PARADE | DEAN CROSS
5 – 21 July, 2019
Opening Event: 5 July 2019, 6pm
PARADE is facilitated by Boxcopy and hosted at Outer Space.
In 1988 I was wheeled off a train in Brisbane, strapped to a rickety pram, my eyes were wide at the crush of people that surrounded me. I was rolled along a boulevard toward a monolithic inflatable kangaroo, and as my creaky carriage was pushed past this mega-fauna, it looked at me and winked. It was Matilda, the mascot from the 1982 Commonwealth games, and I was at Expo ’88.
This is my earliest memory.
The Expo as a concept has a long history rooted deeply in colonial showboating and self-congratulation. The expo’s would echo the agenda that to be civilised meant to be modern and that to be modern meant forward progression along some kind of invented trajectory out of Africa and toward iphones. The Expo’s would proudly display the spoils of the colonial project and, like the Olympics and Commonwealth Games, reinforce separatist nativism and celebrate authoritarian power. Like it is something to be proud of.
This collection of works – this parade – is the pavilion the Expo forgot. Maybe. It is two rooms of things created by one person (with the help of many others). It is an echo detached from its source.
Now I love kangaroo’s and hate overcrowded public transport. It is easy to understand why.
Dean Cross was born and raised on Ngunnawal/Ngambri Country and is of Worimi descent. He is a trans-disciplinary artist primarily working across installation, sculpture and photographic mediums. His career began in contemporary dance, performing and choreographing nationally and internationally for over a decade with Australia’s leading dance companies. Following that Dean re-trained as a visual artist, gaining his Bachelor’s Degree from Sydney College of the Arts, and his First Class Honours from the ANU School of Art and Design. Dean has shown his work extensively across Australia. This includes the Indigenous Ceramic Prize at the Shepparton Art Musuem, curated by Anna Briers and Belinda Briggs (2018), Tarnanthi at the Art Gallery of South Australia, curated by Nici Cumpston (2017), RUNS DEEP a solo show at Alaska Projects, Sydney (2018), The Churchie Emerging Art Prize (2016), The Redlands Konica Minolta Art Prize (2015), and the Macquarie Group Emerging Art Prize (2015) where his work was awarded the Highly Commended prize by artist, Joan Ross. In 2018, Dean created “Pilot” for the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney and also exhibited at the Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney, as a part of the NEXTWAVE Festival Melbourne, with curator Amelia Winata, and at Artbank, Sydney in Talia Smith’s “In a World of Wounds”. Also, in 2018, Dean was a year-long Artist in Residence at the Canberra Contemporary Art Space (CCAS) as well as being selected to be a part of the 4A Beijing Studio Residency Program in Beijing, China.
In 2019, Dean has undertaken the inaugural Canberra/Wellington Indigenous Artist exchange, where he was supported by the ACT Government to undertake research with the National War Memorials in both Canberra and Wellington.