You are here
Ian Burn claimed that artists make Art History by infusing history into the creative process.1 With Mr Theo Schoon, the history is emblazoned in words across the surface and since Schoon does not have a prominent place in art history, Gerber’s painting could be described as revisionist. Schoon’s name is painted in striking colours and in typography reminiscent of cinema and advertising. Like Edward Ruscha, who also made words into pictures and pictures into words, Gerber has designed the words to mimic what they signify. When Schoon was alive he was famous for his theatrical behaviour and ostentatious costumes and jewellery. His colourful life is given colourful form by Gerber’s intensely decorative pattern of letters that make up the name ‘Theo Schoon’. Each feature of the painting, from the sharp edges of the name to the intense colours of the letters, give Schoon an insistent presence. However, Schoon’s name is separated from its background and this is an apt representation of Theo Schoon who often stood out from the ground, and was never properly ‘at home’ in any country, including New Zealand where he felt creatively and socially isolated. The pathos of Schoon’s history is signified in Gerber’s painting where his name is presented as a floating linguistic sign that is not anchored to its background. But Gerber’s respect for Schoon is evident in the title ‘Mr’. In Europe, it is not unusual for artists to use a formal title when addressing other artists whom they hold in great respect. This was the case for Man Ray, for whom Jean-August-Dominique Ingres was ‘Monsieur’ Ingres.2
Schoon is remembered as a maverick, a perverse character, who might have been overlooked entirely without research into the work and life of his colleague, Gordon Walters.3 In the 1940s, Walters shared an interest with Schoon in figurative primitivism, an investigation that aligned both men with Surrealism and a romantic fascination with the ‘primitive’ unconscious. But in the 1950s, Walters’ work took a different path into the territory of reductive geometric painting, while Schoon maintained a focus on the aesthetics of organic and decorative abstraction. Schoon copied kowhaiwhai patterns and rock drawings, he decorated gourds with moko patterns and carved jade, he performed Javanese dances and repeatedly photographed himself in Balinese masks, all of which marked, in a very decorative way, his difference from contemporaries in New Zealand.4 Schoon was passionate about the outsider, and he was also one himself. Michael Dunn puts it bluntly: ‘Schoon as a homosexual and foreigner in wartime New Zealand was a misfit who struggled for acceptance while disdaining much of what he found in society around him’.5 He took social and artistic risks in a conservative New Zealand society, which is why the painting ‘Mr Theo Schoon’ makes an interesting portrait of Matthys Gerber. In Theo Schoon’s bohemian life and idiosyncratic work, Matthys Gerber perhaps sees a reflection of himself.
There are coincidences and overlaps between Gerber’s Dutch history and Schoon’s Dutch-Indonesian history, suggesting that their experiences of life, and formative visual experiences, may have been similar. Gerber’s mother was born and lived in Surabaya until the end of the Second World War, and Schoon was born in Java and lived in both Java and Bali until he emigrated, with many Dutch-Indonesian refugees, to New Zealand in 1939. Gerber was born in Delft, moved to Denmark, then emigrated to Australia in 1972, but his family’s Dutch-Indonesian history was present in the decorative arts that traveled with his mother’s family from Surabaya. Theo Schoon also kept collections of Indonesian art, in particular masks and batik cloth. Gerber and Schoon were educated with European modernism, in Europe, and when they settled in Australasia they brought a Eurocentric perspective with them. Schoon’s models were Miro and Klee and he found the lack of knowledge of European modernism in New Zealand an indictment of culture there.6
Gerber’s connection with European art history, especially Dutch art history, is part of the very structure of his painting Mr Theo Schoon. Its diagonal lines, which form a dynamic grid, are intellectually rooted in the theories of Van Doesburg and reference the argument between Van Doesburg and Mondrian over the aspirations of abstraction, and the aesthetic as well as philosophical differences between diagonal lines and horizontal lines. Gerber’s empathy with Van Doesburg is indicative of his constant interest in spatial complexities, and the dynamic lines of nature. Like Schoon, Van Doesburg had a reputation for flamboyance and for camouflaging his identity—he assumed two different names over his life—and like Gerber he was a non-purist. The name ‘Theo’ in Gerber’s painting therefore simultaneously refers to Theo Van Doesburg and Theo Schoon, deepening the painting’s ability to speak about the filial relationships of artists regardless of time or place.
