Brook Andrew is an interdisciplinary artist who examines dominant narratives, often relating to colonialism and modernist histories. Through museum and archival interventions, he aims to make forgotten stories visible and offer alternative choices for interpreting history in the world today. Apart from drawing inspiration from vernacular objects and the archive he travels internationally to work with communities and various private and public collections.
Most recently Brook presented Ahy-kon-uh-klas-tik, an interrogation of the Van Abbemuseum archives in Holland, which re-imagines a different world timeline alongside his own archive curated by Nick Aikens. In 2017 he also created an intervention into the collection of the Musée d'ethnographie de Genève, Switzerland; and The Right to Offend is Sacred opened at the National Gallery of Victoria, a 25-year reflection on his practice.
In 2016 as a Photography Residencies Laureate at the musée du quai Branly, Paris, Brook created the series The Resident and The Visitor which investigated the relationship between the colonial photographer and the sitter. Additionally, with his collaborator Trent Walter, Standing By Tunnerminnerwait and Maulboyheener was installed adjacent Melbourne Gaol. This is Australia’s first official government supported memorial to the frontier wars.
In 2014 Brook worked closely with the collections of the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Museo de América and Museo Nacional de Antropología for the exhibition Really Useful Knowledge curated by WHW at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia. He created a rigorous and immersive installation, A Solid Memory of the Forgotten Plains of our Trash and Obsessions reflecting on Spanish, British and Australian history and colonialism. His recent installations and artworks in the context of history and the archive are also reflected in the artwork Ancestral Worship in Artist Making Movement, Asian Art Biennial, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts; and The Island for Artist and Empire at Tate Britain in 2015/16.
Brook Andrew curated TABOO in 2012/13 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney: a turning point in how indigenous and non-indigenous artists and themes are expressed, pigeonholed and determined through stereotyping in colonised societies.
His current research includes an ambitious international comparative three-year Federal Government Australian Research Council grant titled Representation, Remembrance and the Memorial. The project is designed to respond to the repeated high-level calls for a national memorial to Aboriginal loss and the frontier wars: www.rr.memorial.
Across October and November 2017, Brook will complete a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship, with the Smithsonian Institute, USA; and in 2018 present What’s Left Behind, a new commission for SUPERPOSITION: Art of Equilibrium and Engagement at the 21st Biennale of Sydney.