Woodford, Sasha AhChee & Rosie Parsons
Encountering Culture: A Dialogue (2006)

Digital photographic print
112.0cm x 106.0cm




chris barry australian artist

chris barry australian artist



Image Above:
Chris Barry

Athena Magoufakis, Julie Woodford,
Sasha AhChee, Rosie Parsons, Lisa Kunoth
& Ricki-Lee Tilmouth
Performing Aboriginality (a), 2010

Digital photographic print
70.0cm x 210.0cm

 

Links

Gertrude Contemporary: Chris Barry (Past Studio Artists)

Biography, Volume 28, Number 1, Winter 2005 (Chris Barry: Dialogues and Self Constructions)

Photographic project challenges stereotypes

Auto/Biography and
Mediation

Looking with and forward

 


Performance, Auto/Biography and the Camera

The participants in this project are photographed in situ, within ordinary everyday spaces that institute a local politics of identity. The Todd Mall, town pool, or town water tanks, become theatrical settings for the staging and performance of identity and the presentation of the self - localised life narratives contingent to place. The performative nature of the work becomes a form of auto/biography - daily life as artful display, whereby the participants direct their own performances and re-presentations of themselves, hence maintaining their authorial presence and personae, their co-authorship. They exercise their own authority and agency in the construction and deconstruction of the photographs, testing colonial tropes of representation, and, in particular, the ethnographic (colonising) gaze. However, the intrusive nature of the camera reminds everyone of the conditions surrounding the event and the dynamics of production, which, I argue, is a positive form of self-assertion and resistance. Thus, the presence of a medium-format camera produces a self-conscious, constructed, and mediated environment for the recording and performance of the auto/biographical self.

The camera is a physical object and a sign, a marker of the public world in which selves and images form and circulate. The intrusive nature of the camera “provokes” and “determines” the actions taking place in front of it - it disrupts by virtue of its presence. This methodology situates the collaborators as active participants - constructing and deconstructing themselves before the camera, and thereby reactivating their role within an inter-cultural and contemporary framework: they situate themselves in the present. However, the camera’s close proximity to its subjects produces a moving position: face-to-face and within the politics of representation and cultural production. These photographs call attention to the impossibility of an unmediated contemplation of the world; the part photography plays in codifying and constructing experience; and the desire for new imagined models of representation and new creative interpretations.

© Chris Barry



 

chirs barry australian artist

 

 

 

 

Image Left:
Chris Barry

Julie Woodford, Rosie Parsons, Athena Magoufakis, Sasha AhChee, Lisa Kunoth & Ricki-Lee Tilmouth
Encountering Culture: A Dialogue (2006)

Digital photographic print
112.0cm x 106.0cm

 

 

 



chirs barry australian artist



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image Left:
Chris Barry
Leroy Hill, Jess Farrer & Camille Rennie
Encountering Culture: A Dialogue (2006)

Digital photographic print
112.0cm x 106.0cm

 



chirs barry australian artist

Image Left to Right:
Chris Barry
Leroy Hill & Camille Rennie
Encountering Culture: A Dialogue (2006)

Digital photographic print
112.0cm x 106.0cm
click image to enlarge

 

 



chirs barry australian artist

Image Left to Right:
Chris Barry
Leroy Hill
Encountering Culture: A Dialogue (2006)

Digital photographic print
112.0cm x 106.0cm
click image to enlarge

 

 

 

 

“Photographer Chris Barry has consistently investigated issues arising from the representational power of photography. Her recent bodies of work depict places and people but make no claim to being sociological documents. Barry works from a position of critical reflection on contemporary identity in this country, including a desire to expose the assumptions that individually inform our evaluations of the identity positions of others. Whom do we see? How do we understand her subjects? Which aspects of pictorial language, such as race and posture, do we intuit as signs of normative behaviour of individuals, of a group? Which images circulating in the past inform the history that we are writing now? We, the viewers, are as much the subject as those Barry depicts.

