"If you visit the UQ Art Museum from next"
Goth aesthetic looms large at UQ Art Museum goth/ emo/ surf/ swampy/ indie/ goth punk: something decidedly dark is permeating all aspects of contemporary culture, from visual art, to fashion, literature and film. Something decidedly dark and otherworldly has also permeated the gallery spaces of The University of Queensland (UQ) Art Museum, where neo goth: back in black opens free to the public on 26 July. ‘neo goth: back in black is one of the largest and most ambitious exhibitions staged by the University, comprising over 170 works by 60 contemporary artists,’ UQ Art Museum director Nick Mitzevich said. Mr Mitzevich said the Gothic had proved popular since emerging in literature in the 18th century and since then had enjoyed regular resurrections. ‘At street level Goth subculture has its own dress code and vitality, but mainstream culture has recently embraced the motifs of the Goth era, particularly images of mortality, and we thought it an ideal time to curate an exhibition about this phenomena,’ he said. Exhibition curator and UQ graduate Alison Kubler said she crossed the country to assemble the exhibition and was surprised by the scope and strength of Gothic-themed pieces being produced by artists. ‘This exhibition does not intend to define these artists to be somehow exemplary Goths; rather, the work of these emerging and established artists could be seen collectively to touch on similar themes and concepts, and share or appropriate a Goth sensibility or aesthetic,’ she said. Artists include Venice Biennale representative Shaun Gladwell, photomedia artist Rosemary Laing and winner of the University’s inaugural National Artists Self-Portrait Prize Ben Quilty, with a number of pieces specially created for the exhibition. The exhibition also features for the first time in Queensland the work of 2008 Archibald Prize winner, Del Kathryn Barton. ‘Don’t expect the exhibition to be all gloom – even if tempted to seek an apocalyptic meaning in Ben Quilty’s Rorschach skulls and rearing snakes, such a reading would miss the black humour implict in his homage to Death Metal music,’ Ms Kubler said. ‘The exhibition is fun and engaging, but there is an underbelly to it which poses the question: why is mortality and the iconography associated with it so widespread in society today?’ Mr Mitzevich said. ‘We really want people from all walks of life to come along to enjoy the exhibition and take something from it.’ Both floors of the museum will be filled with photography, painting, video, sculpture and jewellery during the exhibition, with free artist talks on Saturday 26 July and talks by the curator and catalogue authors on Sunday 27 July. Artists speaking include Caroline Rothwell, Tim Silver, Julia deVille, Kirra Jamison and Heidi Yardley. ‘There’s a little bit of Goth in us all, and I think everyone at some time thinks about mortality and their place in the world, and this exhibition explores that in many different ways,’ Mr Mitzevich said. neo goth: back in black runs at the UQ Art Museum, St Lucia until 21 September. The exhibition is open from 10.00 am – 4.00 pm daily; parking is free on weekends. An illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition, with essays by Ashley Crawford, Louise Martin-Chew, Lisa Slade and the curator Alison Kubler. An illustrated interpretive guide is available for senior secondary school teachers/ students, featuring artists Del Kathryn Barton, Shaun Gladwell, Peter Madden, Patricia Piccinini, Ben Quilty, Kate Rohde and Tim Silver, with text prepared by Lisa Slade. Public programs during the exhibition will include the new ‘nitelife @ UQ Art Museum’ events, the first to be launched on Wednesday 6 August from 5.00 to 7.00 pm on ‘Popular Gothic Literature’ – for details go to artmuseum.uq.edu.au. Contact: Gillian Ridsdale, Curator or Public Programs, 07 3346 7793, email@example.com. Media: Nick Mitzevich (0434 361 383; 07 3365 3046; firstname.lastname@example.org) Alison Kubler (0412 804 137, email@example.com) Cameron Pegg at UQ Communications (07 3365 2049, firstname.lastname@example.org) ** Media representatives are invited to preview the exhibition on Friday 25 July from 11.00 am. Media representatives are also welcome to attend the official opening on Friday 25 July at 6.00 pm. Entertainment will include DJ Coffin Boppin’ and DRAB VLAD.