A sinking feeling (the politics of risk)

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A sinking feeling (the politics of risk). Blak Dot Gallery, Brunswick, Naarm. October 2018.

curated by: isabella hone-saunders, curatorial advisor: james tylor.

catalogue essay co-authoured by tyson campbell and laniyuk.

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for a pdf of the exhibition catalogue please see the following:

‘a sinking feeling (the politics of risk)

A sinking feeling (the politics of risk) will explore the relationship between both the artist and curator’s dependence on funding bodies and how that affects the likelihood of creating work that takes risks or offers critiques. The exhibition will engage with the potential ‘freedom’ that is a by-product of working freelance within the arts in Australia.

A sinking feeling (the politics of risk) intends to consider such questions as:

How in the current political/artistic climate can artists feel supported to take risks?

How are gallery spaces/artists/curators held accountable for speaking to, and with, diverse communities and engaging in meaningful cross-cultural dialogues?

This exhibition speaks to a sense of political disillusionment held by those who do not feel represented or supported within Australian arts communities. This is due to contributing factors such as a rapid rise of nationalism and a right-leaning, self-serving government. In relation to the 2018 exhibition, ‘Anatomy of Political Melancholy’, curator Katerina Gregos describes this kind of disillusionment as “…a sinking feeling borne from frustration, anger, despair, mistrust, sadness and hopelessness.”

Through their diverse practices each artist will consider themes of social responsibility while engaging with socio-political diversity and risk-taking. The artists demonstrate responsiveness through critical practices and dialogues, while resisting hegemonic interpretations of whichever communities they associate themselves within or outside of.

Blak Dot Gallery, as a not-for-profit contemporary art space, offers a crucial place to examine the social/political implications or expectations embedded within it. It is a potential sovereign space where a critique of power, funding structures and the vulnerability that artists experience, as a result of an unstable and unsupportive arts economy, can be discussed.

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