RICHARD ORJIS | Headcount | Enjoy Gallery

RICHARD ORJIS' now iconic work "Flower Idol" is featured in "Headcount" opening tonight at ENJOY in Wellington and running till December 14th.

Curated by Ann Shelton and Alice Tappenden, "Headcount" comprises works by a group of contemporary artists using photo...graphy: Peter Madden, RICHARD ORJIS, Greg Semu and Christian Thompson. All four artists have worked in the Pacific, or with Pacific themes, and in various ways have engaged the baroque and its iconographies. "Headcount" uses the theories of Mieke Bal’s Quoting Caravaggio: Contemporary Art, Preposterous History, as one starting point to consider how the quotation of the Baroque can influence our interpretations of artworks in both the past and the present.

The visual and ideological similarities between the selected works, and the affinities they share with the Baroque period, are striking. Utilising foreshortening, Baroque figures often appear from deep, black backgrounds to project beyond the picture plane, collapsing the distance between our world and theirs and pulling the viewer into the work. Madden, Orjis, Semu and Thompson employ these visual devices in their works, translating them into the medium of photography.

All four artists make works that address the lands in which they live in a theatrical manner. They blend ritualistic, cult undertones of New Zealand, Pacific and Australian society with elements of the banal and the everyday, marring their semi-imagined lands with blood, colonisation, ritual, excess and sacrifice, in a way that re-visions the Baroque through a contemporary lens.
To enquire about works by RICHARD ORJIS: