—Exhibition Dates: 13 March 2010 to 24 April 2010
Conversation with Big Fag and Friends at 2pm Saturday 13 March
Art Month Sydney 2010: www.artmonthsydney.com.au
Hurry-Hurry is a selection of recent work by artists who embrace unfashionable forms of overtly politicised art - poster making, pamphleteering, performance and other activities flippantly considered marginal to dominant modes of contemporary cultural production. All are committed to inserting local issues — mining by multinationals, corruption in democracies, human rights — into a global context. Most are from Sydney, like Big Fag press, but the networks and collaborative pathways encompass Taring padi group in Yogyakarta, Breakdown Press in Melbourne and Culture Kitchen in Canberra.
Taring padi in Bahasa Indonesia refers to the sharp tip or 'teeth' of the rice and is a metaphor for people power. This loose group of socially committed artists is renowned for precise linocut posters dealing with complex issues by word and/or image as well as murals, a newsletter and street performances. Here are posters opposing a proposed gold mine and cement works, and the Pemilu series made in the lead-up to the November 2009 National Election. Culture Kitchen, a spin-off group, comprises some Taring Padi members in collaboration with Canberra and East Timor artists who produced the large-scale lino-print reconciling the three countries after East Timor’s scaring battle for post-colonial Independence.
Chips Mackinolty is a grandmaster of the game, a pioneer of the classic Tin Sheds high-key screenprints (by Earthworks and Lucifoil, 1971-1983). The magnificent print, Close the Gap (2009), features a portrait of health-worker Miliwanga Sandy (Rembarrnga language group. Domicile Wugularr) and reconstructs Mackinolty’s classic image Walyaji Wankarunyayirni (Land is life), 1982, a standard-bearer for the land rights and outstations movement. This work aims to get money for the Sunrise Workforce Development Trust designed to train Aboriginal people for the Comprehensive Primary Health Care sector in the NT.
In these footsteps walk a new generation of cooperatives: Big Fag, lovingly named after their massive rescued Swiss printing press (Diego Bonetto, Lucas Ihlein and Mickie Quick), Breakdown Press (Tom Civil), and Blood and Thunder Press (Mickie Quick) and their friends and fellow-travellers Deborah Kelly, Ruark Lewis and Hana Schimada. The selection from the Big Fag Archive includes prints from the Mapping Sydney project (exhibited at Dablab UTS in 2009) by artists, writers and academics Kate Sweetapple, Jane Shadboldt, Katrina Schlunke, Naomi Stead and Trina Day.
A big welcome to the ‘hood to Big Fag, successfully moved to the former Cleansing Depot, Riley Street in Woolloomooloo!
[Big Fag on the move - see http://www.flickr.com/photos/poisontofu/sets/72157623589594128/]