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Matthew Griffin

Aske  2007

cardboard, plastic, hair dryer, ping pong balls, paper, electronic sensor

dimensions variable

Museum of Contemporary Art, donated through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program by Henry Ergas, 2009


About the Artwork

Aske is an interactive work that responds to human presence with unexpected and alarming action. It is constructed from a cardboard cylinder topped with a picture of a face from which the eyes have been cut. When a visitor approaches, bloodshot ping-pong ball eyes shoot wildly out of the empty sockets. Determinedly lo-tech, the work is powered by a hairdryer and prompted by a movement sensor.

Matthew Griffin’s preference is to make pieces quickly with the dynamics of particular exhibition spaces in mind. In his practice, he works with a range of materials and found objects that give him the flexibility to exhibit outside the gallery system in less orthodox spaces such as artist-run initiatives and in private houses. A conceptual artist with a punk sensibility, Griffin brings a radical sense of humour to contemporary, pop and subcultural forms, thereby critiquing the role of art and the ‘art world’ – metaphorically banging his head against their limitations in works that riff on jokes, puns and art-world references.

I enjoy grunge, vulgarity, hard-core punk, sure. But the thing still has to work … you can always play with things in new ways, making work that’s fun and funny. Even sometimes wondrous.

Matthew Griffin quoted in Edward Colless, ‘Punk’d’, Australian Art Collector, no.42, October/December 2009, p.124.

Matthew Griffin

– About the artist

Born 1976 Bendigo, Victoria. Lives and works Brazil.

Matthew Griffin’s practice incorporates a punk aesthetic of scavenged materials haphazardly constructed into riotous installations and objects that hover between tomfoolery and anarchism.

Griffin’s work has been shown in The Financial Report, Artspace, Sydney (2013); On top of the world: Flags for Melbourne and unMagazine, part of Melbourne Now, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (2013); Tele-Vision Eyes, Penrith Regional Gallery, Sydney (2010); New 09, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne (2009); Laughing in a Foreign Language, Hayward Gallery, London (2008); and Primavera, MCA, Sydney (2006).

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