Part of the impact of Mr Theo Schoon is its intonation, which is audacious and culturally presumptuous. The painting introduces Theo Schoon to the audience, even though New Zealanders who know their own art history need no introduction to Schoon. And Gerber pays Schoon respect as if Schoon is not respected. The painting lays claim to Schoon’s history, and overlooks the boundaries of place and time. But this is what makes it contemporary. Many commentators agree that there are no proper boundaries to the cultural enterprises of countries like Australia and New Zealand, and attitudes have changed since 1989 when Jenny Harper interviewed Imants Tillers, addressed the subject of cultural territoriality, and commented: ‘I’m aware of a few people who feel uncomfortable with your quoting from McCahon’.7
In the 1980s, the borders between countries were still conceived of as demarcations of artistic claims, rights, identity, and knowledge. But in the 1990s, curatorial perspectives on the nature of borders between the cultures of Australia and New Zealand shifted with an exhibition titled Close Quarters, where the artists from both countries were described as experiencing ‘a new borderless, even artificial terrain’ in addition to their sense of place.8 In 2005, in an interview titled ‘At the End of New Zealand Art’ conducted with New Zealand-born curator Robert Leonard (who is now an Australian resident and Director of the Institute of Modern Art in Brisbane), Leonard focused on the changing nature of attitudes within New Zealand, over the last thirty years, to questions of cultural boundaries. He contrasted the outward and internationalised practices of artists in the new millennium with the 1970s when New Zealand art was ‘a largely enclosed conversation’.9 Three weeks after the publication of the Leonard interview, the same art column was titled ‘We are the World’, a pronouncement made on behalf of New Zealanders to the migration of contemporary international art into New Zealand, and the recent migration of contemporary visual arts curators, including Leonard, out of New Zealand. The perception in Australia is that Australians have also become increasingly outward-looking, especially in relation to identity. In 2005, Imants Tillers commented in the press that all Australians who are non-indigenous are ‘a cutting from some foreign soil’.10 The issue of the location of New Zealand and Australia in a trans-national context, of Australasian artists’ connections with other parts of the world, and the demise of primarily singular and internal sets of discussions about culture, form the proper context for Mr Theo Schoon.
But there are complications to the theory of borderless cultures, and Gerber’s most recent works that take kowhaiwhai designs and koru patterns from Schoon’s work, run the risk of being seen to cross boundaries in a culturally insensitive way. The homage that Gerber pays to Schoon is a risky one because Schoon was intensely criticised in New Zealand, and still is by Maori and pakeha, for appropriating Maori culture and copying designs. In New Zealand the matter is volatile and aired regularly in public. In December 2005, The New Zealand Herald published the claim that ‘the work of modernist primitivists like Theo Schoon will always be problematic’.11 In 2005, Ngarino Ellis, writing on Maori body adornment and talking about pakeha appropriation of Maori motifs, criticised ‘people from outside our culture using motifs and symbols from ours’, and named Gordon Walters and Theo Schoon as sources of the problem.12 There are comparable issues in Australian art history. This year, Djon Mundine criticised Margaret Preston for her ‘veneer of Aboriginality’.13 And David Malouf disapproved of her decontextualised Aboriginal aesthetics.14
The Gerber prints in question are from a series called Nerve Garden, which is a title taken from one of James Gleeson’s surrealist paintings. One is a digital print that gracefully morphs kowhaiwhai designs into a psychedelic pattern, taking the viewer into a world of trippy and exotic configurations of colour. The kowhaiwhai patterns are completely recognisable, but in the context of Gerber’s work they denote the insubstantiality of states of mind. The second print is different in that it appears to hybridise the curvilinear kowhaiwhai designs of Maori with curvilinear Indonesian costume designs, to form a mirrored pattern in red, yellow and blue that resembles a face, and a face that is not dissimilar to a Balinese dragon mask. Although the image oscillates between figuration and abstraction, there is a generic look of ethnicity, one that belongs to the Asia-Pacific region where red, yellow and blue are typical colour combinations. Whether Gerber has researched the cultural significance of the designs he references is unclear, and for some, this will lay the work open for criticism. Robert Jahnke, professor of Maori studies at Massey University says that, ‘images in a contemporary context without awareness of their prior significance and prior use’ are a major point of contention for indigenous peoples.15
Gerber’s appropriation of kowhaiwhai patterns, via Schoon, can be compared with Imants Tillers’s inclusion of texts, in Maori, via Colin McCahon. Nearly twenty years ago, when Tillers was asked about the re-colonisation of indigenous people through his incorporation of McCahon’s paintings, he denied influence and explained it as ‘the circulation and availability of images’.16 Inevitably, the migration of kowhaiwhai patterns into Gerber’s work, through a study of Schoon’s work, draws Gerber’s into the ethical issues surrounding citations of indigenous cultures by non-indigenous artists. Gerber refers to the intertextuality of his work as ‘cultural cross-dressing’, a term he takes from Francis Pound, and which suits contemporary life because it infers the fluidity of identity.17 Like Tillers’s appropriation of Maori words, Gerber’s incorporation of Schoon’s appropriations of Maori designs is not ironic, but neither is it about the meaning of the symbols or the history of that culture. Gerber’s intention is to emulate Schoon and get as close as possible to Schoon as a source. Whereas Schoon was trying to get as close as possible to the Maori designs he was copying, and which he greatly admired. A generous way to regard Schoon’s practice is to consider it, as Gordon Walters has, as a mediation between two cultures.18 A generous way to regard Gerber’s practice is to consider it as a respectful and ethically-aware sampling of artistic traditions.
