Mike Parr was one of the small group of conceptual artists that formed Inhibodress in Sydney in the early 1970s. It was a time when radical artists around the world were in contact with each other, sharing ideas and organising events, although the infrastructure was not yet in place for the incorporation of the avant-garde into the institutions of art. It was also a time when artists world-wide were politicised by Vietnam and the temperature of their work was often intense. Against this background Parr travelled to work in Europe, where he came to know many of the leading conceptualists along with members of Fluxus and the Vienna Aktionists group in Austria.
Although his work is incredibly diverse - performance and body art, drawing, printmaking, text-works, film, staged photography, minimal sculpture and figurative bronzes - the underlying structures remain the same. His 'Self-portrait' project is one that attempts to map the interactions of mind and body, the conscious and the unconscious. It is not a solipsistic search for the self but rather an attempt to explore the human condition and how the personal informs the political. The basis of all these forms is performative; since the inception of the genre in the 16th century, self-portraits have always been some kind of performance as the artist attempts to project his or her place in the world.
mixed media on 164 sheets of white gloss paper on cardboard
Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Gift of the artist 2014. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
Not on display
© Mike Parr
Shown in 1 exhibition
20th Biennale of Sydney, Carriageworks, 18 Mar 2016–05 Jun 2016