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‘The Camera is a Dumb Recording Device’, Robert Rooney and the serial photographs in retrospect


In Christopher Nolan’s film Memento, 2000, the opening scene begins in reverse as a Polaroid photograph is vigorously shaken back out of exposure. It is a particularly apt opening for what is a highly structured film investigating the veracity of photographic images and the problems with constructing memories from them. The lead character suffers from acute memory loss and makes his way through life with an ever-growing archive of ‘evidence-photographs’ that record the people he meets, where he lives and various events which compose his past. The often humble nature of the photograph that is revealed in this film, as well as its very personal, mnemonic and autobiographic ties, provides a productive starting point for discussing the serial photographs taken by Melbourne-based artist Robert Rooney during the 1970s, especially in light of his claims regarding photography as a documentary process. While Rooney states that ‘the camera is a dumb recording device’, his use of Instamatic photographs to construct sequential images of or at particular sites would appear to constitute only part of his often very complex systems for creating works of art.1 Rooney, quoted in R. Lindsay, ‘Less than five hundred works in retrospect – Robert Rooney’. Notes on Robert Rooney, Project 8 (exh. cat.), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 1975, unpaginated.

In other words, Rooney’s picture making might be understood as the evidence of an idea that is the work of art, rather than the work itself. At times, Rooney’s work could also be seen as ambivalently autobiographical, and thus a somewhat narrative-driven collection or archive. While this does not reduce the serial photographs to the notion that all works of art are ultimately revealing of the people who make them, Rooney appears to explore the persona of ‘artist’ generally as well. The National Gallery of Victoria holds key examples of the artist’s systemic photographs including N.EW.S.,1975 (fig. 1), AM–PM: 2 Dec 1973–28 Feb 1974, 1973–74 (fig. 2), and Corners,1972 (fig. 3), which form the basis for an understanding of his serial photographic works as an archive.

It is worth noting that Rooney has left Melbourne only twice and that he has lived in the same street for almost his entire life.2 Rooney was born on 24 September 1937 and lived in Northcote until December 1939 when he moved to Broomfield Road, East Hawthorn. He still lives there at the time of writing. In 1980 Rooney went to Sydney to review the Archibald Prize, at Fred Williams’s suggestion. In 1983 he went to Canberra to review A Melbourne Mood: Cool and Contemporary Art at Daniel Thomas’s invitation. Robert Rooney, letter to Kate Rhodes, 22 August 2002, National Gallery of Victoria files. Like Andy Warhol (a figure with whom Rooney has important parallels), he has transformed his idiosyncrasies into the status of a persona. Rooney enjoys the fact that he has never travelled, as he says: ‘I rather like the idea that the art can come to me’.3 D. Thomas, ‘Melbourne modern: the art of Robert Rooney’, Art and Australia, vol. 34, no. 4, 1997, p. 479. From 1969 until 1981 Rooney more or less completely abandoned painting (a practice in which he was already well established) and instead took photographs with the simplest camera he could buy – a Kodak Instamatic.4 Rooney took photographs from 1969 to 1981 as part of his art practice, however, only the serial photographs are discussed here. These works span the years 1969–75, approximately. It is worth noting that from 1954 to 1963 Rooney used a Box Brownie camera to take photographs as references for his paintings, drawings and prints. He took ‘snaps’, dumb, self-consciously unartistic, commercially developed photographs of scenes from his familiar Melbourne, and exhibited them. As critic Benjamin Genocchio has written:

The incidental, in many ways, is the essence of snapshot photography, which could be described as a kind of peripheral vision, art at the edge of sight, or better, in sight at the edge of art. Snapshot photography reveals little in the way of technical mastery or the discipline of a profession.5 B. Genocchio, ‘Photography beside itself’, Photofile, no. 55, November, 1998, p. 16. According to Genocchio, snapshot photographs are scattered throughout the history of Australian art from the 1960s onwards and the most interesting developments occurred during the late 1960s and into the 1970s where there seems to have been an explosion of interest in the medium around the world (vernacular styles of photography originated in the nineteenth century). Many of those artists who took such photographs include Mike Brown, Sue Ford, Dale Frank, Tim Johnson, Jacky Redgate, Martin Sharp, Wesley Stacey, Brian Thompson and John Young. Contemporary Australian snapshots are characterised by a rawness and poverty of imagery, and include photo-artists such as Lyndal Walker and Alin Huma.

