This exhibition uses the character of the ‘trickster’ as a lens through which we can understand the sometimes slippery and amusing practices in the work of these seventeen artists.
The trickster figure mediates between opposing worlds or cultural zones, crosses customary limits, and has a presence in both the real world and a fantasy world.
He or she can travel between light and dark, young and old, real and imagined, simultaneously occupying multiple realities and fantasies. This is a figure that communicates across cultural and popular divisions, plays virtual and make-believe games, and defies the limits of the body.
While the mythological figure of the trickster is engaged with the Gods, the contemporary artist has a more tangential relationship with belief and disbelief.
Refusing to remain in the everyday, and yet bounded to it, the works in this exhibition shuttle between reality and fiction, and in so doing they cross other boundaries: cultural, virtual and bodily.
It is perhaps no accident that the ‘tricky’ actions, images and performances in this exhibition are captured on video, with photography and the media arts, as if to counter the original intention of lens based media as a device for documentation of the real. The artists in this exhibition ask not simply what is imagined and what is realised, but what falls between these two modes of inquiry. Inhabiting popular, cultural and tricky ‘bodies’ these works mediate seemingly different worlds through a prism of renewed connections. There is often a twin vision at play, a deceptive use of perspective, a mirror image, a body double or an intertwining of cultural identities. They ask us to both believe and doubt what we see. That is the trickster – he/she is not simply a figure of critique, but both an insider and an outsider.
The reinterpretation of the relationship between reality and fantasy has consequences. On the one hand, it is a way of accessing our alter-ego, imagination and internal world. At another level, it also strikes at the meanings of what it is to be different. We cannot really understand the ‘other’ until we acknowledge that we are all comprised of many selves.
This exhibition was built around the principle of an exchange of ideas between Korean and Australian artists in a global context.