Tuesday 16 December 2014

The Artist Is Present - Photo Documentation

Performed from 7.20 pm until 10.00pm on Dec 27, at Other Film Festival 'Institutional Capture' at Boggo Road Gaol, Brisbane.



Photos: Alan Warren and Bryan Spencer

My father was a screw. He started with seemingly impossible ideals of social change in the Joh era and ended a very cynical, tough as nails, one-punch man. Thirty plus years later in 2014, we find ourselves in a ‘social turn’ of contemporary art,[1] where art is trending towards activism and our conservative governments are selling/leasing off public interests to private concerns. A private company working for profit could soon operate the jail my father worked in. I find myself unable to share my father’s righteous belief in the Law when the Law and (other Institutions like Art Institutions) are increasingly serving private interests and the accumulation of value. Working towards the contrary, other artists and I produce our art within the context of this ‘social turn’ to disseminate ‘the power over’ hegemony into ‘the power with’ community. Without the technocratic skills of hacking, I wish to interrupt the surveillance technology with community concentration. In doing so I ask Art to take a look at itself: what does activism from within the Institution look like, what does it hope to achieve and how can it do so without serving private interests. 

[1] Anne Marsh. Performance Ritual Document (Melbourne: MacMillan, 2014), 20.

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