Christian Thompson | Emotional Striptease
5 February – 5 March 2016
Opened by Kelli Cole - Friday 5 February @ 6pm
Assistant Curator, Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art, National Gallery of Australia.
Dr Christian Thompson is an Australian-born, London-based contemporary artist who explores notions of identity, gender, sexuality, cultural hybridity and history. He was born in 1978 in Gawler, South Australia, and is a Bidjara man of the Kunja Nation of central southwestern Queensland. Formally trained as a sculptor, Thompson came to prominence in the 1990s through a series of performative works and today his multidisciplinary practice spans photography, performance, video, sculpture and sound. Thompson has developed a mode of conceptual portraiture in which he inhabits a range of culturally charged personas, achieved through handcrafted costumes, choreographed poses and orchestrated settings.
In 2010, Thompson became the first Aboriginal Australian to be admitted into the University of Oxford in its 900-year history. He holds a Doctorate of Philosophy (Fine Art) from Trinity College, University of Oxford, Oxford; Master of Theatre from Das Arts, Amsterdam School of Arts, Amsterdam; Master of Fine Art (Sculpture) and Honours (Sculpture) from RMIT University, Melbourne; and a Bachelor of Fine Art from the University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba. His works are held in major collections in Australia and worldwide.
This series, Emotional Striptease 2003 generously on loan from the Art Gallery of New South Wales collection, is important because it represents Thompson's first foray into his ongoing exploration of repatriation and reconnection between contemporary indigenous communities, and the ‘artefacts’ that are the result of colonialism and are spread throughout the world in collecting institutions.
Christian Thompson is represented by Michael Reid Sydney & Berlin.