We’re excited to announce our next major exhibition – ‘male//chair’ – by Melbourne artist garrie maguire. This photographic exhibition will show in the Pride Gallery as part of VPC’s visual arts program from March 6 to April 28, 2024.

This photographic exhibition employs a simple set up, where each individual sits stripped of conventional gender or status signifiers, with a red kitchen chair. The camera serves as the audience, capturing the essence of each participant’s raw presentation. No names, no identities—just pure expression. This project aims to shift the power dynamic, allowing each participant to craft their own narrative, presenting themselves to you, the viewer, in their truest form. Through these images, garrie hopes to provide the viewer with glimpses into interpretations of maleness that occupy this city.

“I like a simple brief and allowing many to fulfil it. This project has taught me how males project themselves with their pose and poise ” – Artist, garrie maguire.

Acclaimed artist and Professor, Dr. Lisa Anderson was invited by garrie to write an essay about this exhibition. Dive into her reflections here.

Artist in Conversation

Embark on a journey into the heart of the male//chair exhibition with an artist talk featuring the photographer of the exhibition, artist garrie maguire. Join us on Sunday April 14, from 5pm – 6pm for an immersive 45-minute conversation, followed by a 15 minute Q&A session led by Angela Bailey, Visual Arts Curator.

About the Artist

garrie was born in Grafton, the son of a boiler maker who was bullied and marginalised due to his small build and Irish descent. Locally known as ‘Boxer’ because of his lack of physical stature. Similarly, garrie himself was of small build and possessed an artistic temperament. He has always been keenly aware of power dynamics and the performance of masculinity. Rebelling against societal norms, he pursued theological studies, completing half a Bachelor of Theology degree, which still influences his theoretical approach. His focus lies on humanity over superficiality, advocating for the recognition of every man, not just those endorsed by the media. His quest to understand masculinity intensified after unsuccessful attempts to conform to heterosexual norms.

Finding solace in the gay community, garrie began creating exhibitions that challenged conventional ideals of desirability and representation. His exhibitions, touring Australia and internationally, showcased men of diverse abilities, ethnicities, and builds as equals.

In 2011, he graduated from RMIT with a Research Master’s degree, further exploring themes of masculinity by examining the conceptual frameworks of Chinese and Australian cultures. Subsequently, he participated in artist residency programs at Red Gate Gallery and Three Shadows Photographic Art Centre in Beijing, immersing himself in the local arts scene. This experience reinforced his belief in the importance of shifting away from Western European and North American perspectives in photography towards a North-South axis, encompassing Australia through Asia, and viewing photography in these regions on its own terms.

garrie has returned to Melbourne, continuing to challenge conventional thinking and pose uncomfortable questions about societal structures.