Ben McKeown and the films of Mark Street

Like genealogies, archives hold and hide information. They ask as many questions as they answer. In 2011 in Artlink’s Beauty + Terror issue, Daniel Browning profiled Ben McKeown’s practice when, as an emerging artist, he was awarded the Victorian Indigenous Art Award. The work in question Untitled (2011) presents a strong young man in a singlet wielding two hardwood fighting boomerangs. His Aboriginality is inferred, but his personal identity is deftly masked by the weapons. There is a sparring session underway, a flirtation, a provocation, a staging in which humour and menace play equal parts. The image entreats interpretation and deflects it. As Browning wrote, its ‘enigmatic, a question mark. But what is it trying to say?’...

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Art Gallery of Western Australia DLAN Contemporary Barossa Arts Festival Samstag Unley Museum