Mike Parr

KINDNESS IS SO GANGSTER
, 2018 (installation view Anna Schwartz Gallery). Photography: Jacqui Shelton.

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Biography

Born Sydney, Australia 1945

Lives and works in Sydney, Australia

Interrogating formal and cultural orthodoxies, the vast and uncompromising practice of Mike Parr assumes multiple forms through a conflation of drawing, printmaking, sculpture and performance. Exploring the limits of his physical and mental capacity, Parr’s highly influential performance practice employs his own body as a means to examine identity and political conventions of the twentieth century. His decade-long ‘Self Portrait Project’ also draws upon his own subjectivity, unfolding as a cathartic reflection on selfhood and the proliferation of perspective.

Throughout his career Parr has continually questioned the possibilities of and critical reception to contemporary art. By subsuming modes of activism into practice and working beyond established structures, Parr rigorously interrogates aesthetic norms and social circumstances to reaffirm his vital role within contemporary Australian culture. Parr represented Australia at the Venice Biennale in 1980 and presented the major installation ‘The Ghost Who Talks’ at the Palazzo Mora in 2015. In 2016, the National Gallery of Australia mounted the museum’s largest survey of a contemporary Australian artist, ‘Foreign Looking’ by Mike Parr.

Selected exhibitions include: ‘Underneath the Bitumen the Artist’, 72 hour durational performance, Dark MOFO, Hobart, Tasmania (2018), ‘Give the People what they Want / Ideal Unions / Nazi Milk’, Campbelltown Arts Centre, New South Wales (2016); ‘Foreign Looking; National Gallery of Australia’, Canberra (2016); ‘Asylum’, DARK MOFO, Hobart (2016); ‘The Marked Self: Between Annihilation & Masquerade’, Neue Gallery/Uni­varsalmuseum-Joanneum, Graz, Austria (2015); ‘The Ghost Who Talks’, 55th Biennale di Venezia, Palazzo Mora, Venice, Italy (2015); ‘Damage Control: Body Art & Destruction 1968-1972’, BRUSEUM, Neue Gallery, Graz, Austria (2014); ‘Mix Tape 1980s: Appropriation, Subculture, Critical Style’, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (2013); ‘Mike Parr: Edelweiß’, Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna (2012); MIRROR/ARSE, ‘Revolutions – Forms That Turn’, 16th Biennale of Sydney, Cockatoo Island (2008); ‘Volte Face: Mike Parr Prints & Preprints 1970-2005’, Museum of Contem­porary Art, Sydney (2006).

Public collections include: National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth; Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane; Parliament House, Canberra; Monash University, Melbourne; and Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide.

CV

Bibliography


Exhibitions

Mike Parr

KINDNESS IS SO GANGSTER

Mike Parr

LEFT FIELD

Mike Parr

Dark Cave

Mike Parr

Deep North
, Carriageworks

Heman Chong, Angela de la Cruz, Marco Fusinato, Shaun Gladwell, Mike Parr, Yinka Shonibare, MBE (RA), Jane and Louise Wilson

Art Basel Hong Kong 2014
, Art Basel Hong Kong

Mike Parr

Easter Island
, Carriageworks

Stephen Bram, Angela de la Cruz, Mikala Dwyer, Clement Meadmore, Mike Parr, Benjamin Armstrong, Janet Burchill & Jennifer McCamley

In abstraction, the body
, Carriageworks

Mike Parr

The Golden Age
, Carriageworks

Mike Parr

The Hallelujah Chorus

Mutlu Çerkez, Emily Floyd, Marco Fusinato, Mike Parr, Rose Nolan, Peter Tyndall, Jenny Watson, Janet Burchill & Jennifer McCamley, Tom Nicholson, Ian Whittlesea, Grant Stevens

Word
, Carriageworks

Mike Parr

MILK
, Carriageworks

Mike Parr

SALTO MORTALE: THE NOTHING SELF PORTRAITS

Mike Parr

BLAMELESS

Mike Parr

THE UNDERWORLD

Mike Parr

AETHER/AWE

Mike Parr

ALUMINUM FROM THE MOUTH


Recent Works

Mike Parr

KINDNESS IS SO GANGSTER #1
, 2018
Glass
100 x 25 x 21 cm

Mike Parr

KINDNESS IS SO GANGSTER #2
, 2018
Glass
108 x 27 x 21 cm

Mike Parr

KINDNESS IS SO GANGSTER #3
, 2018
Glass
106 x 24 x 23 cm

Mike Parr

KINDNESS IS SO GANGSTER #4
, 2018
Glass
115 x 18 x 14 cm

Mike Parr

LEFT FIELD (for Robert Hunter)
, 2017
Dual-channel High Definition video, 16:9, colour, sound

Publications

Mike Parr

Language and Chaos
, 2016
National Gallery of Australia

News

A shifting of the senses

From The Age, 5 October
by Andrew Stephens

When Mike Parr was buried in a steel box underneath a busy Hobart street for three days in June, he had already been on another, related journey into earthy darkness. An inveterate explorer, he’s accustomed to feeling his way forward, darkly – and the results can seriously, wonderfully niggle at viewers. Parr’s long history as […]

Buried alive: Performance artist Mike Parr begins 72-hour entombment

From The Age, 15 June 2018
by Melanie Kembrey

For a man about to be buried alive, Mike Parr made little fuss. To the cheers and camera flashes of a large crowd, the 72-year-old swiftly climbed down the ladder into the steel container where he will be interred for three days, without food, beneath one of Tasmania’s busiest roads. Mike Parr will spend 72 […]

Australia Artist Is Buried Alive to Symbolize Historic Cover-Up

From The New York Times, 15 June 2018
by Clarissa Sebag-Montefiore

HOBART, Australia — The Australian performance artist Mike Parr walked through a cheering crowd on Thursday, climbed down a ladder and disappeared into a hole cut into the street. As he settled into a 25-square-foot steel box, workers sealed it with three inches of steaming-hot asphalt. Within hours the road was reopened to traffic. Mr. […]

Buried alive, under a road

From The Australian, 26 May 2018
by Tim Douglas

When artist Kazimir Malevich died in 1935, his cremated remains­ were placed in a box and buried beneath the ­symbol for which he was best known: a black square. The Russian painter’s radical eponymous work — made in 1915 to ­represent the so-called zero point of art and heralding the dawn of modernism — had […]