Glowry - Emilie Walsh

Published by: fortyfivedownstairs | 11-Dec-2019
A glow-in-the-dark installation commenting on ideas about identity, colonialism and adventure.
Venue: fortyfivedownstairs
Address: 45 Flinders Lane, MELBOURNE VIC 3000
Date: 21 January - 1 February 2020
Time: Tuesday - Friday 11am - 5pm and Saturday 11am - 3pm.
Ticket: FREE
Call: 396629966
Glowry, a glow-in-the-dark installation by Emilie Walsh, comments on the Eurocentric male view of the so-called 'Greatest adventurers of all time'. The installation opens at fortyfivedownstairs, Melbourne, on Tuesday 21 January 2020.

The ten portraits in Glowry are all named in the internet pop culture article, 'Who is the greatest adventurer of all time?' published in Men's Journal [1] in 2014.

Walsh is intrigued with the cliché of adventure, and what constitutes the 'myth' of adventure from a popular culture point of view. The name of the magazine from which the article was sourced, 'Men's Journal', claims itself as a platform for male culture. The article presents these figures as great adventurers, and they all happen to be male and white: Marco Polo, Captain Cook, Christopher Columbus, Alexander Von Humbolt, Jean-François De La Perousse, Jacques Cartier, Robert Livingston, Robert Peary, Vasco De Gama and Richard Francis Burton.

These men did indeed inform the myth of adventure, and all made contributions to Western knowledge, living intense and rich lives. But they also all belong to the Western world, coming from educated and largely privileged backgrounds. It is difficult to name adventurers who do not belong to this category of white, western, educated men, off the top of our heads. An alternative role model for people who do not relate to this identity is not readily offered. These figures remain omnipresent, as much as we wish to come up with alternative narratives and models. Glowing in the dark like ghostly figures, they may start to fade with time, then to be reactivated by being retold, re-enacted, and maintained on a pedestal. They stay in our mind like retinal impressions, floating around like a backdrop of the cliché of adventure.

The ten figures in Glowry are illuminated under bright spotlights, reminiscent of a glamorous photo-shoot. They shine for a while, then fade out, before being under the spotlight again.

Stare at them, kill them with your gaze, and imagine new narratives for adventure tomorrow.

Emilie Walsh is a Melbourne-based artist working across a range of media and addressing issues of identity, colonialism and adventure.

Emilie's work has been exhibited in Australia and internationally. In Melbourne, Emilie notably showed her work at the Abbotsford Convent, George Paton Gallery, fortyfivedownstairs and No Vacancy Gallery. She is currently a studio resident at Testing Grounds, where she developing her work for public space. She is also finishing a PhD at the Victorian College of the Arts, focusing on the narratives of adventure. Emilie also has a practice in comics, zines and illustration, and her drawings have been published in The Lifted Brow.

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