Damien Skinner and Francis Pound have speculated on the motivations behind Schoon’s fascination with Maori traditions and practices. Was it to become Maori, to save Maori culture from decline, or to revive Schoon’s own art, and Western art, through the otherness of Maori art, in the manner of the historical avantgarde?19 Francis Pound argues that Schoon wanted to return to the past, before Maori art became ‘decadent’.20 Schoon denied that he wanted to become a ‘pseudo-primitive’ and explained his engagement with Maori culture as a wish to understand it.21 The question is whether the ethical issues are any different for Gerber than they are for Schoon. When Gerber paints poles stuck into the ground, is he behaving like a pseudo-primitive? And when he says that Aboriginal art should be regarded as the model for all meaningful visual art, is this, inevitably, the colonising voice?
Gerber is a non-purist who grafts styles and genres, histories and cultures together in one object. The idea of inter-culturalism is reflected in his investigations of visual form and the concept of ‘webbing’, which is the physical overlaying of patterns that metaphorically signal complexities of communication, history, and experience. Meaning is made in the relationships of parts that overlap and merge without a sense of origin. He samples from indigenous and European cultures, selects from disparate art historical sources (both classical and fringe), and mixes techniques and genres. Underlying his work is the philosophy that all artistic endeavour is a translation and copy of some other thing. And it is the act of copying and translating that Gerber and Schoon have in common as artists, and as personalities.
Copying is a technique of camouflage, and in the case of Schoon as well as Gerber, there is evidence of a desire to lose themselves in a variety of artistic personae, personal identifications and aesthetic effects. Schoon’s act of copying Maori art, and Gerber’s act of copying Schoon, are ways of blending into the other, and the concept of ‘getting lost’ is a fitting way to approach both artists. Schoon wrote about the ‘trance’ in relation to Oriental dance, which is a state of reaching the unconscious and losing a sense of the immediate limitations of consciousness.22 Schoon’s life and work were investigations of the concept of the ‘primitive’ unconscious and this explains his attraction to the work of Paul Klee. Gerber describes his work as ‘psychedelic’, a sixties’ term which also signifies states of altered consciousness. It has its own visual language based on intense patterns where organic forms blend and metamorphose in strange, irrational ways, losing definition. There is a clear link between Paul Klee and the psychedelic art movement of the 1960s. They are linked aesthetically through organic and abstract shapes but conceptually through the mystical, irrational and the unconscious. The link with Gerber is also aesthetic, manifested in techniques of blending, webbing and morphing, which are not so much suggestive of an irrational and complex interiority, but more of an exteriorised philosophy that values openness, connectivity and changeability. In Gerber’s work, where figures distort into abstractions, and abstractions come into focus as figures, there is an equivalence of value for all pictorial elements, one that suggests a social conviction about collectives and sharing that has its roots in the utopias of Modernity.
