‘The Worst Poem In The Universe’ is journey through Australia responding to the notion of ‘luck’ – both good and bad – whereby, Australia seems to have a unique affinity to it. The idea that the country could be regarded as ‘The Lucky Country’ was first suggested by Australian author Donald Horne in 1964, with a book titled as such. However, the book was full of irony and criticism, but the phrase has stuck and is at times used as an affirmation.
The title of the project is in reference to a poem written by Gina Rinehart, the wealthiest person in Australia. The poem has been described as the “worst poem in the universe”, not just because of its complete lack of poetic prose. But worse than this the poem reads like a disturbing manifesto from someone who openly denies climate change. Gina herself could be well be the luckiest of Australians, since she inherited her father’s (Lang Hancock) mining empire, worth 75 million dollars, on top of endless royalties from mining giant Rio Tinto and is now worth 15 billion USD.
The Worst Poem In The Universe was exhibited at Paris Photo as part of the festivals Carte Blanche award. Two photographs from the series are also included in last years Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize at the National Portrait gallery (London).