Tracey Moffatt is a filmmaker and photographer whose experiments with media explore race relations in her native Australia. After living in the U.S. for more than a decade, Moffatt returned to Brisbane to explore her aboriginal roots. The results can be seen in this understated exhibition, consisting of five photo projects plus a video piece.
Tying together various themes relating to geography, family, security and oppression, the show covers a lot of ground, and works best when the pieces avoid sentimentality. Such is the case with Moffatt’s series “Suburban Landscape,” in which images of the neighborhood where she grew up are stenciled with terse accounts of childhood trauma (such as bullied here). Another group,“Picturesque Cherbourg,” is just as effective, with postcard-perfect views on torn-up paper of the township where her parents were resettled by the government.
Unfortunately, the artist turns mawkish in some of her other efforts, most notably in “As I Lay Back on My Ancestral Land.” Here she superimposes her naked body on views of the sky: the sort of romantic cliché that she’s usually smart enough to avoid.