Gerber has incorporated spirals and biomorphic patterns into his work since 1988. In hindsight, it is clear why he was attracted to Schoon’s painting. In the late eighties he painted curvilinear lines and frond-like scrolls, before he was conscious of kowhaiwhai panels. The best example is Henry Mancini, another tribute to an artist painted in words. Henry Mancini and Mr Theo Schoon are two of four paintings by Gerber where he writes the names of people in paint. The other two paintings are Matthys Gerber (where he objectifies himself in Gothic imagery), and Röntgen (the inventor of x-rays). Henry Mancini is a homage to the composer who dominated television and film with his music in the fifties and sixties. Gerber has overlayed the geometry of a television colour test strip with feminine squiggles and swirls out of which the name ‘Henry Mancini’ appears. The painting is bordered in pink, inferring the campness of ‘lounge’ music, which evolved as an off-shoot of the blues. Mancini’s music grafted a variety of genres and incorporated indigenous music, so he too can be described as a cultural cross-dresser. This is an interesting painting to consider in hindsight of Gerber’s encounter with Schoon, because Mancini and Schoon both incorporated Aboriginal art into their work: Schoon on the occasion in the 1960s when he left New Zealand to make his life in Australia, and Mancini when he wrote the music for Colleen McCullough’s The Thorn Birds, a television series set in the Australian outback that folded Aboriginal percussion into its soundtrack.
Henry Mancini and Mr Theo Schoon present Gerber to the public through the image of another person and may be said to function as masks. Schoon presented himself to the public wearing Indonesian masks. Both are actions of camouflage. Thomas McEvilley argues that artists in postmodernity are differentiated from artists in modernity by the postmodern artist’s preference for camouflage. In modernity, he says, ‘the self was meant to stand out, like figure from ground’, but in postmodernity the artist ‘dons camouflage in a variety of roles like a multiple personality, a figure that melts into the ground.’23 The case of Gerber and Schoon shows the limitations of his theory. Schoon was a modernist but he liked to get into costume, wear Balinese dragon masks, and photograph himself in a wide variety of settings and with many different expressions. He comes across as a man who was uncertain of who he was and who he wanted to be. Schoon’s willingness to have multiple personalities and to lose himself behind the mask shares as much in common with the postmodern artist as the modern, and Gerber, who has been described as a ‘shape-shifter’, but whose artistic intention is to stand out, particularly from contemporary minimalism, is as much the image of a modern artist as a postmodern artist.24
Gerber and Schoon have a common interest in self-portraiture and self-camouflage. Damien Skinner argues that when Schoon dressed in Indonesian costume and wore Indonesian masks, he wanted to ‘erase his European features’.25 A survey of Gerber’s self-portraiture shows that an act of erasure is also important. It seems to be equally true for both that they simultaneously turn themselves into spectacles in order to disappear behind the extravagance of surface, and reappear as something else. They play with the simultaneous disappearance and reappearance that happens with the wearing of masks.
Matthys Gerber has painted and photographed himself many times, but in at least five examples produced since 1988, the effect of resemblance and the effect of self-presence have been effaced. This is a paradoxical approach to self-portraiture but it suits McEvilley’s theory that artists in postmodernity are like multiple personalities who melt into the ground. One work bears this theory out more than the others: a grid of forty-nine portraits of Gerber, made by students, comprising one self-portrait. It could be described as a portrait of multiple identities where each sub-portrait is negated, as a portrait, by its difference to the next. On the surface the painting reads as Gerber’s sincere wish to avoid the narcissism of the modern artist whom McEvilley says wants to stand out from the ground. But on reflection it is unclear whether Gerber wants to disappear as the singular authorial figure, or whether he wants to re-emerge as the one who is prepared to give over his authority. Maria Fernanda Cardoso claims there is a special connection between artists and creatures of camouflage, both of whom have the ability to ‘fluctuate between visibility and invisibility, without a hint of contradiction’.26 This is a useful way to approach two psychedelic self-portraits by Gerber where the features of his face disappear into pattern, and where the contours of the head have an auratic appearance. The effect is one of de-individuation, one that McEvilley would describe as a symbolic decentring of the self. But it is just as possible to argue that the camouflage is there to conceal the fact that something is being concealed, namely the desire to stand out, which is why there is little distinction between figure and ground, and why there is a continuous swapping of individuality for non-individuality. It equates with a philosophy that values the oscillation between a desire to be author and a desire to be copier, to be a unique personality and to be lost in the collective mass. Such restlessness can be found in the lives and practices of both Matthys Gerber and Theo Schoon.