While Rooney enjoys the lack of technical mastery involved in such ‘poor’ or ‘low-energy’ picture-making, as revealed in his statements regarding the camera, the construction of his sequential works of art is by no means undisciplined or unprofessional.6 See L. Lippard, Six Years: The Dematerialisation of the Art Object from 1966–1972, New York, 1973. ‘Low-energy’ is a term used by the critic Lucy Lippard to describe semi-ephemeral works such as some photography and video art. Rooney’s collections of photographs are the result of extremely strict, self-regulated, self-focused and often complex systems of production. For example, a work such as AM–PM required the artist to ritually photograph his bed, morning and night, for three months. It is this self-reflexive quality of the serial photographs, and in particular works such as N.E.W.S., AM–PM and Corners, that reveals them as an autobiographical, strategic and therefore narrative- or documentary-motivated collections. Thus each serial photographic work, and Rooney’s serial photographic oeuvre, can be considered an archive in that it represents order, logic and a coherent accumulation of records. And Rooney’s claim that the camera is a dumb recording device might be understood as a play on the logic of photography and its formal and indexical qualities. Given its role as a medium that ‘frames’ information, Rooney knowingly declares ‘the camera often seemed to order the material itself’.7 Lindsay, Notes on Robert Rooney.

Other Australian artists such as Dale Hickey and Simon Klose are important points of reference here. Both were friends of Rooney, he photographed Hickey, and all three produced parodic forms of conceptual art, exhibiting ‘clumsy’, playfully systematic photographs during the early 1970s at Pinacotheca, which, until its recent closure, was in Melbourne. Hickey created a photographic catalogue of ninety ordinary, white-painted walls assembled in a small file-card box, 90 white walls, 1970 (fig. 4), while Klose and Rooney held an exhibition where each constructed a work in the style of the other artist. Such links reveal a strong milieu around Rooney, allowing us to see him as someone working much closer to the centre, rather than the periphery, of the art world. Rooney had international connections too. From 1971 until 1978 he regularly corresponded with the English-born, American-based artist Roger Cutforth who was also producing serial photographs. Rooney’s interest in the work of this artist may be measured by the fact that he curated an exhibition including Cutforth’s work and bought the Englishman’s Noon time-piece (April), 1969 (fig. 5), which had appeared in a 1969 exhibition at Pinacotheca with Mel Ramsden and Ian Burn.8 Rooney bought Noon time-piece (April) by Roger Cutforth in the mid 1970s. Noon time-piece (April), which was recently presented to the National Gallery of Victoria by Rooney, comprises a time piece, a location piece and a duration piece: thirty snaps of the New York sky taken every day at the same time, at the same place during April 1969. As Cutforth wrote of this work, ‘the separation of time and place from its original contours approximates the basis of a ‘landscape’ that exists between the idea and the real’.9 R. Cutforth, artist statement, Ian Burn, Roger Cutforth and Mel Ramsden (exh. cat.), Pinacotheca, August 1969, unpaginated. Like much of Rooney’s serial photographic practice, Noon time-piece (April) provides a mechanical reference for the real world.

Night and day: time and narrative as archive

At this point, a tension arises between Rooney’s enjoyment, as well as exploitation, of chance and his playful, idiot-savant public exterior when he claims that the ‘camera is a dumb recording device’. In such a statement, Rooney appears to suggest that his role as the producer of photographs is reduced to ‘seeing’; embodying the point-and-shoot rhetoric originally promoted by Eastman Kodak in the late 1880s. However, such a claim implies that Rooney is keenly aware of the camera as a mechanical tool which offers him the capacity to wholly control subject matter, framing, cropping, and importantly, the experience of duration in the works, through their repetition. Looking at the 176 individual photographs that comprise AM–PM, for example, the viewer goes through the ups and downs with Rooney of (what we imagine to be) his waking and retiring in a time-based way.10 The photographs that comprise AM–PM are taken from the head and foot of the bed, one after the other, mimicking Rooney’s waking and rising which emphasises time passing. The single-bed sheets and quilt change, the underwear on the pillow changes, and the blankets are better smoothed on some days than others.11 An extraordinary extension of this up-close-and-personal, day-by-day view of life in an image-based way is the multitude of webcams trained on individuals around the world. In a similar way to Rooney’s ‘systems’, webcams take pictures at set intervals which are then available for anyone surfing the Net. The images are intensely intimate and form a sort of open journal while also evoking the excruciating banality of Warhol’s eight-hour film Sleep, 1963. We see the index of Rooney’s private body, or more poetically, the index of the artist’s subconscious at work through the roughed-up peaks and troughs left in his empty bed linen.

