Unthinkable 2013

BEAF, curated by Rachael Parsons & Stephen Russell
27 July – 2 August 2013
Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts

Working simultaneously across several media, Rachael Haynes’ practice takes us from historical dissection to embodied acts, Haynes’ practice playfully uses the material of art history and philosophical discourse placing these in relation to the politics of gender.

For BEAF2013 Haynes presents Unthinkable, an exploration of the politics of art making and its historicisation in the recent past, specifically here looking at the once dominant style and movement of Abstract-Expressionism. Abstract Expessionism, notorious for its phallocentricism, has been historicised almost exclusively as being led by male practitioners, most often at the exclusion of the more interesting approaches. Abstract Expressionism as a historical category has suffered from largely being constituted by discourses inflected with subtle and not so subtle generalizations, projections, and circumscriptions surrounding narrow definitions of gender characteristics and traits. This is the site at which Haynes’ Unthinkable builds up a powerful critique that not only dissects but also wryly plays with misrepresentations invoked by the movement.

– Stephen Russell


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