Any self-portrait can be regarded as a mask, and the concept of masks has long been associated with mortality. Roland Barthes discussed photographic portraits of all kinds as ‘the made-up face beneath which we see the dead’.27 He discussed how the first actors played the role of the Dead and wore masks or make-up, which had the effect of making them simultaneously living and dead. The most recent self-portrait by Gerber is a photograph titled Wake, in which he presents himself as a dead person in make-up in the way that the dead are made-up to look as if they might come back to life. The title of the photograph plays with the paradox of the word ‘wake’, which, as a noun is the vigil over a person who has died, and as a verb is the act of bringing someone to a state of consciousness and life. Like the actors in Barthes’s discourse, his mask makes him simultaneously alive and dead. On the humorous side, the photograph brings the melodrama of the Gothic back into Gerber’s work. He is a Dracula-like figure in drag, making fun out of this in the manner of camp. On the serious side, the photograph invites the viewer to regard Gerber as dead, or as the dead man that he will be one day.
It is typical of Gerber’s work that the viewer also oscillates in their reading of images as they engage with dialectics such as kitsch and horror, parody and homage. Take the example Matthys Gerber (1988), a painting where the words ‘Matthys Gerber’ are written in gothic typography against a grotesque landscape where caverns and turrets metamorphose into the features of a face. The painting is a self-portrait but the artist presents himself as an image of horror. How are we to interpret this? On the one hand the effect of the doubling is not dissimilar to Salvador Dali’s ‘paranoid-critical’ technique, giving the image a place within a history of painting in which artists have sought a deliberate and serious engagement with the unconscious. However, because the painting has the visual exaggerations of kitsch, the viewer is likely to shift quickly from an empathetic reading of the subject’s interiority, to a cynical reading of the subject’s self-parody. Gerber is very skilful at designing pictorial masks that play with the indeterminability of surface and depth, sincerity and deception. It may not just be coincidental that Schoon is remembered as a man for whom masks were also very important.
Schoon photographed himself in a restless manner. He was a person who liked to style himself differently and see how his body in each new pose or costume looked photographed. Of these self-portraits the most dramatic are the ones where he appears behind, and beside, Indonesian masks. Just as Matthys Gerber’s self-portraiture invites the use of the word ‘effacement’ to explain the erasure of identity from his self-portraiture, so the current analysis of Theo Schoon by Damien Skinner involves the word ‘effacement’ to describe Schoon’s symbolic disappearance behind the mask of Indonesian culture. More particularly, Damien Skinner refers to Schoon’s self-portraiture and his fascination with masks as an act that ‘involves a certain effacement’ of identity in an effort to lose European-ness.28 This is where the difference lies with Gerber. Damien Skinner proposes that Schoon wanted to lose one ethnic identity in order to adopt another, whereas Gerber appears to have no investment in the singularity of identity: he does not want to become the Other, but he does want to sample from it. His fascination with Schoon is his fascination with transgressive, expressive, performative behaviour, and in those artists who in effect reject themselves by donning masks.
It could be argued that paying homage to someone is like a sublimation of the self, but this is not the case with Mr Theo Schoon. The homage that Gerber pays to Schoon plays a double role of situating Schoon in front of him, and behind him. The painting allows the viewer to experience both artists simultaneously through the double presence of the shape of Theo Schoon’s name, and the shape of Gerber’s initials, in the same pictorial space. In the visual domain, Gerber, in the form of ‘M.G03’ recedes in relation to ‘Theo Schoon’. But when these shapes become linguistic signs, the voice belongs to Gerber and he makes Schoon the object of his speech. This has the effect of making Schoon recede and Gerber project. It is a phenomenon that can be compared with the function of metaphor. With metaphors, as with the experience of Mr Theo Schoon, one part remains in the background until the thinking shifts to it, and away from the other. But of what is Mr Theo Schoon metaphorical?
Mr Theo Schoon is a metaphor of the interrelationships of artists who constantly mimic and emulate each other, and reminds us that aesthetics is something between artists and between people and that it may not matter when or where they live. In this sense it is a metaphor of postmodernity, its spirit summed up in Martin Kippenberger’s obituary: ‘he considered no style or artist’s work off-limits for appropriation’.29 Finally, it is a metaphor of the artist’s understanding of the importance of masks to life, of the individual’s simultaneous disappearance and reappearance behind them, the role of the mask in rejecting conformity to oneself and to the expectations of others, and a realisation that under the mask of the original is the reality of the copy.
Matthys Gerber, Mr. Theo Schoon, 2003. Oil on canvas, 64 x 84cm. Private collection. Courtesy the artist.
