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Philip Wright (°1956, Perth, Australia) is an artist who mainly works with photography. In parodying mass media by exaggerating certain formal aspects inherent to our contemporary society, Wright seduces the viewer into a world of ongoing equilibrium and the interval that articulates the stream of daily events. Moments are depicted that only exist to punctuate the human drama in order to clarify our existence and to find poetic meaning in everyday life.
His photos are saturated with obviousness, mental inertia, clichés and bad jokes. They question the coerciveness that is to be derived from the more profound meaning and the superficial aesthetic appearance of an image. By merging several seemingly incompatible worlds into a new universe, he makes works that can be seen as self-portraits. Sometimes they appear idiosyncratic and quirky, at other times, they seem typical by-products of quasi-American superabundance and marketing.
His works bear strong political references. The possibility or the dream of the annulment of a (historically or socially) fixed identity is a constant focal point. By emphasising aesthetics, he uses a visual vocabulary that addresses many different social and political issues. The work incorporates time as well as space – a fictional and experiential universe that only emerges bit by bit.
His works sometimes radiate a cold and latent violence. At times, disconcerting beauty emerges. The inherent visual seductiveness, along with the concision of the exhibitions, further complicates the reception of their manifold layers of meaning.
Philip Wright currently lives and works in Melbourne where he makes up this shit.