The formal acknowledgement of time passing is also emphasised in the titles of many of the serial photographs such as The White Rug: for S. K. 13 Aug–27 Sept 1974, 1974 and Luna Park: St Kilda 8 Jan 1975, 1975. In the serial photographs these ‘explanatory labels’ take on the feel of the documentary, they quote the added-on quality of newspaper captions rather than the automatic, digital, orange inscriptions that appear on snap photos. As G. R. Lansell wrote in 1970 in the journal Nation, Rooney’s photo works ‘will tell you more about local life than any social historian: this is contemporary ritualism, both rigid and hilarious’.12 G. R. Lansell, ‘Subversive Rooney’, Nation, 19 September 1970. Indeed, as a collection of images (as a formal archive of a particular sequence of events at particular times) they also create a narrative that speaks about the patterns of everyday life, with Rooney’s world as the model in focus. Inversely, Charles Green has written that ‘narrative was precisely what Rooney did not find to be a primary experience [of the serial photographs]’.13 C. Green, ‘Robert Rooney’, in From the Homefront: Robert Rooney, Works 1953–1988, ed. J. Duncan, (exh. cat.), Monash University Gallery, 1990, p .7. As Green argues:

Rooney’s distinction between autobiography and biography was unusual and very revealing; it spoke of a virtual scientific detachment with which he approached his own identity – as its chronicler – and his awareness that his biography was the subject matter for conversion into narrative.14 ibid.

 There appear to be two layers to this life-as-narrative-as-art scenario set up by, or at least implied in, Rooney’s serial works and the description of them as an archive. Archives have a readable logic and a grammar, they are textual and have the status of statements. While the content of an archive does not always necessarily translate into a linear narrative (that is, a systematic treatment of events), it can be understood to have a prescribed order or pattern. This means that an archive may be seen as not simply a group but a collection formulated with purpose and a certain dialogic function.

But if there is a narrative in Rooney’s serial photographic works, where does it lead us? The serial works are a personal, photographic analysis of the artist’s life (for approximately five years), and in examining his own behaviour and habits he explores the rituals and obsessions that concern most of us.15 R. Lindsay, ‘Robert Rooney’, Art and Australia, vol. 14, no. 1, 1976, p.50. Most directly, the narrative we are moved to explore tends toward the autobiographical, while also speaking about life in the suburbs. A certain de-familiarisation is seen in his painstaking iteration, in the popist, suburban photographs of emptiness, banality and voidness as positive qualities.16 A similar obsession with empty space can also be observed in the work of many contemporary Australian photo-artists such as Jane Burton, Max Creasy, Annie Hogan, Alin Huma, Paul Knight, Naomi Kumar, Cathy Laudenbach, Selina Ou, Kenneth Pleban, Tara Sheild and Eleanor Ray. Rooney formally explores the issues and themes of domesticity, boredom, suburbanism and repetition, all of which might connote the experience of living in the present. As artist/writer Philip Brophy notes, ‘Rooney’s works are quintessentially Pop’.17 P. Brophy, ‘Robert Rooney as pop’, in From the Homefront, p. 22. Indeed, only the places Rooney visits as part of a normal routine become locations for his work, they are, as he explains, ‘organised from experience rather than having the idea and looking for the appropriate example’.18 Lindsay, Notes on Robert Rooney. Importantly, all the serial photographs are constructed outside the usual place of artistic production – the studio – and are taken in the world Rooney shares with the rest of us.19 Two works involving physical education were produced in Rooney’s studio, Pullovers, 1971, of weight-training, straight-arm pullovers performed by the artist and documented with an Instamatic camera; and 10.8 miles in 44 minutes, 1971, a series of photographs of artist Robert Hunter riding an exercise bike. They become anthropological documents taken by a roving flâneur – and Rooney does not drive. His deadpan ‘finds’ or ‘selections’ are almost always recomposed as a grid system which forms the mode of presentation. The resulting dismemberment and fragmentation of knowledge also bears out the creation of separate ‘moments’ (each individual snap), that flows into a larger story (each gridded work and indeed, the five-year-long project itself) which may be read for information like a map, marking particular territory. As Daniel Thomas has commented, ‘Through his art the world might see everyday Melbourne transfigured, as if through a child’s mind, into a place of marvels. Rooney is a great regionalist’.20 Thomas, ‘Melbourne modern’, p. 483.

