Last Year's Artist
Last Year’s Artist is a new creative project by Bindi Cole Chocka designed to help understand and resolve the profound change in her self-perception and social identity produced by a radical conversion to Christianity in later life. Through examining this experience and the resulting tensions through an artistic self-reflexive process using video and memes, Chocka uses creative practice as an instigator for personal, social and professional change.
Initially Chocka’s artistic practice focused on exploring her identity (particularly the Indigenous side), belonging and voice. Drawing from private experiences and beliefs, she used art as catharsis to process trauma and reconcile uncomfortable aspects of identity, all fueled by a passion for self-determination. From the onset her creative work and views as an artist have been regularly featured in mass media, considered as social commentary and contributed to public discourse beyond an art world audience. For Last Year’s Artist, Chocka deploys her new work directly into social and mass media to once again spread it broadly to all kinds of demographics and encourage public dialogue.
Historically and into the future, Chocka’s work allows us to understand the ways in which art might operate to reconcile personal and professional tension and discomfort while simultaneously connecting and contributing to public and social ideas that are taboo or controversial.
Last Year's Artist - where art, politics and faith collide.
The following memes accompany the above videos. They are a remake of an artwork from a series titled Not Really Aboriginal that I originally created in 2008. I used a racially charged visual cue (blackface) to turn myself, and some members of my family, into an Aboriginal stereotype indicating pride in my heritage. I still love my Aboriginal heritage, however I now disagree with defining myself through identity politics and intersectionality. I've changed and as a result, I'm remaking my own artworks into a series of memes. The original no longer represents who I am. Perhaps this artwork was never truly completed until now.
If you would like to see the original of this (with its 2008 artist statement), please click here.