Brook Andrew examines dominant Western narratives, specifically relating to colonialism, placing Australia at the centre of a global inquisition.
Apart from drawing inspiration from vernacular objects and the archive Andrew travels internationally to work with communities and private and public collections. Creating interdisciplinary works and immersive installations Andrew presents viewers with alternative choices for interpreting the world, both individually and collectively, by intervening, expanding and re-framing history and our inheritance.
Brook Andrew has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions at major institutions including Tate Britain; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte – Reina Sofia; Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul; Künstlerhaus, Vienna; Van Abbemuseum, The Netherlands; Smithsonian Institute, Washington D.C; Musée d’ethnographie de Genève, Switzerland; Negev Museum of Art, Be’er Sheva, Israel; Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; and the Jewish Museum, Berlin. He has worked with archival collections from significant museums including Museo de América, Madrid; Museo Nacional de Antropología, Madrid; Musée d’Aquitaine, Bordeaux; Royal Anthropological Institute, London; Museum of Archeology and Anthropology, Cambridge; Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford; and the Anthropology Department of the University of Vienna.
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.
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.
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, the public artwork Standing By Tunnerminnerwait and Maulboyheener was installed adjacent Melbourne Gaol. This is Australia’s first official government supported memorial to the frontier wars.
Most recently Brook curated an installation ‘Ahy-kon-uh-klas-tik’, an interrogation of the Van Abbemuseum archives and art collection in Holland, which re-imagines a different world timeline. In 2017 he also created ‘Room A’ a curatorial and art 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. He has also been awarded a prestigious three-year Federal Government Australian Research Council grant for 2016-2018. This project titled Representation, Remembrance and the Monument is designed to respond to the repeated high-level calls for a national memorial to Aboriginal loss.
Across October and November 2017, Brook completed a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship, with the Smithsonian Institute, USA; and in 2018 will present What’s Left Behind, a new commission for SUPERPOSITION: Art of Equilibrium and Engagement at the 21st Biennale of Sydney, of which he inited four creatives to exhibit in his sculptures.