An important example of Rooney’s visual dissection of the suburbs, with a similar structuring system to those outlined already, is N.E.W.S., which represents the compass points north, east, west and south. N.E.W.S. was taken at a friend’s house and is revealing of suburban lifestyles. Rooney placed the camera on the ground and rotated it through the points of the compass to give an up-close view of, amongst other things, a back yard. We see a sprawling green lawn and a garden hose: the happy, summery suburbs of Australia. N.E.W.S, is homogenous and repetitious, recalling the sprawling, red-roofed residences that continue to grow around the outskirts of Melbourne. At the same time, Rooney uses techniques of de-familiarisation by placing the camera on the floor. So low is the camera, however, that it projects beyond a baby-like, naive view of the world, to the view a cockroach might have; a ‘non-view’ in its deconstruction of normative vision. And while Rooney would not have predicted it, the thirty-two colour Kodak Instamatic photographs have now aged distinctively. Their rounded corners and garish yellow and pink fading give away their age; they have the look and feel of the retrograde. Instead of speaking about contemporary life in the suburbs – St Kilda to be precise – they now speak of life in the past.

The title of this work might also be read literally as representing the word ‘news’ – giving information about important or interesting events not previously known, updates, facts. In light of this, N.E.W.S. is a perverse broadcast, a pun, but far from meaningless. N.E.W.S. might be a newsletter – an informal report issued to those who form a discrete membership. Thus the subject of the serial photographs is only a pointer to the evidence of a larger, more complex system at play. Indeed, Rooney’s interest in the American artist Edward Ruscha is revealing at this point, of whose work he has said:

they were like ordinary snapshots [of the suburbs of California] and rather dumb, and they appealed to me more than arty photographs. He [Ruscha] was using photographs merely as some sort of technical recorder’.21 Lindsay, ‘Robert Rooney’, p. 56.

 Here Rooney seems to align himself with Ruscha’s project and in March 1970 he received a reply and catalogues from Ruscha to whom he had written ‘a sort of fan letter’.22 Duncan, From the Homefront, p. 39.

Hello Mr Rooney: inside and outside the serial photographs

While it might be claimed that Rooney himself can be found in the serial photographs – through his depiction of his home, his bed, his clothes, his representative gallery, what he eats, where he goes – he states that ‘any work that I am seen in fails’,23 Lindsay, ‘Robert Rooney’. (words that were uttered later by the well-known American self-portraitist Cindy Sherman). Consequently, Rooney’s presence at the sites or in the things he photographs is borne through a trademark banality and repetition of his immediate environment and the documentation of the patterns of human experiences. They are ‘Rooneyesque’ and therefore a monument to the artist. Indeed, Rooney ceased taking photographs partly because of this and, as writer Paul Taylor could only have penned with some commonly understood assurance, ‘there were few artists in Melbourne whose lives have been as unexceptional as Rooney’s’.24 Green, From the Homefront, p. 9. It is tempting to ask: just how does one become so famously unremarkable?

Rooney expresses the writer Robert Pincus-Witten’s well-known epigram ‘I document, therefore I am’ and the serial photographic work Corners is an example of this point.25 R. Pincus-Witten, ‘Anglo-America reference works: acute conceptualism’, Artforum, vol. 10, no. 2, October 1971, p. 84. Corners records the views of the corners from each column in Pinacotheca’s main gallery. In comparison with a work like AM–PM, which is exceptionally personal, Corners reveals Rooney as a detached professional. In this locale he is legitimised as an artist and as a ‘good’ photographer. It is an incredibly cool, detached work with the diagram from which the series is constructed included as part of the overall piece. The diagram discloses Rooney’s system for production and distances him from it ‘artistically’, while also highlighting the clichés about photography’s lack of artfulness. He sets up a pattern to be followed (for himself and the viewer) and then completes it. While Rooney’s ‘dumb recording’ rhetoric is physically at work in Corners, his comment that ‘There’s not one self-invented image … to me creativity is a matter of choosing something and structuring it. Originality is something talked about by people with nothing in their heads’ also reveals the conviction of his artistic statement.26 Thomas, p. 478. Such a remark also provides a link with Marcel Duchamp, an artist famous for creating works of art by simply ‘choosing’ them from the world around him. Rooney reveals himself as a structuralist, he draws on the ability of photography to tap into the index that codes the world, its ability to frame and to divine.

