Direct Democracy

Exhibition curatorial

by Geraldine Barlow

As Individuals we are capable, but so much more so when we act together. The collective body is a complex mechanism: a layering of systems, societies, generations, inheritances and innovations. Groups of human beings have developed numerous models to identify with each other, work together, build societies and exercise power. Democracy is just one of these; with a long history of development. […] How can we actively revitalise, rebuild and own this collective body? What is the place of democracy in the process and what opportunities are there for the development of existing and jew democratic mechanisms?

Direct Democracy explores these questions through the work of nineteen contemporary artists and artist collectives. […]

Gail Hastings offers an abstracted map of the ayes (yellow), the nos (in red) and a space in between in white, in her 2012 work Space holder for a yellow, white and red space. What is the purpose of this space in between? Hastings maps out a sculptural volume for each side of the proposition […] As Hastings’ work states, ‘Until such time as the debate is resumed, the before-mentioned space will remain on hold’.

Excerpt from Geraldine Barlow, ‘Direct Democracy’,  in Geraldine Barlow (ed.), exhibition catalogue, Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne 2013, p. 91, 98-98.

A review

by Suzanne Fraser

The modern development of a “good form of government”, as articulated by John Stuart Mill in the sixteenth century, finds contemporary articulation in an infinitely fascinating sculpture by Gail Hastings entitled Space holder for a yellow, white and red space (2012). Here the mechanisms of voting, competition, representation, and bureaucracy are lent an elegant and quietly humorous disposition that contorts the understanding of the viewer through ambiguity and metanarrative.

Excerpt from Suzanne Fraser, web review, Melbourne, 28/05/2013.

Date: 26/Apr/2013 to 06/Jul/2013
Curated by: Geraldine Barlow
At: Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne

Laylah Ali, Hany Armanious, Natalie Bookchin, A Centre for Everything, DAMP, Destiny Deacon, Alicia Frankovich, Will French, Gail Hastings, Alex Martinis Roe, Andrew McQualter, John Miller, Alex Monteith, Raquel Ormella, Mike Parr, Simon Perry, Carl Scrase, Milica Tomic, Kostis Velonis, Jemima Wyman

List of Works: by Gail Hastings
Space holder for a yellow, white and red space
Bibliography: Geraldine Barlow, Direct Democracy, in Geraldine Barlow (ed.), exhibition catalogue, Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne 2013, pp.50–3, 98–9, 101, 106.
Monash University Museum of Art

Dir: Charlotte Day

Ground Floor, Building F
Monash University, Caulfield campus
900 Dandenong Road
Caulfield East, VIC 3145

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