The Emperor's New Clothes

group exhibition curated by James R Ford, touring internationally

.M CONTEMPORARY, 37 Ocean Street, Woollahra, Sydney, Australia
4-27 June 2015

PAUL NACHE gallery, Gisborne, New Zealand
3 - 25 April 2015

Taxi in The Emperor's New Clothes

Taxi in The Emperor's New Clothes

Taxi in The Emperor's New Clothes

Taxi in The Emperor's New Clothes

Taxi Back in The Emperor's New Clothes

TAXI takes the form of a pair of orange and black swiss rolls joined to create a chevron and mounted on a stand.  They reference either a pair of binoculars or a tannoy system.  On the wall is a photograph of a mirrored mirror, titled TAXI BACK.  A broken wing mirror with a storm in pursuit.  We use doubling as a way of re-presenting the real.  It creates a second copy, a fake reality.  It reasserts while conversely it trivialises.

The title of the work, TAXI, comes from the Australian Yellow Cab Co whose fleet of taxis are orange and black. 

Our works make reference to the notion of the absurd, where we engage a postmodern irony and strategies such as doubling and mirroring, substitute, anamorphism and anthropomorphism, humour and irreverence.  We are interested in the idea of faith in the heroic and how desire is located within this.

image details -

laminate, metal stand
144 x 54 x 50 cm

photographic print on metallic paper
44 x 60 cm


About The Emperor's New Clothes, by curator James R Ford

The Emperor's New Clothes is a group exhibition curated by James R Ford, taking its name from the short story by Hans Christian Andersen. The fable tells of two weavers who promise an Emperor a new set of clothes that is invisible to those unfit for their positions, stupid, or incompetent. When the Emperor parades before his subjects in his new clothes, a child cries out, "But he isn't wearing anything at all!". Whispers build up and the audience declares it too. Even the King decides they must be right, but bears up and continues with his procession.

Ford begins with the fable to address ideas of perception, absurdity and belief; looking at both the role of art and our relationship to it. He is also confronting the subject of the abstract value of art: that which makes art 'good' or interesting or worth spending time on can often be unseen or initially unapparent. Works included use humour, deception or metaphor to open up a dialogue on that intangible quality that is not easily grasped. It is artists, like the innocent child, who are the ones willing to question our assumed knowledge and beliefs, and even looking like fools themselves in the process.

The Emperor's New Clothes features 12 artists from New Zealand, Australia and beyond, working in painting, film, performance, sculpture, digital media and installation.



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