Scratch An Aussie 2008 Review Film Studies Essay

In this essay I will be reexamining one of Richard Bells work from his picture Trilogy ( Imagining Victory, 2008-10 ) called “ Scratch An Aussie, ” 2008. I will be discoursing how Richard Bell beds complex issues by using interlacing narrations, a back and 4th drama or conflict, between autochthonal and White Australians that emphasises the state ‘s contradictory race political relations. I will besides look at the relationship his movie has to the subject of the Triennial: Last Ride in a Hot Air Balloon ( escapade and hazard pickings ) and what constructs, concerns and thoughts the creative person explores.

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In the picture “ Scratch an Aussie ” 2008, Australias ‘Bad Boy ‘ Richard Bell, overturns political and societal norms by masquerading as a black Sigmund Frued who psychoanalyzes and straight assults Australian Predjudice and racism, utilizing linguistic communication and entree afforded by the art universe. In one room, Bell exploits these immature white, blond, half bare, ‘Anglo ‘s ‘ in gold swimwears – like exotised others, surrounded by a black walled premises, with the show of an empty Macdonalds bit package, wine bottle and spectacless as as they complain to Bell about their loss of personal points ( iPods, house keys, favorite bag ) and portion their insecurities and and racialist gags.

In the 2nd room with it ‘s heavenly like snese, we see Bell lying on a cloud of Flokati tussocks while Gary Foley ( Australians Black Power leader ) attempts to analyse Bell and assist him come to footings with the job he is faced with from his clients – the ‘White Problem ‘ . These separate Sessionss are interwoven throughout the picture ( apparent in all three of his plants ) , juxtaposed with racialist gags about aboriginies and wordd association games the reveal unconcious Racism with the Australian Culture: If you ‘Scratch an ( white ) Aussie ‘ , Racism is merely beneath the surface.

Richard Bells other plants are of the same nature in which they all speak entirely about autochthonal Vs non-indigenous civilization analysing Australia. In his 2nd Video “ Broken English ” 2009 Bell investigates political relations inquiring Why aboriginies appear to miss vision for their hereafter. Bell, ( 2002 ) states “ That the deficiency of Aboriginal input into countries of concern is continually overlooked has created that experiencing that the civilization is being stolen, etc ” . He approaches rich, white and celebrated white common people in the ope populace questiong them about Aboriginies in Australia ( Do Aboriginies hold a just spell in thid state? Do you think Australia was peacefully settled? ) and besides disputing them about autochthonal political relations which end in dismissal consequences. Bell, ( 2002 ) besides states “ The existent job arises out of the very nature of Western Art. Westerners need to screen and categorize everything in order to do sense of the World. That they do so so in an ethnocentric mode is academic. The universe of music is non dominated by Western Classical music – different manners stand aboard each other with extended cross-fertilization from different civilizations. Not so in ocular art ” . This picture is a development from the first ( ‘Scratch and Aussie ” ) because Bell puts both the ‘ White Folk ‘ and the Aboriginies on the topographic point, in a 1 on one interview inquiring truly awkward inquiries doing them experience intimidated, where as in Scratch an Aussie everything is staged except Bell charater who remains as himself, working the blond Anglo ‘s bear downing them $ 1000 an hr to speak about their insecurities and racialist gags. Bell, ( 2004 ) says in his theorem “ The most affectional issue to originate out of Aboriginal Art is the “ E ” word. No – non ecstasy. Exploitation. Despite or in-spite of the Aboriginal Art Centre system, development of Aboriginal creative persons has proliferated. In fact development has become an art signifier that is so adept that it is thoroughly meriting of an ISM. I give you Exploitationism ” .

“ The subject of the 4th Auckland Triennial looks at the impulse towards escapade and hazard in art today. The rubric Last Ride in a Hot Air Balloon provokingly suggests that the adventuresome urge is itself in an epoch of transmutation. By deduction, it directs a inquiry towards our broader society: how do we use escapade and what degree of hazard do we let for? It besides describes the frequently romantic attractive force to signifiers of escapade in art. Equally, this metaphor expresses an creative person ‘s desire to populate a assumed position, while postulating with the propinquities of life and civilization. ” ( Last Ride in a Hot Air Balloon: 4th Auckland Triennial, n.d. )

