Michael Cook's Invasion is an ambitious photographic series by renowned Bidjara artist Michael Cook that re-imagines Australia’s colonial history and First Nations’ resistance in a fantastical vision of sci-fi proportions. In a distinct role reversal, the colonised become the invaders with colossal creatures, UFOs and laser shooting fembots wreaking havoc and inciting fear and panic in the iconic streets of London; the epicentre of colonial empire-building and the heart of British cultural identity.
Months in production and featuring a cast to rival a small film, each cinematic scene is carefully constructed through a painterly approach and layering of images. The series’ 1960s aesthetic references a time of important change in the civil and land rights of First Nations people as well as the spoofy tropes of B-grade horror and science-fiction which Cook skilfully commands to convey the shock of the first encounter with Europeans on Australian shores more than 200 years ago.
Through his tongue-in-cheek approach, Cook aims to unsettle grand narratives and disrupt ingrained belief systems and prejudices while re-imaging the contemporary reality of First Nations peoples and the impacts of Australia’s colonial past.
Listen to Clare Needham, Bendigo Art Gallery curator talks about Michael Cook's Invasion in The Burning World.
Take a detailed look at Michael Cook, Invasion (Laser girls), 2017. Inkjet print.
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