Visual arts: Screen Space – Scratch an Aussie

12 May 2017

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12 August – 10 September 2017 @ Art Gallery of WA.
By Richard Bell.

One of Richard Bell’s most defining works, Scratch an Aussie, is a playful, serious and challenging video piece that explores racism in Australia.

Through the use of jokes, mimicry and word association games between a psychiatrist (Bell) and his patients, viewers witness some of the everyday racist beliefs and jibes about Aboriginal people that operate in Australia today. The sessions are filled with humour, candour and camaraderie. Empathy, however, is notably absent.

Another light-hearted but guilt-ridden therapy session unfolds throughout. Here, Bell – the psychiatrist – talks to his psychiatrist (Gary Foley) about the pros and cons of these common beliefs.

The confessions played out on the psychiatrist’s couch are not to be missed.

More info:
More info:

Top: Richard Bell, Scratch an Aussie 2008. DVD projection, 3/5, duration: 10:00 min. State Art Collection, Art Gallery of Western Australia. Purchased through the TomorrowFund, Art Gallery of Western Australia Foundation, 2016. Image © Richard Bell, courtesy of Milani Gallery, Brisbane. Photo: Mick Richards.

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