Equally much as Id like to hold that Bells “ Scratch an Aussie ” movie has a clear relationship to the subject ‘4th art tercentennial: Last Ride in a Hot Air Balloon, I would hold to differ. It wholly devoids escapade and hazard pickings, the ‘Listener ‘ says “ … the 4th art tercentennial is more of a Sunday amble than a rackety drive. The rubric Last drive in a Hot Air Balloon alludes to gamble and put on the line taking. But merely as the last Triennial was called turbulency, without being turbulent, this one is wholly barren of hazard, either curatorial or artistic. The plants are from all around the universe but few allow you to drift above it. ” ( “ Riding the Lead Balloon, ” 2010 ) , in add-on you could state there is some what a little hazard in which his art work non being executed decently and being seen by the populace as violative and a jeer to Bells heritage and state, nevertheless, Bells agreement of adding the blunders towards the terminal, his contrary axial rotation playing, unconcious sarcasm and executing made this piece a success. “ The picture is prosecuting to watch, partially because of the amusing accomplishments of Bell and Foley and partially because of the directorial manner, which allows the white histrions to give public presentations that are every bit much a coaction with the originative procedure as the natural stuff for it. If their functions had been constructed as stereotypically hateful bigots the consequence might hold been a instead boring and didactic piece of film. As it is, their cheerful improvising makes the characters they play seem toxicant, but truly instead Sweet. ” ( Morrell, 2009 ) .

Although he exploits these wretched, half bare barbarians – they fire back with racialist gags. Bell asks “ What do you name a Lamington? ” One blonde miss responds, “ An Abo in a snowstorm ” . He so goes on to play word association game, Bell says “ White ” , she responds “ Pure ” , Bell says “ Dirty ” , she replies with no vacillation “ Abo ” . As mentioned by art critic and conservator Morrell ( 2009 ) “ And it gets worse when the gags start winging. All this should be tormenting to see and hear, but it ‘s presented as frolicing amusement. If his patients are anything to travel by, it seems extremely improbable that White Australians will of all time accomplish rapprochement with the autochthonal people or be cured of their sightlessness to what they should truly be sorry for. They merely dont acquire it. Dr.Bell, nevertheless, is absolutely happy about that. He doesnt desire them to acquire better, He wants them to maintain coming back to him so he can maintain bear downing them… raising money to purchase back what White Australians took off from him ” .

Although there was no escapade and hazard taking apparent in the movie, I chose this piece for the chief ground as I felt this connexion to Bells message, in add-on, because this work has Bell “ lodging it to you ” . Overlooking the temper and bad playing, Bells playful small movie files off many political messages, even though defying laughter is impossible, his movie is non intended to mock or pique but simply to inform us, inform non merely the art universe but the wider community of issues he raises and where Aboriginies stand in THEIR state. “ Since that critical minute, when our leaders decided that we would last and that we would digest, we have learnt new ways of keeping cognition and pass oning our narratives to others. We have besides learnt much about the universe beyond our ain tribal lands and we have learnt that there is much power out at that place – a power that is greater than the blood-lust of the white work forces who still want to run us. That is why we write, that is why we dance, that is why we make movies and act on phases – and that is why we paint ” ( Watson, 2001 ) .

In decision this movie submerges viewing audiences in a amorality filled universe. Richard non merely analyzes the universe, but his work besides embodies it. He plays with the Anglos in attmept to confound the political relations within the art, with the political correct. Rub an Aussie non merely shows us how easy he can work these common stereotyped Australian work forces and adult females but it excessively argues “ that the amoral universe it recreates is the 1 originally brought Forth on the Australian continent by white colony ” ( Morrell, 2009 ) . Bell doesnt make this point excessively obvious in the work because this will do it a straightforward proclaim for “ western white common people ” to cognize how to travel on experiencing guilty. Alternatively, he provokingly turns this into a merriment playful small movie instead than it being judgemental.

Pilimi Manu

Watson. S. ( 2001 ) . Voices of the Land Denied, Dreamtime: ZeitgenAA¶ssische Aboriginal Art/The Dark and The Light. Catalogue.

Morrell. T. ( 2009 ) . Rub an Aussie. Retrieved May, 1, 2010, from

Bell. R. ( 2002 ) . Bells Theorum Aboriginal art – It ‘s a white thing! . Retrieved May 9, 2010, from hypertext transfer protocol: //

Carroli. L. ( 2002 ) . Open Hearted, Open Handed, Open Minded. Retrieved May 7, 2010, from hypertext transfer protocol: //

Butler. R. ( 2002 ) . I Am non regretful, Richard Bell out of context. Retrieved May 7, 2010, from hypertext transfer protocol: //

Last Ride in a Hot Air Balloon: 4th Auckland Triennial ( n.d. ) . Retrieved May 9, 2010, from hypertext transfer protocol: //

Ride in a Lead Balloon ( 2010 ) . Retrieved May 7, 2010, from

Giford. S. ( 2010, March 7 ) . The New Zealand Herald, p. A13.


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