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Paul Mumme

b. 1984

In Paul Mumme’s Earth Mover [2006] the artist pulls valiantly on a rope that’s secured firmly to the earth. Dressed in a suit and tie and sporting highly polished black shoes – a costume he wears in many of his videos - Mumme strains at the impossible task, immaculately dressed, yet comically pathetic. In Man with Umbrella [2005] the artist is seen up to his waist in a swimming pool holding an umbrella over his head as rain pelts down, while in The Hero [2005] he squirts kitchen cleanser onto a raging fire. Mumme’s video work explores the hinterland of the visual gag, finding bleak existential humour in deadpan cartoons.  For Flight [2007] Mumme holds the controls of a remotely-controlled plane that strains on a rope attached to the artist’s leg. In a tightly composed single shot Sprinkler with Buckets [2007] revisits Mumme’s favorite tropes, but removing the artist in favor of a minimalist composition of blue buckets and a yellow water sprinkler.

The immaculate formalist composition of Mumme’s single shot videos are impressive, recalling the work of narrative photographers such as Boyd Webb and Gregory Crewdson, and Mumme, dressed in his suit and tie, has a look that invokes the glossy precision of fashion photography. Yet this stylish visual vocabulary comes into collision with the absurdity of the performances, static moments of comedy Zen. Mumme meanwhile is subtly playing with our expectations. In Earth Mover it is not immediately obvious that Mumme has altered the flow of the shot, smoothly shifting back and forth. While it appears the artist is shifting his weight he is actually being “rocked” by forces outside the physical limits of his actions. In Hero, the flames of the bonfire lick up and then down again, while in Man with Umbrella, rain water streams off the umbrella into the pool, and then spirals back up again. Mumme’s videos exist in an uncomfortable time outside time, the performer stuck in an exemplary moment while the audience is cut adrift from narrative closure. An exhibition of Mumme’s work in 2006 exhibition was aptly titled Time Memorial.


Andrew Frost
Other solo exhibitions 

2010  Born To Succeed, Alleyway109 – Metro Arts, Freerange 2010, Brisbane City Council
2010  Here We Go, From This To This, Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery, Australia
2009  EVERYTHING AT ALL, Independent Exhibitions Brisbane, Shop 29, TCB Arcade, Fortitude Valley, Australia.
2008  Makeshift, The Blkmrkt Project, Southport, Australia.
2007  Stasis Quo, Queensland Centre for Photography, Bulimba, Australia.
2006  Time Memorial, Metro Arts, Brisbane, Australia.

Other group exhibitions 

2010  Dream Home, Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney, Australia
2010  Launch, Clayton Utz Lawyers, Riparian Plaza, Brisbane, Australia
2010  Bound, Flying Arts Regional Touring Exhibition with Craig Cole, Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery, Toowoomba, QLD,         Australia.
2010  Brave New World, Queensland Centre for Photography, South Bank, Australia.
2010  Synchronicity: Queensland Contemporary Photography, Redcliffe City Art Gallery, Australia.
2010  Photo LA 2010, Santa Monica Civic, Santa Monica, California, USA.
2009  Other World Square, World Square, Art and About – Sydney Public Art Festival, Sydney, Australia.
2009  New Skin:  Contemporary Queensland Photomedia, Queensland Centre for Photography, South Bank, Australia.
2008  Chalk Reindeer 2008, Chalk Horse Gallery, Sydney, Australia.
2008  Launch: 2008 Clayton Utz Traveling Scholarship, Finalist Exhibition, Metro Arts, Brisbane, Australia.
2008  Memoirs: Selected Photographs from the Daryl Hewson Collection, The Studio, State Library of Queensland.
2008  Greatest Hits/Previously Unreleased Tracks, University Art Gallery, University of Sydney.
2007  The Thiess Art Prize 2007, DELL Gallery, QCA South Bank, Brisbane, Australia.
2007  To be confirmed…, ARC Biennial Exhibition, QUT Art Museum, Brisbane.
2007  Gadens Top Ten, Gadens Lawyers Offices, CBA Building, Brisbane, Australia.
2007  Flying Arts Regional Art Award, Brisbane and Townsville, Australia.
2007  Young Brisbane Artists 2007, Metro Arts, Brisbane, Australia.
2007  Greatest Hits/Previously Unreleased Tracks, Touring exhibition, Umbrella Studio, Townsville, Australia.
2007  Figuratively Speaking, The Block, QUT Kelvin Grove, Brisbane, Australia.
2007  Film Flam, Canberra Contemporary Art Space, Canberra, Australia.
2006  Flying Arts Regional Art Award, Raw Space Galleries, Brisbane, Australia.
2006  [V3], Cultural Forecourt, QPAC, South Bank, Brisbane, Australia.
2006  Greatest Hits/Previously Unreleased Tracks, Institute of Modern Art, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane,     Australia.
2006  The Churchie Emerging Art Award, Brisbane, Australia.
2006  Extract – Environments: Real and Imagined, Metro Arts, Brisbane, Australia.
2006  Fresh Cut 2006, Institute of Modern Art, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane, Australia.

