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Fifteen artists reimagine Max Dupain's iconic 'Sunbaker' photograph.

It's been 80 years since Max Dupain took Sunbaker, maybe his most famous photo. To mark its anniversary, the Australian Centre of Photography has commissioned 15 artists to respond to the iconic image for a new exhibition titled Under the Sun. From February 18 to April 17, the 15 large-scale works will be on display at the State Library of NSW.

The exhibition is an exploration of what it means to be Australian, and a study of how our national identity has evolved since 1937. The artists offer contemplations and interpretations of Sunbaker from new perspectives, and influenced by diverse cultures, ethnicities and faiths.

Artist Nasim Nasr will produce a slow-motion video work at Culburra Beach — the same location where Sunbaker was shot. Nasr moved to Sydney from Iran as a young women — her work looks at beach culture through the tension of Eastern / Western eyes. Julie Rrap will cast a friend in bronze in the image's pose, and William Yang will revisit his beach clothing, and beach images archive.

"The 15 artists will not only interrogate the social and political implications embedded within this image but also challenge the status of this photograph in our visual culture," said curator Claire Monneraye. "Pushing the boundaries of the photographic medium, their works will expose the aesthetic complexities at play in discussions around collective identity."

The Sunbaker negative print, which lives at the State Library alongside the entire body of Dupain's work, will also be on display at the exhibition.

Published on February 20, 2017 by Jasmine Crittenden

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