Brooke Babington Wet eyed sissiesOpening: Wednesday 29 June, 6-8pm Dates: 29 Jun–16 Jul 2016
The common thread/threat through the works is ‘deviance’ recategorised as ‘defiance’. The female rebel is a paradox of radical subjectivity: at once a threat and not enough of a threat. She acts-up in shrill defiance of the structural apparatuses that motivate ‘good’ citizenry. Such gestures – etiquette, monogamy, not-stealing – can be (always are) political when gendered.
For the exhibition, coins have been stolen from friends and strangers and defaced (embellished), doubly inflected by the melodrama of delinquency. Yesterday, stepping onto a broken escalator I was reminded of the odd disconnect between expectations and the body’s inertia. Like the way coins feel lighter somehow once they’ve lost their symbolic value.
A wood carving of a handbag prefigures both the means of procurement and the coveted thing-in-itself. But also, Winnicott’s idea that the delinquent child doesn’t want the things she steals so much as, “that [s]he is looking for something that [s]he has a right to”; intent on clawing back the lost object. Each proposes material violence, describing form through accumulative depletion.
This, and an urge to water down the authorial autonomy of the solo show by considering its potential as curated space. Inclusion of works by Lauren Burrow and Rebecca Joseph foreground the ‘riff-off’ as a gesture of collaboration (girl gang), dialogue and respect.
Brooke Babington is an artist, writer and curator. Brooke’s work frequently engages in ideological critique, exploring power and social dynamics, language and the mythology of the artist/exhibition. Brooke is a current Gertrude Contemporary artist in residence and in 2014 directed Slopes, a 12-month project space in Fitzroy.