3rd 01SJ Biennial September 2010

A global festival of art on the edge

Picturing the Old People

Genevieve Grieves
Picturing the Old People
Five channel video, headphones
01SJ Biennial: Superlight
San Jose Museum of Art
May 10 – August 31, 2008

Picturing the Old People explores colonial portraiture that emerged from southeastern Australia in the nineteenth century.

As a descendant of the Worimi-Kattang nation of New South Wales, Australia, Grieves creates narratives that expose the practice of colonial photography as both factual and fantastical. Five video screens reinterpret a collection of colonial Australian portraits. Originally, these portraits represented ideas and beliefs about Indigenous people, ranging from the “noble savage” to the desirable, “exotic” woman, to the notion of neglected children. Here, the realities of the Aboriginal subjects in southeastern Australia in the 19th century are re-imagined to explore possible emotions underlying these artifacts.