Exhibition: Raskols and Sing-Sing – Stephen Dupont
Jack Bell Gallery
26th March – 25th April 2010
In February the Australian photographer, Stephen Dupont, was awarded the 2010 Robert Gardner Fellowship in Photography by Harvard University’s Peabody Museum, through which, under the project title, Guns and Arrows: The Detribalization of Papua New Guinea, he will continue his photographic documentation of the dramatic changes that Papua New Guinea is undergoing.
As his new exhibition at the Jack Bell Gallery, Raskols and Sing-Sing, demonstrates globalisation is impacting heavily on the fabric of the traditional Melanesian society. The exhibition features photographs from the six years he has already spent documenting these changes, which include the recasting of tribal society into an urban proletariat and the effects of violence and lawlessness in Port Moresby, in addition to the westernization of traditional society in the Highlands. Raskols and Sing-Sing provides not only an in-depth study of cultural erosion but also a celebration of an ancient people. It is, as Dupont says, “a reflection and a meditation on a unique place, and it may also be seen as a warning for other, seemingly more ‘secure’ cultures.”
He continues, “this body of work will counter stereotypical myths of Papua New Guinea with honest representations of the people, their culture and identity. It is an attempt to relate the experience of communities that would otherwise just disappear, people at the bottom of a half ruined country.”