Saturday 5:18 pm, from the series Open house
14 May 1957 -
As part of a generation of Australian women artists who came to the fore in the early 1980s, Anne Zahalka’s practice has always been concerned with questioning dominant myths and cultural constructs. The broad sweep of Zahalka’s oeuvre has often been underpinned by a common strategy: the world in her images appears as theatre where place, gender and national identity are questioned.
The ten tableaus that form the 1995 series 'Open House' combine portraiture and genre scenes, placing the subjects in environments that they actually do inhabit. The titles, such as 'Saturday 5:18 pm', seem to hint at a moment of great significance, yet the situations and the relationships appear utterly ordinary. The highly detailed interiors resemble evenly illuminated sets (Zahalka also presented this series in the form of lightboxes). It is 'what the photograph reveals as evidence' that the artist finds compelling here.1 The people inhabiting these environments seem to increasingly resemble the objects that surround them.
1. A Zahalka et al, ‘Hall of mirrors: Anne Zahalka portraits 1987-2007’, Australian centre of photography, Sydney 2007, p 41
type C photograph
Artist proof, from an edition 20 + 2 APS
78.5 x 64.0 cm image (sight); 98.0 x 83.0 x 2.0 cm sheet; 97.9 x 83.2 x 1.9cm frame
Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Gift of the artist 2011. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
Not on display
© Anne Zahalka. Licensed by Viscopy, Sydney
Shown in 4 exhibitions
Group Show, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Paddington, 18 Sep 1997–11 Oct 1997
Unhomely, Artsonje Museum, Korea, 24 Jul 1998–13 Sep 1998
Hall of mirrors: Anne Zahalka, portraits 1987-2007:
- Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne 13 Mar 2007–12 May 2007
- Warrnambool Art Gallery, Warrnambool 15 Sep 2007–28 Oct 2007
- National Portrait Gallery [Parliamentary Zone], Canberra 23 Nov 2007–31 Mar 2008
- Ipswich Art Gallery, Ipswich 17 May 2008–27 Jul 2008
- Bathurst Regional Art Gallery, Bathurst 29 Aug 2008–12 Oct 2008
- Hazelhurst Regional Gallery and Arts Centre 06 Dec 2008–01 Feb 2009
- Artspace Mackay, Queensland 06 Feb 2009–22 Mar 2009
- Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Townsville 24 Apr 2009–21 Jun 2009
- Riddoch Art Gallery, Mt Gambier 04 Jul 2009–02 Aug 2009
- Wangaratta Exhibitions Gallery, Wangaratta 26 Sep 2009–25 Oct 2009
- Devonport Regional Gallery, Devonport 06 Nov 2009–31 Dec 2009
- Gippsland Art Gallery, Sale 30 Jan 2010–28 Feb 2010
(On loan to private collection), Private Collection, Feb 2011–Aug 2011
Referenced in 1 publication
Jason Smith, Unhomely, (illus.).