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Playing the Man | An ART ON THE MOVE touring exhibition

Published on Sunday, 14 February 2021 at 11:51:00 PM

Childhood memories are the trigger for Graham Miller’s photographic series Playing the Man. 

The playful and humorous images are a celebration of football and a nostalgic look at the past. Referencing Scanlens bubble-gum football cards from the 1970s and 80s, as well as press images from the era, Miller recreates himself as boyhood football heroes to explore issues of masculinity, identity, and cultural difference. Compared to today’s highly stylised and groomed celebrities on Instagram and social media, football luminaries on cards from this period are refreshingly unmanicured. Larrikin grins, dishevelled hair, hammed up poses and indifferent photography coalesce into comical portraits which defy the revered status with which these players were held.Hard men look surprisingly soft. 

Millar emphasises the absurdity through the use of masquerade, using it as a strategy to question ingrained ideals of Australian masculinity and to comment on the difficulties of conforming to traditional notions of Austalianness growing up as a person of mixed heritage

An ART ON THE MOVE touring exhibition.

ART ON THE MOVE is supported by the State Government through the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries.

The Act-Belong-Commit Engagement Program presented by ART ON THE MOVE is funded by Healthway promoting the Act-Belong-Commit message.

Image Credit: Graham Miller, Ken Hunter, 1979, 2019. Courtesy the artist.

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