Cameron Hayes “Australia: A History of Terrogees — Cameron Hayes” at Melbourne Art Fair

Aug 03, 2018

Cameron Hayes

What Happens When Pretend Politicians Pretend to Be Terrorists, 2011

The Australian figurative painter presents a collection of politically-charged works. “These densely layered, monumental paintings reveal recurring themes within the artist's oeuvre drawn from unabashed, uncomfortable observations of Australian identities; searches for a collective and an individual self; stories of fear, violence, lies, absurdity, acid humor, with hidden flickers of empathy. A key piece painted in 2009 ‘What happens when pretend politicians pretend to be terrorists’ (pictured above) uses the 2007 federal election as its backdrop. Some members of the Australian Liberal party conducted a pamphlet drop within the marginal seat of Lindsay — a predominantly white, working class community. They falsified an organization called the ‘Islamic Australia Federation’ and in the pamphlets thanked the Labour party for seeking clemency for terrorists, for building mosques in Lindsay, and for supporting the Bali bombers. Hayes’ monumental painting tells the story of the effect the resulting baseless fear had on Muslim girls at the local school and upon the Australian psyche. Hayes’ major work ‘Terrorist in a cake shop’ (2018) will be exhibited alongside recent works created specifically for the exhibition, as well as the completed works: ‘Even dung beetles eventually realize that there will be plenty of dung where they finish rolling their dung’ (2014 – 2018), ‘Mathias Ulungura captures Hajime Toyashima – 19th February 1942’ (2006) and ‘The massacre at Young before it was called Young (2017),'” writes the gallery.

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