Matthys Gerber, Schoon #1, 2005. Oil on canvas, 170 x 135cm. Courtesy Annandale Galleries, Sydney.
Theo Schoon, c.1963. Ink on paper, 56 x 60.7cm. Courtesy the Schoon family and Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Accession #1988-0052-1.
Matthys Gerber, Exhibition Poster, 2005.
1. Ian Burn, ‘Is Art History Any Use To Artists?, in Dialogue: Writings in Art History, North Sydney, Allen & Unwin, 1991, p.4.
2. Kirsten Hoving Powell, ‘Le Violon d’Ingres: Man Ray’s Variations on Ingres, Deformation, Desire and de Sade’, Art History, volume 23, no.5, December 2000, p.794.
3. Francis Pound, ‘Honouring Hattaway: the murmurings of Modernism’, Art New Zealand, no. 88, Spring 1998, p.84.
4. Francis Pound, The Space Between: Pakeha use of Maori Motifs in Modernist New Zealand Art, Workshop Press, Auckland, 1994, p.81.
5. Michael Dunn, ‘Rita Angus and Theo Schoon: an unlikely friendship’, Art New Zealand, no. 107, 2003, www.art-newzealand.com/Issue107/Angus.htm, p.8.
6. Michael Dunn, ibid., p.2.
7. Jenny Harper, ‘Tiller’s McCahons’, Tension, no. 18, October 1989, p.31.
8. Christina Barton, Zara Stanhope, Clare Williamson, ‘Speaking of Strange Bedfellows’, Close Quarters: Contemporary Art from Australia and New Zealand, Monash University Gallery and the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne, 1998, p.12.
9. Philip Matthews interview with Robert Leonard, ‘At the End of New Zealand Art’, New Zealand Listener, 1 October, 2005, pp.36-38.
10. Steve Meacham, ‘Inspiration runs hot and cold’, The Sydney Morning Herald, Spectrum, 22-23 October, 2005, pp.4-5.
11. Adam Gifford, ‘High risk business of cultural borrowing’, The New Zealand Herald, 14 December, 2005, p.B4.
12. Ngarino Ellis, ‘Maori Art and Culture: Hei Tiki’, on Maori body adornment, http://www.thebigidea.co.nz/article.php?sid=2404&mode=&order=0, 7/25/2005.
13. Djon Mundine quoted in Alexa Moses, ‘Shadow cast over a painter’s legacy’, The Sydney Morning Herald, Monday, 25 July, 2005, p.11.
14. David Malouf, ‘The Real Thing, twice flowering: a revelation of Australian Modernism’, The Times Literary Supplement, 9 September, 2005, pp.16-17.
15. Robert Jahnke quoted in Adam Gifford, ‘High risk business of cultural borrowing’, The New Zealand Herald, 14 December, 2005, p.B4.
16. Jenny Harper, op. cit., pp.31-32.
17. Francis Pound, op. cit., p.79.
18. Francis Pound, ibid., p.119.
19. Damien Skinner, Theo Schoon’s Interaction with Aspects of Maori Art, unpublished MA thesis, University of Auckland, 1996, p.88.
20. Francis Pound, op. cit., p.75.
21. Schoon quoted in Francis Pound, ibid., p.77.
22. Theo Schoon, ‘Oriental Dancing and the Trance’, originally published in Arts in New Zealand, 1944, cited in Damien Skinner, op. cit., p.20.
23. Thomas McEvilley, ‘Marginalia: the pattern that fits in and stands out’, Artforum, volume xxvi no. 4, December 1987, p.7.
24. Anne Loxley, ‘Cottier Closing and Cult Hero’, The Sydney Morning Herald, Tuesday, 2 December, 2003, p.18.
25. Damien Skinner, op. cit., p.32.
26. Maria Fernanda Cardosa, ‘Camouflage: the Art of Disappearing’, artist’s statement for exhibition Zoomorphia, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 2002-2003.
27. Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida: reflections on photography, Fontana, London, 1984, p.31-32.
28. Damien Skinner, op. cit., p.29.
29. Roberta Smith, ‘Martin Kippenberger, 43, artist of irreverence and mixed styles’, The New York Times Obituaries, 11.3.97., 31.10.05.
Matthys Gerber lives and works in Sydney.
Ann Elias is a senior lecturer in art theory at Sydney College of the Arts.