All the Better to See You With: Fairy Tales Transformed

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All the Better to See You With - Fairy Tales Transformed 2017 Ian Potter Museum of Art supplied image by Tracey Moffatt 2000 Invocations 11 from the Invocations series
Tracey Moffatt 'Invocations 11' (2000) from the Invocations series

Kiki Smith, Lotte Reiniger, Tracey Moffatt and Patricia Piccinini feature in this showcase of artists who play with the fairy tale in their work

The genre of the fairy tale is one of our most pervasive, across literature, cinema, dance – and art. This exhibition, curated by Samantha Comte, features artists who harness their powers to a fairy tale narrative, with varied objectives and results.

In her fairy tale films, pioneering German animator Lotte Reiniger undertakes a fairly straightforward act of translation: taking tales by Hans Christian Andersen, the Brothers Grimm and Antoine Galland from the page to the screen, via silhouette animation.

In her illustrations 'Companions' (2001) and 'Born' (2002), Kiki Smith remixes the Little Red Riding Hood tale – taking characters and imagery and divorcing them from the context of the original tale, so that we question our understanding of the original.

In her series Invocations (2000), Tracey Moffatt uses the fairy tale, and the Disney aesthetic, as a framework to tell her own story, about a little girl lost in a forest. 

In their film ‘Mastering Bambi’ (2010) artists Persijn Broersen and Margit Lukács probe the psychological power of a quintessential piece of fairy tale imagery – the forest – by re-making Disney’s Bambi without any of the forest inhabitants.

Photographers Dina Goldstein and Miwa Yanagi, albeit with very different aesthetics, dial up the surrealism in fairy-tale-inspired tableaux that explore the contemporary experience of young women.

Comte says, “This exhibition looks at why fairy tales still have the power to attract us, to seduce us, to lure us and stir our imagination.”

All the Better to See You With: Fairy Tales Transformed features works by Broersen & Lukács, Kate Daw, Peter Ellis, Dina Goldstein, Mirando Haz, Vivienne Shark Le Witt, Amanda Marburg, Tracey Moffatt, Polixeni Papapetrou Patricia Piccinini, Paula Rego, Lotte Reiniger, Allison Schulnik, Sally Smart, Kiki Smith, Kylie Stillman, Tale of Tales, Janaina Tschäpe, Miwa Yanagi, Kara Walker, and Zilverster (Sharon Goodwin and Irene Hanenbergh).

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