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"Everything must go" 2024

Wall text

Wall text

Keemon Williams 
Born 1999. Koa, Kuku Yalanji, and Miriam Mir.

Lives and works in Yuggera and Turrbal Country/Brisbane, QLD.

Pronouns: he/him.

 

"Everything must go" 2024

 

synthetic polymer paint with gold leaf on earthenware

 

Courtesy of the artist.

 

Using a camp aesthetic, Keemon Williams examines the consumptive capitalism of the Australian tourist industry and its role in propagating specific forms of national identities within colonised Australia. Williams focuses on the boomerang as a symbol of this, pointing to that issues of authenticity, commodification, and value that underscore concepts of nationhood.

 

On the wall hangs a large ceramic boomerang, brandishing the words ‘EVERYTHING MUST GO’—an exclamation commonly used on billboards or banners advertising large commercial sales. The theme of consumerism is reiterated by the slip casting technique used to create the sculpture, a process that allows identical shapes to be produced repeatedly using moulds. The finish, including gold leaf, adds to this effect—it catches the eye under the light, luring viewers towards it. Although overtly kitsch, flashy, and stamped with an advertiser’s maxim, Williams’s work is still recognisable as a boomerang, due to the cultural currency of the tool’s silhouette, so often invoked as a symbol of Australia. 

Replica or ‘fake’ boomerangs are regularly sold to and by non-Indigenous peoples in Australian and international tourist markets, framing Indigeneity as an object to buy, sell, and consume. Through this sculpture, Williams reclaims the boomerang as art-object, exposing the fickle nature of identity-building under capitalist colonial governance. 
 

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