Gordon Bennett

Ask a Policeman


In Tate Modern

Level 3: A Year in Art: Australia 1992

Level 3: A Year in Art: Australia 1992
Gordon Bennett 1955–2014
Etching on paper
Image: 195 × 148 mm
Presented by Leanne and Caitlin Bennett in memory of and admiration for Gordon Bennett 2019

Display caption

Bennett intentionally creates ambiguity in this print, leaving the viewer to reflect on issues of Black deaths in police custody and suicide. In Australia, these disproportionately affect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Bennett raises questions about the culpability of police in his annotation ‘Place rope around neck and pull – if you need help, ask a policeman’. The area of black suggests the black square painted by Kazimir Malevich, continuing Bennett’s line of enquiry around the nature of abstraction and whether it is possible to transcend cultural context.

Gallery label, July 2021

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