Gordon Bennett

Tribal Object (After Lázló Lakner)


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 depicts an axe with a book in place of the blade. This book-turned-weapon may refer to how British settlers sought to erase the cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples by imposing their Western customs, including Christianity and the English language: a violence perpetrated through Bibles and dictionaries. Bennett refers to this as ‘the bludgeoning effect of cultural imperialism.’ This sketch is based on a sculpture by László Lakner, a Hungarian conceptual artist who made a series of books closed shut with rope, including one turned into a similar axe sculpture.

Gallery label, July 2021

Does this text contain inaccurate information or language that you feel we should improve or change? We would like to hear from you.

You might like