The exhibition title of this double show by Liam Benson and Lucas Grogan is a play on the notions of identity, signification and culture. Benson is well known for his photographs, videos and performances that push at the boundaries of gender role playing, creating androgynous figures that recall an acutely Australian identity – Joan Sullivan, the lady on the old biscuit tin, Australiana of wattle and bottle brushes – while being utterly contemporary in their playful aesthetics of mix and match, swap and feint in the roles of masculine, white Australia.
Grogan is equally well known, and controversial. Where Benson utilises and subverts the iconography of mainstream Australia, Grogan is well known for his appropriation and pastiche of Indigenous Australian art and craft motifs, designs and icons. Being a white guy made that appropriation all the more vexing for his critics. Together for the first time in Same Same, things are the same – that is, they’re related to one another in their love of play and subversion – but they’re not exactly the same either.
Until December 22
Pic: Lucas Grogan, Sex Drugs & Kylie Minogue, 2013. Crewel wool embroidery, 24x35cms.