About Face: Are you a boy or a girl?

Tamara Dean Luca and Aki 2016Acclaimed Australian artist Tamara Dean has partnered with art membership group, Contemporaries to present a one night only exhibition, About Face: Are you a boy or a girl? – her never-before-seen series of portraits of androgynous youths photographed in time-worn interiors, at a mystery Sydney location on Thursday 5 May 2016.

“Androgyny challenges our cultural conceptions of femininity and masculinity, representing a universal sense of humanity without gender defining the individual,” said Dean.

The intimate event will feature a number of the artist’s hauntingly beautiful works in an exhibition space divergent from the traditional gallery setting, reflective of the scenes captured in Dean’s photographs. Several of the photographed subjects will also be present at the event.

As with Dean’s 2015 Here and Now installation, there is a sensory component to the About Face series that aims to draw the viewer in to discover the portraits on a more intimate level. The surface of each print is infused with the perfume/scent worn by the individual in the photograph, inviting the viewer to lean in closely and participate in a multi-sensory experience.

“In About Face my aim was to extend conventional portraiture by adding a sensory layer in which to experience the works,” said Dean. “To reveal a little bit more about my subjects. There are so many subconscious signs which we read when we meet a person. These can include visual cues, their scent, the tone of someone’s voice.”

“These elements all add up to give us an experience of someone. By playing with this and employing each person’s scent into the works, I feel that it adds a further level of experience around the identity of my subjects,” Dean added.

Dean will speak about the new series and her artistic practice on the night in a conversation with host Owen Craven, curator for Urban Art Projects and former Editor of Artist Profile and Art Almanac magazines. The exact location of the Inner Sydney exhibition will remain secret until the day of the event.

Contemporaries is a membership group offering exclusive art experiences and money-can’t-buy access to intimate art world events. Presented by 10 Group, the program offers members a unique annual line-up of events and experiences for the socially curious, accessing the heart of Australia’s most unforgettable contemporary artists and locations. Membership is open to anyone interested in deepening their involvement in contemporary art.

Tamara Dean – About Face: Are you a boy or a girl?
Mystery Inner Sydney Location – Guests will receive address details via email and text prior to event
Date: Thursday 5 May 2016 – 6.30pm
Bookings: www.contemporaries.com.au

For more information about Tamara Dean and her work, visit: www.tamaradean.com.au for details.

Image: Tamara Dean, Luca and Aki 2016 (detail), pure pigment print on cotton rag, 75 x 100cm – courtesy the artist