30th October – 6th December, 2015
Exhibit A examines the topic of crime and criminality while presenting a fertile conceptual ground for artists.
In 2008, a series of photographs by one of Australia’s most celebrated artists, Bill Henson, were confiscated by the NSW police prior to the opening of an exhibition of the work at a private gallery.
While the incident was largely framed in terms of a wider ‘moral panic’ about the sexualisation of children – Henson’s subject matter is often young girls and boys on the cusp of adolescence in various states of undress – it can also be read as an example of a moment where the question ‘what is art?’ coalesced with the question ‘what is crime?’
In an era when the conventional boundaries between artistic genres are becoming less relevant, and the subject matter of art is ever broadening so that what constitutes art is constantly being thrown into question, the topic of crime, criminality and the criminal subject presents fertile conceptual ground for artists who are already engaging with the nature of ‘community standards’ and ‘acceptable’ moral conventions in relation to their own discipline.
The artists in Exhibit A will therefore not assume what counts as the category ‘crime’ but will rather take a range of approaches to the question of its construction and reproduction: historical, political, personal, and material. At the same time, as the majority of these artists work within multidisciplinary practices, the show will also offer audiences an opportunity to question the category ‘art’.
The result will be work with a high level of community engagement, work materially engaged with the exhibition space, and which presents more singular, less generic responses to the exhibition themes and original interpretations of those themes.
Artists include Daniel Mudie Cunningham, Dani Marti, Carolyn McKay, Tina Havelock Stevens, Halinka Orszulok, Anna Kristensen, Drew Bickford, Elvis Richardson, Julie Gough and Nell.
Curated by Carrie Miller, 2015