Melbourne

Mike Parr

City Art Gallery

Mike Parr first achieved notoriety in the early ’70s as a performance artist whose works involved tests of endurance and self-mutilation. Though the themes now seem familiar, the way Parr explored his relationship with an audience––shocking or trapping them into an often brutal complicity––had considerable impact. In one performance, the loss of innocence was equated with the artist’s childhood loss of an arm. Parr exorcised that trauma by hacking off an imitation limb before a horrified audience. For the last few years Parr has been creating a voluminous series of self-portraits, drawn on huge sheets of paper; the artist characteristically presents himself as twisted, bent, and anamorphically distorted. Parr has by now achieved remarkable fluency and dexterity; he seems able to draw himself in any way he wishes. Over the last 12 months, he has collaborated with printer John Loane on

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