Tracey Moffatt

Museum of Contemporary Art, Australia

Back in 1992, in a note to an overly earnest museum curator, Tracey Moffatt wrote: “As an artist, I have never been on a mission to educate. If people are racist, sexist, homophobic or out of step with issues I say bad luck. Let them stay dumb. Art exhibitions do not aid in correcting prejudice, not a bit.” Moffatt’s best works—the unforgettable twenty-five photographs that compose the series “Up in the Sky,” 1997, first shown at her Dia Center for the Arts survey that year, and her earlier, breakthrough “Something More,” 1989—are clear-sighted, bleak, and luminously global in conception. They disavow any sense of a regional celebration of place and evade the antiseptic link between redemptive art and identity that the unfortunate curator had wanted to establish. Even so, Moffatt’s photographs and films focus on interracial tension and tragic, cinematic love—grand ethical allegories about

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and receive the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the September 2004 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.