Awards, collections 
Awards 2010 “Launch – Clayton Utz Travelling Art Scholarship”, Finalist. 2009 “Moreton Bay Regional Art Awards”, Best Local Artist. 2007 “The Thiess Art Prize 2007”, Finalist. 2007 “Bank of Queensland Youth Art Acquisition”, Flying Arts Regional Art Awards. 2007 “Pine Rivers Art Award”, 1st prize – Photography and Acquisitions. 2006 “The Churchie Emerging Art Award”, Recipient and Highly Commended. Collections The State of Queensland Moreton Bay Regional Council Bank of Queensland Gadens Lawyers Queensland Centre for Photography The Daryl Hewson Collection

Catalogues and other published works 

“To be confirmed…” ARC Biennial Exhibition Catalogue, Essay by Simone Jones, QUT, p. 68, 69.
“Greatest Hits – Previously Unreleased Tracks”, Exhibition Catalogue, Essay by Vanessa McRae, IMA.
“Gadens Top Ten”, Exhibition Catalogue, Essay by Benjamin Milton Hampe, Positive Solutions.
“Figuratively Speaking”, Exhibition Catalogue, Essay By Simone Jones, QUT.
“Humour, Role Playing and Beyond”, Exhibition Catalogue, Essay by Gordon Craig, QCP.
“Time Memorial”, Exhibition Catalogue, Essay by Holly Arden, Metro Arts.
“Extract – Environments: Real and Imagined”, Exhibition Catalogue, Essay by Heidi Von Kistowski, p.10.
“Chimera”, Catalogue of Fine Art Graduates, Griffith University Press, p. 53.
“Fresh Cut 2006”, Exhibition Catalogue, Institute of Modern Art.

Critical reviews and media coverage

“Staying Mumme”, Eyeline, By Adam Geczy, Issue 73, 2011, p.23-27
“Vivian Ziherl Talks to Paul Mumme”, ‘Independent Press’, Interview, Number One, Summer 2009, pp. 20
“Stranger than Fiction: Memoir and narrative in photographs from the Daryl Hewson Collection”, ‘Art Lines’, By Louise Martin-Chew, Issue 2, 2008 (June – August), p.48, 49.
“The QCP: ongoing analysis and a constant receptivity: An Interview with Maurice Ortega”, ‘Art Monthly Australia’, By Adam Geczy, Issue 208, April 2008, p. 26.
“The Zen Pen” Television Interview and Video Screening, ‘Briz 31’ July 17, 2006.
“Grounds For Hope In The Absurd”, By Rosemary Sorensen, ‘The Courier Mail’, June 20, 2006, p. 57.
“Art to Lunch” Radio Interview, ‘4zzz’, 102.1 FM, June 11, 2006.
“Fast-Forwarding His Career”, By Rosemary Sorensen, ‘The Courier Mail’, May 20, 2006.
“Fresh Cut”, By Dan Evans, ‘Scene’, Issue 629, February 22, 2006, p. 38.
“Spotless Minds”, By Phil Brown, ‘Brisbane News’, Issue 577, March 8-14, 2006, p. 31.
“Fresh Cut 2006″, By Michele Helmrich, ‘Machine’, Issue 1.4, pp. 15 – 16.
“Paul Mumme – Video Artist”, Interview by Lisa Greenaway,

Other events 

Artist talks and lectures

2010  Australian Centre for Photography, for Dream Home, Sydney, Australia
2010  Recliffe City Art Gallery, for Synchronicity, Redcliffe, Australia.
2007  Metro Arts, for Young Brisbane Artists 2007, Brisbane, Australia.
2007  QUT Kelvin Grove, for Figuratively Speaking, Brisbane, Australia.
2006  Cultural Forecourt, for V3, Brisbane, Australia.
2006  Pine Rivers State High School, Strathpine, Queensland, Australia.
2006  Metro Arts, for Time Memorial, Brisbane, Australia.
2006  Institute of Modern Art, for Fresh Cut, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane, Australia.


2007  Film Flam, Canberra Contemporary Art Space, Canberra, Australia.
2006  Passage – Sam Smith, Raw Space Galleries, Brisbane, Australia.
2006  Domestic Violence – Adam Geczy, Raw Space Galleries, Brisbane,  Australia.

Earth Mover
Earth Mover, – from Earth Mover, via YouTube 
Man with Umbrella
Man with Umbrella, – from Man with Umbrella, via YouTube 
The Hero
The Hero, – from The Hero, via YouTube 
Flight, – from Flight, via YouTube 
Sprinkler with Buckets
Sprinkler with Buckets, – from Sprinkler with Buckets, via YouTube