Biennale of Sydney

Justin Shoulder

Phasmahammer, Still from video, 'AEON†: EP I', 2020. Commissioned by the Biennale of Sydney with generous support from the Powerhouse Museum. Courtesy the artist.
Phasmahammer, Still from video, 'AEON†: EP I', 2020. Commissioned by the Biennale of Sydney with generous support from the Powerhouse Museum. Courtesy the artist.

Justin Shoulder


Born 1985 in Warrang / Sydney, Australia
Lives and works in Warrang / Sydney


"Free falling they recall the past in order to imagine a future of infinite-love-possibility. Rhincodon cruise through oceanic malls, Bakunawa ride countercurrents all the way to the Skyscraper: Jaws of the Horizon aka The Edge. Future life forms abound vertically in the great continual unfolding…"

In this first video episode AEON†: EP I an ecology of interspecies elementals shapeshift in coalition. Bakunawa (serpent-dragon) are summoned to ride the counter-currents of the revolution. Filipinx Myth, Puppetry, pageantry and ritual meet to elaborate a syncretic futurism. 

Aeon—meaning a vital force, or an indefinite period of time—bears tension with (dagger): the symbol placed beside the name of a species indicating it has become extinct. The world of AEON† speculates a realm between the infinite and the definite. AEON† births a hypnotic ecology of beings that emerge from the muck of a decomposing parallel world. 

In collaboration with Tristan Jalleh, Corin Ileto, Matthew Stegh, Anthony Aitch and Alex Davies, Justin Shoulder’s work extends on his Phasmahammer, an eco-cosmology of alter personas based on queered ancestral myth. Creatures birthed are embodied through hand crafted costumes and prosthesis and animated by their own gestural languages.

AEON†: EP I by Justin Shoulder is presented at the 22nd Biennale of Sydney with generous assistance from the Powerhouse Museum.

Phasmahammer is the pseudonym of shape-shifting artist Justin Talplacido Shoulder. Working primarily in performance, sculpture, video and collective events, Phasmahammer is an eco-cosmology of alter personas based on queered ancestral myth. Creatures birthed are embodied through hand crafted costumes and prosthesis and animated by their own gestural languages. Phasmahammer believes in performance and shared ceremony as communal medicine for difficult times. 

Justin Shoulder is a founding member of queer artist collective The Glitter Militia (Monsta Gras, Pink Bubble) with partner and key collaborator Matthew Stegh and Club Ate with collaborator Bhenji Ra. Their works have been presented across Australia and Internationally where they work between gallery, nightclub, theatre and cinema contexts. 

Recent performance highlights include:  La Manutention performance artist in residence at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris 2019, The Prague Quadrennial of Stage Design, 2019, Premiere of theatre work Carrion, Performance Space, Sydney (AUS) + subsequent tour to Artshouse, Melb (AUS), Fusebox Festival, Texas (USA), Museum Macan, Jakarta (IDN), Roskilde (DEN), M+ (HK), Singapore Art Museum (SGD). Asia Pacfic Triennial 8 GOMA (AUS). In October 2020, Shoulder will premiere the first live episode of AEON†, for Performance Space, Liveworks Carriageworks Sydney.