Hey, Hetero!

5/5 stars
Their kitschy advert-style artwork draws attention to heterosexual privileges that are otherwise taken for granted
Event review by Nine.
Published 12 December 2006

Heterosexuality, like whiteness, is so normalised in our society that it largely goes unnoticed: instead, it's the exceptions that stand out and get talked about. That's why, in this enlightened day and age, you still hear folk complaining that gay people 'flaunt it', or grumbling that there isn't a Straight Pride day. Not to worry! Downtrodden heterosexuals will feel a lot better about themselves and their place in the world when they view artist Deborah Kelly and photographer Tina Fiveash's 'Hey, Hetero!' exhibition. Their kitschy advert-style artwork draws attention to heterosexual privileges that are otherwise taken for granted. "Hey, hetero!" exclaims one of the posters, featuring a baby with arms outstretched on a bed of rose petals. "Have a baby," the text invites. "No national debate." Another poster features a real-life mixed-sex couple kissing in public: "You can do it with your eyes closed. No fear! No danger! No worries!" Kelly and Fiveash's rage extends beyond queer issues: they've also worked on the Australian website boat-people.org - the slogan 'We are all boat people' being a starting point in taking on the Australian government's inhumane treatment of refugees - and in both areas they have demonstrated an ability to poke fun whilst drawing attention to real and important issues that are often glossed over. As such, their energy is exciting and invigorating, reminding us to think critically about states of being that are all too readily normalised. [Nine]

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