Brook Andrew’s The Right to Offend is Sacred investigates political, cultural and social issues relating to people declaring they have the right to be bigots and express foolish/racist and clearly privileged points of view. The artwork enables a range of topics and dialogues to be explored relating to Indigenous culture, oppression and white privilege. The work is based on collages made during a residency the artist undertook in New York City in 2009. Brook Andrew’s The Right to Offend is Sacred extends upon the artist’s extensive print series Danger of Authority. The ostentatious background of the work is reminiscent of a wealthy home such as the Smith Family’s Bundoora Homestead. The text speaks of race relations – an issue that was explored in the recent exhibition ‘Re-visioning Histories’ at Bundoora Homestead Art Centre.
Brook Andrew is of the Wiradjuri people of New South Wales. An artist of considerable practice, his work often confronts and challenges cultural and historical perceptions that question conventional readings of the world. His diverse practice challenges stereotypical notions of history, identity and race, without apportioning blame or guilt. His current research includes an ambitious international comparative three year Federal Government Australian Research Council grant titled ‘Representation, Remembrance and the Memorial’ – a project designed to respond to the ongoing call for a memorial to Aboriginal loss and the frontier wars.