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Hood Museum of Art
Dartmouth College
Hanover, NH 03755

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Crossing Cultures

The Owen and Wagner Collection of Contemporary Aboriginal Australian Art at the Hood Museum of Art


Destiny Deacon, Ku Ku/Erub/Mer, born 1957

Last Laughs
1994, printed 2004
Light jet print from Polaroid original, ed. 3/15
Promised gift of Will Owen and Harvey Wagner; EL.2011.60.65
© 2012 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VISCOPY, Australia

Throughout her career, Destiny Deacon has created a rich archive of cosmopolitan Aboriginal people who live on the edges of the city but have been conceptually filtered out of the quintessential Australian space of the quarter-acre backyard block. For her, Aboriginality is inextricably linked to these urban spaces, and she speaks out against the reflexive thinking that renders Aboriginal people invisible. The majority of Aboriginal people actually live on the eastern seaboard of Australia in large cities and towns, but this urban reality is only loosely embedded within the national consciousness. In Last Laughs, a multiethnic trio of women, looking like the day after the night before, laughs conspiratorially at a private joke. They appear loud, brash, and confident and embody in this photograph that wonderful human quality of being able to laugh at oneself and be completely oneself with others.

Last Updated: 8/17/12