In June 2013, police armed with Stanley knives raided the Linden Center for Contemporary Arts in St Kilda, Melbourne, and carefully removed some of the works on display.
This article contains language that may be offensive.
The work in question by Melbourne artist Paul Yore was part of a group exhibition inspired by the late Mike Brown, the only Australian artist to be charged with obscenity.
Clipped material from Yoré’s work depicts child faces glued to adult nude bodies, some engaged in sexual activity, challenging ideas about gender identity and its commercialization in society. It was part of a larger production.
“I didn’t understand this piece when I cut it out. It changed the meaning,” Yoré recently said. Art Show at ABC RN.
Police charged Yore, who was 25 at the time, with child pornography violations, and the artist faced 15 years in prison if convicted.
In October 2014, a judge dismissed the charges against the artist and ordered the police to pay the costs.
It’s been a harrowing time for Yore, who is considered one of Australia’s most up-and-coming artists since having her first solo exhibition at Melbourne’s Heide Museum of Modern Art in 2009.
Just days before the raid on the work, titled Everything Is Fucked, Yore won Map of the $8,000 Wangaratta Contemporary Textile Award. This wool tapestry was made by hand and took her six months to complete.
In the aftermath of the raid and subsequent lawsuit, Yole considered leaving Melbourne and quitting the art world.
“There were certainly moments when I thought this was the end of my career,” he says.
He turned his attention to outsider art, folk art, and the study of traditions marked by marginality.
“Working with people who don’t even recognize themselves as artists… [or didn’t have] Every exposure to the art world’ reaffirmed his need to express himself through his artistic practice.
He considered art to be his “survival mechanism” and a form of therapy.
“I was drawn back to creating because I realized that what I was supposed to do was make art,” he says.
words made flesh
Yole, now 35, is the subject of a major exhibition currently on display at Melbourne’s Australian Center for Contemporary Art (ACCA).
Paul Yore: WORD MADE FLESH explores the artist’s 15-year career, featuring installations, sculptures, collages, assemblages, and textiles, drawing on a variety of references, including Greek classical art and gay pornography. I’m here.
ACCA Artistic Director Max Delany, who curated the show, said Yore is one of Australia’s most interesting and important artists.
“Paul’s work is notable for its ambition in its engagement with text and textiles, and its embrace of both decoration and agitprop, where politics, decoration and desire sit side-by-side.”
Co-designed by Delaney with Yore’s partner Devon Ackerman, the exhibition is conceptually structured and spans five themed zones: Signs, Embodiment, Manifesto, Horizon and Word Made Fresh. increase. As part of the Sydney Festival he will be performing at Carriageworks in January.
The installation WORD MADE FLESH (a reference to a passage from the Gospel of John) features a domed structure, lit by neon and covered with a mosaic of patterns, images and slogans, sitting next to a 70’s hearse, reminiscent of the old days. Adorned with the trademark cluster of detritus (e.g. “Fuck Australia”), a pink penis covers one wheel arch while the other is iridescent.
The overall effect of the show is a wealth of light, color, texture and sound, studded with profanity, protest paraphernalia, phallic imagery, religious iconography, neoliberal capitalist symbols, logos and slogans.
“Most visitors will appreciate what Paul has produced over the past decade, not to mention a breathtaking array of artistic strategies derived from a variety of sources: rococo and carnival, dada and agitprop, punk and camp. “I’m amazed to see the staggering range of production, queercore and drag performance,” says Delaney.
The sensory overload of Yore’s work recalls the relentlessness of 24/7 consumer culture and offers a sharp social and political critique of the late capitalist era.
“His work is both delightful in its materiality and uncomfortable in the mirror of the society we live in,” Delaney says.
make treasure out of trash
Yore transforms society’s waste into art, using it to symbolize marginalization and explore queer identities.
“As a queer artist, I’m very interested in the marginal,” he says.
Yore studied archeology and anthropology as part of her art degree at Monash University and describes herself as a sort of ‘archaeologist’ in her approach to the found materials she uses in her work.
