Megan Keating: Different Reds

20 July – 18 August 2001

In the age of global capitalisation and urbanisation, it no longer seems appropriate to discuss the sublime in terms of the natural world. For instance the sublime can be readily found in the spectacle of public events, such as rave parties, ticket-tape parades and political rallies. In these forums, feelings of unity, heroism and nationalism are unleashed. The conjunction of mass crowds, technology and enthusiastic fervour prescribes a response that is intrinsically caught up in the profusion of the moment. Swept up in this assembly of masses is an underlying current of tension, an uneasiness that implies potential coercion and threat.

The works in Different Reds allude to propaganda devices such as flag waving, military parades and public displays of power. The protagonists in these scenarios are toys, i.e. mass-produced, blandly generic soldiers, cowboys and fighter planes. In this context the reduced monochromatic silhouettes of the figures become nostalgic tokens that belies the innocence of childhood and impose anxiety on the performance of play. In an exhibition of jest they too become vehicles for spectacle, heroism and confrontation. Through repetition proliferation, saturated colour, paper cutting and large-scale installation based works, the objective of Different Reds is to create a sensory excess in the spirit as these public events.

Header image: Megan Keating, Something in the Air, 2001, installation view

megan-keating-different-reds-4Megan Keating, Different Reds, 2001, exhibition view

megan-keating-the-great-marchMegan Keating, The Great March, 2001, installation view

megan-keating-wheel-of-fortuneMegan Keating, Wheel of Fortune [detail], 2001, installation view