Mis-en-scene – new photographs by Unterhemd Weise

The Pot Room:  January 24th – March 28th, 2016

Unterhemd Weise is a photographer and musician now residing in Geelong.  After emmigrating with her family from Germany in 1960, Hemmy (as she is known to her friends) attended Belmont High School where she developed a love of photography and studied double bass with Fred Francis.

Working with symphony orchestras throughout Australia, and world orchestral tours, allowed Hemmy to indulge her photographic eye. Her first photography exhibition (The Conductor’s Baton), was held as part of the first Melbourne Festival (1986) in the gallery space at the Melbourne Arts Centre. It focused on conductors of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra taken over twenty years.  A feature was a series of photographs of Gian Carlo Menotti (1911-2007) composer and inaugural director of the Festival as guest conductor of the MSO.

Mis-en-scene contains two series of photograph – a tromp-l’oeil series of works inspired by the natural and industrial landscape of the Geelong region, and a political series The Peacemakers.

Following the death of Gough Whitlam, on October 21st 2014, Unterhemd Weise has begun a series entitled Giants and Mice. The first of these, GIANT I, will feature in Mis-en Scene. It marks some of the achievements of this great man in his short time as Prime Minister of Australia. The ‘mice’ of the series include those people who, over the years, have eroded the achievements of the Whitlam era through economic rationalism, the belief that ‘Life wasn’t meant to be easy’[1] and that the poor need to do the ‘heavy lifting’[2] so business can be strong. (Unterhemd Weise was a student protestor against the Vietnam War, and attended the Moratorium Marches in Melbourne in 1970.)

Giants I: Gough Whitlam
Giants I: Gough Whitlam

[1] Malcolm Fraser, Prime Minister of Australia, 1982

[2] Joe Hockey, Australian Federal Treasurer, pre-budget speech, 1st April, 2014

Unterhemd Weise is strongly influenced by the work of Marcel Duchamp and Max Ernst’s collages.

Unterhemd Weise is a stuperfictional pseudonym of Helen Lyth.

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Images from Unterhemd Weise, Form Follows Function series, 2014

Images from Unterhemd Weise, The Peacemakers series, 2014


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