Fascinated by the culture of trash and what people throw away, he is more interested in the relationships that form when objects are put together than in individual objects.
By bringing trash into art galleries, Yore regenerates unwanted objects, imbuing them with new meaning and sparking conversations about overconsumption in society.
His “bad taste” aesthetic, in all its extreme kitsch queerness, helps him challenge social and cultural conventions.
“I’m really interested in going against the idea of a polite society,” says Yore.
He also uses humor and bad taste in his work as a sort of Trojan horse, deploying laughter to draw the viewer into serious ideas.
“I tap into the crude, campy humor that drag queens use, for example, where bad taste is like a survival mechanism or a kind of pressure valve,” he says.
religion and politics
Yole’s father, a Franciscan friar raised in a “faithful Catholic” family, met his mother while serving as a missionary in Papua New Guinea. Yole “grew up surrounded by Catholic rituals, ideas, images and symbols”.
His relationship with Christianity became strained during his teenage years as he became more aware of his queer identity. When he was fifteen he left the church.
“One day a car pulled up at the church for Sunday Mass. I refused to go inside and walked home. It was a defining moment,” he recalls. .
His rejection of Catholic ideology coincided with his introduction of radical politics through the anti-war movement that emerged in response to the 2003 US invasion of Iraq.
In the old days, he participated in protests alone, met with like-minded strangers, and “embraced the language of defiance and protest,” which is evident in his work today.
He recalls being drawn to “the immediacy of making a political placard” and the feeling of “participating in something meaningful.”
Yore didn’t publicly reveal her sexuality until she was 18, and her active participation in the protest movement was “from the personal perspective of being in the closet, the anger and anger I experienced.” It was also a way of communicating anger.A Catholic school… [and] be silent.”
He returned to religious subjects as an adult. His upbringing Catholic iconography offers his artists a wealth of options for queer artists interested in ideas of transfiguration and mysticism.
“There’s a lot of very queer things in that tradition that aren’t really talked about much: the idea of the body in pain and ecstasy, the idea of the mind moving through time, things and places,” he explains. To do.
Tap into the rich tradition of textile arts
The ACCA exhibition features more than 100 textile artworks, but Yore says he learned the craft of needlework relatively late.
“I had a younger sister and she was sent to a girls’ school and had to study embroidery. I was sent to a boys’ school and had to study woodworking. We were joking around with other disciplines,” he says.
After being hospitalized for mental illness in 2010, Yoré “brought his way from trauma to textiles.”
Couch-bound during his recovery, he found wool and canvas among his art supplies and decided to try embroidery.
It took him “a very long time” to complete his first needlework, an embroidery the size of a Victorian sampler.
Amid the lethargy of medication, Yore found the activity meditative.
Once finished, he was amazed that his hard work had produced a work of art.
Long ago, unwittingly, he used what he now recognizes as the “rich tradition” of handicraft as a source of healing.
“Many of the artists, especially feminists, who have revived craft traditions and methodologies in their work … talk about the restorative nature of sewing and stitching … whether it puts things back together, repairs what is worn, It’s healing in a way,” he says.
safe place to talk
Despite his “brush of censorship,” Yolé still sees art galleries as safe places for discourse.
All art is symbolic, he says.
Yore admits his work is provocative. He says that even if viewers disagree with his work, it’s okay if it provokes discussion.
“Can we talk about that? That’s what I find rewarding. If people don’t even want to have conversations about things they don’t like, that’s how we end up in this culture wars echo chamber and everything else.” It’s time.”
Paul Jorre: WORD MADE FLESH Runs through November 20th at ACCA in Melbourne.
install words made flesh They will be performing at Carriageworks from 5th January to 26th February as part of the Sydney Festival.
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-11-06/paul-yore-word-made-flesh-exhibition-acca-australian-artist/101610312 Australian artist Paul Yorre looks at his career at ACCA exhibition on art censorship, queer culture and Catholic kitsch