Looking for Adam
This exhibition brings together work by Ayman Kaake, David Charles Collins, David Lindesay, and Ali Choudhry, in which they explore facets of masculinity through photography.
Curated by Garrie Maguire, this is the inaugural exhibition for new XYZ Photo Gallery.
Ali lives and works at intersection within the practices of photography and identities. His perspective is informed by many cultures he has lived that have informed his self. This plays out in both his art practice, commercial work and how he views others and identity more generally. He is a regular in the photo-media art prizes.
Born in Tripoli, Lebanon, Ayman Kaake travelled to Australia in 2011 in pursuit of studying visual arts.
A telecommunications engineer and cinematography graduate, he left behind his parents and eleven siblings as he set off on his artistic journey. Applying his creative vision then led to diplomas in photo-imaging and visual arts from Melbourne Polytechnic.
In 2014, his passion for cinema and photography eventually developed into a body of digital art works, creating images and video installation that delve into the dreamlike world of personal experiences, emotional turmoil, and the complexities of isolation that came from starting a new life in a new country.
Although dealing with moving and serious emotions, Kaake’s works are almost hopeful, and he believes that “sometimes imagination is better than reality”.
I’m an Australian photographer and visual artist, currently working with the body, and engaging in documentary story telling. I am particularly interested in the social and cultural politics of the body, which has led to me exploring contemporary ideas around the ideal male form and, most recently, naturally distorting this ideal by immersing the body in water. In my documentary pursuits I am intrigued by the photograph’s ability to tell a story; and, as greater context is created with the addition of more and more images, I am drawn to explore the powerful narratives that emerge.
David Charles Collins
Specialising in photography and video media, my focus is on representations of the body in performative action and the boundaries and readings that exist between the performers and the audience.
I aim to explore how ritual and role-play are shaped by cathartic desires of our society. I believe in exploring and inhabiting archetypes as an act of catharsis and self-analyses.
I’m interested in utilizing photo and video media to interrogate the uneven relationships that manifest between humans and animals, and people and things, in performance rituals. Using animals as a personal motif and symbol for the natural world, I engage in a performance exercise, inhabiting the precarious space between control and surrender. The resulting human-animal collaboration acts as analogue to experiential extremes, psychological struggles and power relationships, through which I propose catharsis as a powerful human experience for both learning and healing. Photography acts both as documentation and symbolic representation of theses exercises.
Performance rituals are constitutive of interactions between people and things, subjects and objects, and offer promising ground to examine the power relationships inherent in their performance. I interrogate these uneven relationships through utilizing video media and performance to explore ways ritual and role-play can, under certain conditions provoke a cathartic experience. Using animals (primarily the horse) as a personal motif and symbol for the natural world, I engage in various performance exercises, inhabiting the precarious space between control and surrender. These human-animal collaborations are analogous to experiential extremes, psychological struggles and power relationships, through which I propose catharsis as a significant human experience for both learning and healing.
With a particular interest in toxic masculinity in Australian culture, I aim to attend to
the multiple and conflicted readings of the male body and their translation into the
social roles they inhabit. Investigating the male body as both violent and intimate,playful but harsh, erotic but confrontational. I hope to gain a better understanding of the facets and limitless possibilities of gender roles and identities.