An image of Hairline crack

Julie Rrap

(Australia 1950 – )

Hairline crack

Location
Not on display
Further information

Born Julie Parr, Julie Rrap reversed her name to differentiate herself from her brother Mike. Her first body of work to be publicly exhibited was a major installation at Central Street Gallery in 1982, which comprised numerous photographs that took her many months in the studio to complete. She took a series of full-length, nude self-portraits and then in a subsequent series of photographs she portrayed herself gradually being revealed behind the self-portraits as she tore strips from them, a photographic striptease of the real and the represented. In others she burned the photographs, making an even more dramatic exposure. This photographic installation set the agenda for subsequent works in which Rrap substituted her body for images of women painted by male artists throughout art history.

In 1989 Rrap took up residency in Ghent in Belgium, where she stayed for five years. She exhibited often in Europe and mingled with some of the most adventurous artists of the time, many of whom also shared a strong emphasis on the body, which was very much in line with her own ideas. While photography remained a key to her work, Rrap experimented with other media, including sculpture and installation. In 1992 she returned to Australia to take part in the 9th Biennale of Sydney, ‘The boundary rider’. Her work at the time had strong bodily connotations, which in hindsight were relevant to the underlying theme of that biennale. The more apparent theme of borders included issues of identity and of investigating the boundaries of art and life, and this too fitted well with her interests.

The work she chose to present was ‘Hairline crack’, a striking example of one of the themes in her work: feminising minimalist objects. From a distance the black line on the wall appears as a minimalist sculpture in perspex, but on closer inspection it becomes apparent that it is human hair contained in a perspex tube. Even more provocative is the fact that the hair is escaping from its geometric container, an unruly excess which at one time made Rrap consider calling the piece ‘Bikini line’.

© Art Gallery of New South Wales Contemporary Collection Handbook, 2006

Year
1992
Media
Installation
Medium
Perspex and hair
Dimensions
Installation dimensions variable depending on number of sections installed. Each section 30.0 x 100.0 x 3.5cm. :
1-15 - 15 sections; 30 x 100 x 3 cm; each front sheet/tube of perspex
1-15 - 15 sections; 30 x 100 x 0.5 cm; each backing sheet of perspex
Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Credit
Purchased with funds provided by the Young Friends of the Art Gallery Society of New South Wales 1993
Accession number
15.1993
Copyright
© Julie Rrap