Bad language

Julie GOUGH: artist

Not On Display

About the work

Julie Gough has spent many years researching historical events that have shaped the lived of Indigenous peoples around the world. Like many Australian artists who examine systematic racisim and opression, Gough looks beyond Australian national borders, engaging in global dialogues surrounding racially driven atrocities that have occurred around the world throughout a long colonial history. Bad Language, 1996, is comprised of a selection of collected books which through their imagery assert that possesing coloured skin is inately connected to well developed sexual abilities, defining coloured women and men as exceptionally virile. Throughout colonial history, the black figure has been heavily sexualised and these images, often turned into caricatures were commonplace globally and in Australia often taking form in book covers, ashtrays, tea towels and other household items. These innacurate depictions have contributed to a historical Australian brand which is highly offensive for Indigenous Australians,. Many Indigenous artists now collect these items to purposely recontextualise them in their works of art, or to simply remove them from circulation.
Bad language
Artist/Maker and role
Julie GOUGH: artist
paper back books on wooden shelf
85 x 158.5 cm (rack/ overall)
Credit line
Purchased 1996
The State Art Collection, The Art Gallery of Western Australia
Accession number

This is one of the installations in our collection.