Barry places the creative agency and hence pictorial power in the hands of her sitters. Her subjects compose themselves in images that the photographer then reproduces. Barry chooses modes of presentation to optimise the visual information offered by the images, which appear unmanipulated, as produced in the camera on location. Sensitive to the conventions and partial understanding of the lives of Aboriginal people and those living in the location of Alice Springs, Barry’s insights into this aspect of Australian society in recent work cannot be separated by the viewer from perspectives disseminated visually in global fashion, commercial and news media. Her work is differentiated by its self-conscious reflection on the impossibility of an unmediated contemplation of the world and the responsibility taken for recording and experiencing personal and communal existence”.

Zara Stanhope
Imagine…the Creativity Shaping Our Culture

 

 

 
chirs barry australian artist


 

“Played out in the here and now (the hic et nunc) of a face-to-face confrontation, that is made even more confronting by the staged display of the actors’ selves in the streets and the artist’s direct participation in the performance, the photographs do not simply illustrate a type of Indigenous sociality but they demand a witnessing (Sansom 1980, Camp at Wallaby Cross): a mutual recognition, commitment and responsibility to respond. It is of little importance whether people understand the irony of the performance or they are upset by it’s “cheek”. In all cases the viewers are put on the spot, they are called to react. In catching the “imponderabilia” of everyday relatedness, or better the act of relating itself, the photographs reproduce the making of the social, rather than representing the social, and they invite the public to enter the secret commerce of kinship through feeling as a mode of attention. The challenge that Barry’s artwork poses to the viewers is the challenge that the artist has experienced in the network of relatedness where everything is continuously negotiated and tested in the theatre of everyday life: a clear demonstration that feeling is the other side of knowing. In other words, Barry’s photographs unmistakably show that art involves a depth of feeling that ‘is intelligent in a way that intelligence as such can never be. Precisely because it is a laying open, a mode of attention, feeling operates without forcing itself’ (Dufrenne 1973:406)”.

Professor Franca Tamisari
Universita Ca'Foscari di Venezia
Venezia, 23 November 2008





Image Above:
Chris Barry
Leroy Hill, Jess Farrer & Camille Rennie
Encountering Culture: A Dialogue (2006)

Digital photographic print
112.0cm x 106.0cm

 

 

chirs barry australian artist



Image Left:
Chris Barry

Lawrence Dickson & Passer-by
Encountering Culture: A Dialogue (2006)

Digital photographic print
112.0cm x 10
6.0cm

 



chirs barry australian artist

Image Left to Right:
Chris Barry
Lawrence Dickson & Passer-by
Encountering Culture: A Dialogue (2006)

Digital photographic print
112.0cm x 106.0cm

click image to enlarge

 

 

 



chirs barry australian artistchirs barry australian artistchirs barry australian artist

chirs barry australian artistchirs barry australian artistchirs barry australian artist

chirs barry australian artistchirs barry australian artistchirs barry australian artist


Images Above:
Chris Barry
Sasha AhChee, Rosie Parsons, Julie Woodford, Athena Magoufakis & Passer-by
Encountering Culture: A Dialogue (2006)

Digital photographic print
112.0cm x 106.0cm

click image to enlarge

 

Installations

Margaret Lawrence Gallery/University of Melbourne (2006)

Opening:
Araluen Galleries
Araluen Art Centre
Alice Springs, NT
(2006-07)

 

Acknowledgements:
Julie Woodford and Erica Franey and Mickey, Charmaine, Clifford and Michael Woodford;
Athena Magoufakis, Betty Clarke and George Magoufakis;
Sasha AhChee, Merle Thomas and Phillip AhChee;
Rosie Parsons, Maryanna and Brody Parsons;
Lisa Kunoth, K. Kunoth and Shirley Kunoth.
Ricki-Lee Tilmouth, Karen Tilmouth and Teresa Kunoth;
Jess Farrer and Chris, Paul and Peter Farrer;
Camille Rennie and Leroy Hill, Maryann Rennie, and families;
Steve Gumerungi Hodder Watt, Cait Ryan, Emmet and Finn Ryan-Hodder, Josie Hodder, Marlene Hodder and Gordon Bunbajee Watt.
Jacinta Nampijinpa Castle, Simon Castle and Leiland, Ethan and Declan Castle;
Bess Nungarrayi Price and Dave Price;
James Braedon, Renae and Kiara Braedon;
Lawrence Dickson and family

 

 

 
 
 
  © Chris Barry