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OK Democracy, We Need to Talk

Abdullah MI Syed, 1US$ George Washington Coat (Capital Couture series), 2019. Hand-folded uncirculated fresh 1US$ banknotes and staple pins. Life size, installation dimensions variable. Photograph by Abdullah M. I. Syed. Courtesy the artist.

Exhibition: Saturday 18 May – Wednesday 31 July 2019
Opening: Friday 17 May, 6pm – 8pm

The dissemination of information has never been easier. The ability to speak and to be heard is increasing with the evolution of technologies and alternative information platforms that are in consistent negotiation with power in all its forms – for better and for worse.

In contemporary times, traditional values and perspectives of democracy are continually being challenged and questioned. OK Democracy, We Need to Talk is a conversation and a provocation that suggests an ambition for change through the exploration of how democracy is performed in its current state.

Drawing inspiration from the idea of a free media as a pillar of democracy, artists in the exhibition were encouraged to consult with Australian journalists in exploration of how they consistently negotiate, examine, maintain and define democracy by unpacking and questioning its complex frameworks established in legitimacy, justice, freedom and power.

Featuring twelve newly commissioned works by ten artists, the exhibition explores themes surrounding identity politics, environmental politics, political structures, economies of labor, currency and nationalism. Reflecting on the current state of democracy in Australia and around the world, the exhibition presents an open discussion about democracy and its future – or potentially – its demise.

Artists include: Richard Bell, Louisa Bufardeci, Kuba Dorabialski, Deborah Kelly, Eugenia Lim, Make or Break, Eugenia Raskopoulos, Sarah Rodigari, Abdullah MI Syed and Lara Thoms.

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