Arlo Mountford: Deep Revolt

Curated by Gina Mobayed, Director of Goulburn Regional Art Gallery, ‘Deep Revolt’ is the first major solo exhibition by Melbourne-based artist, Arlo Mountford. Charting 15 years of practice – from 2003 to 2018 – the exhibition comprises large-scale interactive installations with video, animation and sound, and drawings and sculpture which impart the artist’s challenge to history, time and social norms using art historical references, pointing to how meaning can be twisted by representation.

Arlo Mountford, The Folly (detail), 2009, 3 channel digital animation, 4 channel sound, duration: 10 minutes. Courtesy the artist and Shepparton Art Museum, Victoria

Mountford reimagines both real and created spaces from the art world, digitally reconstructing the interiors of iconic museums or retracing the brushstrokes of European masterpieces well known and loved for centuries. This process allows him to experience art with fresh eyes and unpack its ongoing meaning and relevance in contemporary society.

Mountford uses a reductively simple figure to represent human beings in his work, a graphic often used to identify bathrooms or elevators on way finding signage. In works such as The Triumph (2010) Mountford introduces this familiar and generic human figure into the animated space of Brueghel’s The Triumph of Death (1562) along with Duchamp, Jake and Dinos Chapman, Yves Klein and Patti Smith, all of whom re-enact moments in their dazzling careers before being slaughtered just like everybody else. Mountford’s comic and haphazard interactions often end in disaster, leaving art, its hierarchical value systems, discourse and relevance open for debate.

Selected video works will trace a gradual distillation of his ideas. His recent work 100 years (2016), an animated chronology of appropriated artworks charting the evolution of abstraction since the ‘zero point’ of Malevich’s Black Square in 1915, will provide a fitting end point to the exhibition. The show promises to offer an amusing and thought provoking journey through the annals of art history.


A Goulburn Regional Art Gallery exhibition toured by Museums & Galleries of NSW.

Shepparton Art Museum
18 April to 10 June 2019

Geraldton Regional Art Gallery
27 July to 31 August 2019
Western Australia

Orange Regional Gallery
28 September to 1 December 2019
New South Wales

Western Plains Cultural Centre
8 February to 19 April 2020
New South Wales

Gympie Regional Gallery
29 April to 20 June 2020

Maitland Regional Gallery
22 August to 15 November 2020
New South Wales

Walkway Gallery
28 November 2020 to 7 February 2021
South Australia

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