Penguin, 198 p, $5.95 pb
On the stage or off, Peter Mavromatis is the unswerving centre of these stories. Unswerving as a focus, that is – in himself he swerves all over the place. Who and what is Peter Mavromatis? That’s what he’d like to know. His Cypriot parents and grandmother know who he should be. Sydney-born, he has grown up saddled with Greekness as a birthright and an unpayable debt. Peter Blackaeye: is he ‘Grik’? No, the Greeks at GMH decide, and drive him off the job. Australian? Not to his family, nor to many Australians.
‘Good. We can do this. It’s timely. There’s a bit of interest up now in … ah … in … um … multi-culturalism,’ muses the trendy gallery owner who puts on Peter’s sell-out (yes) – exhibition of photos – black-and-white faces mostly, from his trip to Greece. Perhaps they’re as good as the cover photo of the book: a scarved head, a marble goddess or madonna, ‘seen dim as through waterfall’. An ikon? Eikones in Greek just means ‘pictures’ or ‘images.’ Peter is an image-maker; an ikonoclast too in his (typically Australian) way. He bristles with truculent bad faith. He calls his exhibition ‘No Apologies’ …