June 29 – July 29, 2017

Roomsheet :: HERE

+ Artist and curator introduction, June 29 5:30pm-6pm
Discussion :: Reframing the Collection, July 15, 1-3pm, speakers: Matt Poll (Curator Indigenous Heritage and Repatriation Project, Macleay Museum, Sydney University Museums), Joan Ross (Exhibiting Artist), Taloi Havini (Artist).
+ Discussion :: The Politics of Portraiture, July 19, 6-8pm, speakers: Claire Monneraye (Curator, Australian Centre for Photography), Chris Jones (University of Sydney Museums), Maddie Cox (University of Sydney Museums), Cherine Fahd (Exhibiting Artist and Academic).

Portraits of Men begins with paintings and objects from the University of Sydney Union art collection, The University of Sydney art collection and the University of Sydney image archive.

These portraits of men – which represent a large proportion of portraits in the collections – adorn key spaces across the university, namely in The Great Hall, where graduate ceremonies are held. Rarely seen in mass outside this formal university context, the presentation of these portraits at Verge Gallery aims to create a space for questions of power, patriarchy and practices of portraiture and collection.

Portraits by contemporary artists Vincent Namatjira, Cherine Fahd, Abdul Abdullah, Joan Ross and Shannon Field slice through the formal portraits, presenting alternate histories and stories. These artists examine what portraiture can mean in a contemporary landscape, resisting dominant narratives, providing personal and political portraits of men.

This exhibition will be accompanied by two public programs, one will discuss the history of portraiture and the ways that technology has changed the accessibility of the portrait, the other will interrogate the collection and discuss the ways that histories and cultures are represented in institutional spaces.

Public Programs:: 

July 15, 1-3pm : Discussion :: Reframing the Collection
Matt Poll (Assistant Curator, Indigenous Heritage, Macleay Museum, Sydney University Museums), Joan Ross (Exhibiting Artist), more to be announced.

How can we use art collections in a contemporary context? Can this inclusion of the archive or the collection in to a current framework act as a tool to subvert power structures that are evident in collections and the institutions that hold them? How can we at once recognise the context of the collection while moving toward new ways of framing history, culture and power?

Join key speakers in a discussion that aims to unpack the problematic nature of the institution and collections held within them while sharing their own experiences and techniques for working within and reframing collections.

July 19, 6-8pm : Discussion :: The Politics of Portraiture
Claire Monneraye (Curator, Australian Centre for Photography), Chris Jones & Maddie Cox (University of Sydney Museums), Cherine Fahd (Exhibiting artist and academic).

In the setting of historical, contemporary and political portraits as presented in Portraits Of Men, join speakers in an overview of the history and current practice relating to portraiture. Speakers will be discussing the practice of commissioning and collecting portraits, how the invention of photography influenced portraiture, and how inversions of power and representation can occur now within the digital era.