En masse, the serial photographic archives are neither the indexes of places, subjects or even systems, but instead document a larger project. They sustain a tension that rides between being a record of Rooney’s whole life boiled down to approximately five years of photographic activity, the broader idea of representing the persona of ‘artist’ as well as being key documents in the history Australian conceptual art. Evidently they are remarkably diaristic (if inexpressive), accompanied by dates, times, months and locations and are often supplemented by itemised, quasi-statisical lists. They read like Warhol’s famous diaries, full of inanities and deadpan, ambivalent humour, and become ‘authentic’ representations of life and the world around us in their quantity and detail.

When Rooney, who would like to be thought of as a non-photographer, believed he had acquired a trademark photographic style, he quit.27 Rooney, who stopped taking the serial photographs in 1975, said ‘I don’t particularly like photographer’s photographs.’ J. Phipps, ‘Robert Rooney’, in Downtown: Ruscha, Rooney, Arkley (exh. cat.), Museum of Modern Art Heide, Bulleen, 1995, p. 41. For him, a consistently formulaic approach increased the opacity and reduced the transparency of the photographs. The index of these photographs was becoming of the hand of the artist, rather than the trace of the objects represented. Like the lead character in the film Memento, perhaps Rooney felt Let down by a growing lack of ‘real’ truth in the work. As he noted, ‘Emotions can be manufactured like everything else’.28 Green. From the Homefront, p. 7. At the same time, while the serial photographic project was finished on the artist’s terms, N.E.W.S. and Corners received recognition at the highest institutional level, and were purchased by the NGV in 1981, the year Rooney retired as a photographer.29 Rooney also made two sets of Cibachrome photo-works (as opposed to individual photographs in series) in 1977, Yarra Bank, October and Stumps. Rooney stopped taking photographs completely by approximately 1990, taking portraits of Paul Taylor and Jon Campbell from the mid to late 1980s. While the archive had seemed like the ideal tool for the elimination of content, it became a mechanism for memorialisation and monumentalising. Indeed, Rooney’s mimicry of the properties of the photographic archive might be read, in retrospect, as pastiche. The tropes of the archive are all there: desire, value, memory, veracity, making the banal significant. A camera is simply an empty box with a glass window, and photographic archiving is a personal approach to collecting and not the result of ‘dumb recording’. In fact, Rooney, it would seem, fetishised the world around him and his anonymity within it. The quirks in the photographs are his own. There is, of course, a pessimism associated with the photographic image. Its cognitive and biographic processes are dubious; oscillating as an ambiguous agent that simultaneously enacts and destroys mnemonic experience. While the term ‘archive’ does not conjure up ideas of the indiscriminate and the random, it involves a sense of the de-personalised as it often represents an objective rather than a subjective collecting policy. Moreover, the perceivably ‘dumb’ repetition of the photographs should not be understood as emancipation for Rooney but a revelling in order and the preservation of remnants of the world and of memory. As Rooney says, ‘Different people have different routines. Things are taken for granted. No matter how you free yourself you fall back into a routine.’30 Lindsay, Notes on Robert Rooney.

Kate Rhodes, Assistant Curator, Photography, National Gallery of Victoria (in 2002).

Acknowledgement

I would like to specially thank Robert Rooney for his time and the valuable information he provided.

 

Notes

1     Rooney, quoted in R. Lindsay, ‘Less than five hundred works in retrospect – Robert Rooney’. Notes on Robert Rooney, Project 8 (exh. cat.), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 1975, unpaginated.

2     Rooney was born on 24 September 1937 and lived in Northcote until December 1939 when he moved to Broomfield Road, East Hawthorn. He still lives there at the time of writing. In 1980 Rooney went to Sydney to review the Archibald Prize, at Fred Williams’s suggestion. In 1983 he went to Canberra to review A Melbourne Mood: Cool and Contemporary Art at Daniel Thomas’s invitation. Robert Rooney, letter to Kate Rhodes, 22 August 2002, National Gallery of Victoria files.

