Queensland-based photographer Michael Cook masterfully teases out the fictitious possibilities of familiar narratives. Over the last decade, he has produced photographic works that interrogate the legacy of colonisation and invite the viewer to experience the other side of the coin, roles in reversal and histories re-written.
‘Fake’, follows an Indigenous couple and their adopted child on a road-trip into the central Australian desert. Elements of Cook’s personal story are mirrored in the narrative, he was adopted at birth into a non- Indigenous family. Taking cues from high-end fashion and aspirational travel magazines, the couple in ‘Resort’ languish by a pool in designer clothes, their child carries a pet peacock. Using a reduced tonal palette, Cook creates a striking contrast between his subjects and the sparse background of central Australia.
"When I consider our obsession with material wealth, I realise that maybe what we really want are the things that Aboriginal culture has always valued – community, family and giving back".