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Sunjung Kim’s Real DMZ Project Interrogates the North and South Korea Divide Ocula Conversation Sunjung Kim’s Real DMZ Project Interrogates the North and South Korea Divide

Ongoing since 2012, the Real DMZ Project interrogates the demilitarised zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea through annual, research-based exhibitions that bring together the works of Korean and international artists. Sunjung Kim, the independent curator behind the project, conceived the idea of exploring the DMZ while curating Japanese artist...

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Frieze Week Lowdown: London Shows to See Ocula Report Frieze Week Lowdown: London Shows to See 20 Sep 2019 : Tessa Moldan for Ocula

London's galleries and museums are gearing up for a lively October, with Frieze London and Frieze Masters running between 3 and 6 October 2019 at Regent's Park, along with 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair, taking place across the same dates at Somerset House; and the tenth anniversary of the Sunday Art Fair, showcasing new and emerging artists...

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Mark Bradford’s Call for Unity at Shanghai’s Long Museum Ocula Insight | Video Mark Bradford’s Call for Unity at Shanghai’s Long Museum 16 August 2019

Mark Bradford walks through Mark Bradford: Los Angeles Mark Bradford: Los Angeles at the Long Museum West Bund in Shanghai (27 July–13 October 2019) is the artist's largest solo exhibition to date in China. In this video for Ocula, Bradford and Diana Nawi, curator of the show, walk through selected works that convey the artist's concerns with...

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Petrina Hicks

b. 1972, Australia

Petrina Hicks began her career in commercial photography. Though she eventually left that world behind to join the critical discourse of contemporary art, she brought her previous occupation's style and skills with her to explore the creation and representation of female identity, beauty and advertorial modes. While holding onto a commercial aesthetic, Hicks subverts mainstream structures of production and consumption. Working primarily with large-scale photography and high-definition video, Hicks uses standards and structures of so-called 'perfection' to break the concept apart at its seams.

The soft, alluring pastel colour palette of Hicks' photographs speaks to a crossroads between innocence and experience. It also speaks to advertising's idealisation of youth, and youth's relationship to beauty and sexuality. Eerie yet alluring, the images are highly staged, crafted cornucopias of colour and symbolism. The heightened reality of the photographs' world stretches ideas of femininity and womanhood to their breaking point. Hicks also takes under her wing the vocabularies of traditional Western painting's mythology and symbolism to blend classical image culture with contemporary visual language.

In The Chrysalis (2011)—a six-minute single-channel high definition phantom video that plays on loop—the viewer watches the mouth of a young girl lick a group of pale pink flowers over and over again against a pale blue-green background. The flowers grow heavy and dribble with saliva. Works such as this exemplify Hicks' engagement with an advertorial culture quite literally dripping with consumerist lust. The video is both beautiful and incredibly disturbing. In the photograph Shenae and Jade (2005), consumerism is once more engaged with both literally and metaphorically; a young blonde girl with rosy freckled cheeks and hair tied back behind her ears, mascara covering her long eyelashes, dressed in a rose-tinged lace blouse against a rose-tinged background, is pictured eating a green parrot. The pastel gentleness of the image contrasts the violent action represented therein.

Photography has the potential to act as a journalistic, reportorial tool. However, it also has the potential to be a great storyteller and weaver of myths. The work of Petrina Hicks speaks to photography's duality on this plane. Truth and beauty battle in the photographs to present at once elegant and disconcerting narratives that engage in the lust and greed of consumer culture. Unusual for Hicks' photographs, Adams Apple (2013) presents a male model. He is seated in a pose reminiscent of ancient Grecian art, nude, muscles wet with oil. His seat is covered by a sweeping blue fabric, while a similar red-pink fabric hangs in the background. In the foreground, next to the model's feet sits a bright yellow vase. The colours of the photograph allude to the gaudy colours many now-unpainted marble Greek sculptures were originally painted in. The photograph points to the not-so-distant relationship between high art and advertising kitsch present both historically and in contemporary society.

Casey Carsel | Ocula | 2017
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Featured Artworks

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Melo Melo by Petrina Hicks contemporary artwork
Petrina HicksMelo Melo, 2019 Pigment print
100 x 100 cm
This Is No Fantasy dianne tanzer + nicola stein
Mooncat by Petrina Hicks contemporary artwork
Petrina HicksMooncat, 2019 Pigment print
100 x 100 cm
This Is No Fantasy dianne tanzer + nicola stein
Soothsayer by Petrina Hicks contemporary artwork
Petrina HicksSoothsayer, 2019 Pigment print
100 x 100 cm
This Is No Fantasy dianne tanzer + nicola stein
Cleopatra by Petrina Hicks contemporary artwork
Petrina HicksCleopatra, 2019 Pigment print,
120 x 120 cm
This Is No Fantasy dianne tanzer + nicola stein
Lauren with Sunglasses II by Petrina Hicks contemporary artwork
Petrina HicksLauren with Sunglasses II, 2019 Pigment print,
120 x 120 cm
This Is No Fantasy dianne tanzer + nicola stein
Shanae and Jade by Petrina Hicks contemporary artwork
Petrina HicksShanae and Jade, 2005 Pigment print,
119 x 111 cm
This Is No Fantasy dianne tanzer + nicola stein
Blue Bird by Petrina Hicks contemporary artwork
Petrina HicksBlue Bird, 2018 Pigment print
120 x 120 cm
This Is No Fantasy dianne tanzer + nicola stein
Lauren and Python by Petrina Hicks contemporary artwork
Petrina HicksLauren and Python, 2018 Pigment print
120 x 120 cm
This Is No Fantasy dianne tanzer + nicola stein

Current & Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Petrina Hicks, The Gazed at This Is No Fantasy dianne tanzer + nicola stein, Melbourne
Open Now
18 September–25 October 2019 Petrina Hicks The Gazed This Is No Fantasy dianne tanzer + nicola stein, Melbourne
Contemporary art exhibition, Kirsten Coelho, Michael Cook, Petrina Hicks, Lakin Ogunbanwo, Yhonnie Scarce, Jacqui Stockdale, Summer 2018 at This Is No Fantasy dianne tanzer + nicola stein, Melbourne
Closed
24 November–16 December 2018 Kirsten Coelho, Michael Cook, Petrina Hicks, Lakin Ogunbanwo, Yhonnie Scarce, Jacqui Stockdale Summer 2018 This Is No Fantasy dianne tanzer + nicola stein, Melbourne
Contemporary art exhibition, Petrina Hicks, Still Life Studio at This Is No Fantasy dianne tanzer + nicola stein, Melbourne
Closed
2–20 October 2018 Petrina Hicks Still Life Studio This Is No Fantasy dianne tanzer + nicola stein, Melbourne

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