3     D. Thomas, ‘Melbourne modern: the art of Robert Rooney’, Art and Australia, vol. 34, no. 4, 1997, p. 479.

4     Rooney took photographs from 1969 to 1981 as part of his art practice, however, only the serial photographs are discussed here. These works span the years 1969–75, approximately. It is worth noting that from 1954 to 1963 Rooney used a Box Brownie camera to take photographs as references for his paintings, drawings and prints.

5     B. Genocchio, ‘Photography beside itself’, Photofile, no. 55, November, 1998, p. 16. According to Genocchio, snapshot photographs are scattered throughout the history of Australian art from the 1960s onwards and the most interesting developments occurred during the late 1960s and into the 1970s where there seems to have been an explosion of interest in the medium around the world (vernacular styles of photography originated in the nineteenth century). Many of those artists who took such photographs include Mike Brown, Sue Ford, Dale Frank, Tim Johnson, Jacky Redgate, Martin Sharp, Wesley Stacey, Brian Thompson and John Young. Contemporary Australian snapshots are characterised by a rawness and poverty of imagery, and include photo-artists such as Lyndal Walker and Alin Huma.

6     See L. Lippard, Six Years: The Dematerialisation of the Art Object from 1966–1972, New York, 1973. ‘Low-energy’ is a term used by the critic Lucy Lippard to describe semi-ephemeral works such as some photography and video art.

7     Lindsay, Notes on Robert Rooney.

8     Rooney bought Noon time-piece (April) by Roger Cutforth in the mid 1970s.

9     R. Cutforth, artist statement, Ian Burn, Roger Cutforth and Mel Ramsden (exh. cat.), Pinacotheca, August 1969, unpaginated.

10     The photographs that comprise AM–PM are taken from the head and foot of the bed, one after the other, mimicking Rooney’s waking and rising which emphasises time passing.

11     An extraordinary extension of this up-close-and-personal, day-by-day view of life in an image-based way is the multitude of webcams trained on individuals around the world. In a similar way to Rooney’s ‘systems’, webcams take pictures at set intervals which are then available for anyone surfing the Net.

12     G. R. Lansell, ‘Subversive Rooney’, Nation, 19 September 1970.

13     C. Green, ‘Robert Rooney’, in From the Homefront: Robert Rooney, Works 1953–1988, ed. J. Duncan, (exh. cat.), Monash University Gallery, 1990, p .7.

14     ibid.

15     R. Lindsay, ‘Robert Rooney’, Art and Australia, vol. 14, no. 1, 1976, p.50.

16     A similar obsession with empty space can also be observed in the work of many contemporary Australian photo-artists such as Jane Burton, Max Creasy, Annie Hogan, Alin Huma, Paul Knight, Naomi Kumar, Cathy Laudenbach, Selina Ou, Kenneth Pleban, Tara Sheild and Eleanor Ray.

17     P. Brophy, ‘Robert Rooney as pop’, in From the Homefront, p. 22.

18     Lindsay, Notes on Robert Rooney.

19     Two works involving physical education were produced in Rooney’s studio, Pullovers, 1971, of weight-training, straight-arm pullovers performed by the artist and documented with an Instamatic camera; and 10.8 miles in 44 minutes, 1971, a series of photographs of artist Robert Hunter riding an exercise bike.

20     Thomas, ‘Melbourne modern’, p. 483.

21     Lindsay, ‘Robert Rooney’, p. 56.

22     Duncan, From the Homefront, p. 39.

23     Lindsay, ‘Robert Rooney’.

24     Green, From the Homefront, p. 9.

25     R. Pincus-Witten, ‘Anglo-America reference works: acute conceptualism’, Artforum, vol. 10, no. 2, October 1971, p. 84.

26     Thomas, p. 478. Such a remark also provides a link with Marcel Duchamp, an artist famous for creating works of art by simply ‘choosing’ them from the world around him.

27     Rooney, who stopped taking the serial photographs in 1975, said ‘I don’t particularly like photographer’s photographs.’ J. Phipps, ‘Robert Rooney’, in Downtown: Ruscha, Rooney, Arkley (exh. cat.), Museum of Modern Art Heide, Bulleen, 1995, p. 41.

28     Green. From the Homefront, p. 7.

29     Rooney also made two sets of Cibachrome photo-works (as opposed to individual photographs in series) in 1977, Yarra Bank, October and Stumps. Rooney stopped taking photographs completely by approximately 1990, taking portraits of Paul Taylor and Jon Campbell from the mid to late 1980s.

30     Lindsay, Notes on Robert Rooney.