What if Indigenous people were 96 percent of the Australian population and non-Indigenous people defined as the four percent?
Majority Rule, the latest collection from photographer Michael Cook, demonstrates his move into new artistic territory. These works are a departure from his previous style and aesthetic, and uses images to pose a direct question. He asks the viewer to speculate about an Australia where Aboriginal people are the majority.
Touching on the discriminatory nature of society, Cook uses the same Indigenous man multiplied over and over in each image to communicate his message, and paint a picture of a societal structure reversed. The numerous versions of the Aboriginal subject populate generic city locations: a train station tunnel, a vintage bus, iconic monuments and various city streets. Cook’s imagery challenges our ingrained belief systems, yet these images do not offer judgment - they are observational, asking questions without proffering any neat prescriptive conclusions.
Cook’s interest in the impact of Australia’s history on it’s original inhabitants comes into sharp focus with this series of heavily and intentionally choreographed images. It is a defining moment for a photographer who doesn’t shy away from investigation, both of self and of society.