THE AUSTRALIA PROJECT
The Australia Project is a series of initiatives engaging the creative community and the general public in exploring and redefining clichéd national stereotypes in the hope of revealing a unique perspective on contemporary Australian culture.
The curators of the project, Chris Edser, Scott Heinrich and Yianni Hill work across graphic design, illustration and video. They have each held residencies at Fabrica, the Benetton Group's communications research centre based in northern Italy.
Fabrica is an applied creativity laboratory where young creative people from around the world come together to develop innovative projects and explore new directions in a diverse range of communication mediums, mentored by leading figures in art and communication.
Upon returning to Australia, the trio collectively developed the concept for a project exploring our national identity and invited local creatives to participate. Contributors include prominent artists, designers, illustrators, musicians, writers, photographers and filmmakers.
Members of the general public have also been encouraged to participate in the debate through a series of workshops, interviews and a photographic series entitled ‘Visions'. The Australia Project is a collection of these explorations.
Carmel Seymour + Kate Tucker
Counterfeit Sanctity brings together the work of these two recent VCA graduates in a multi-disciplinary examination of the transformative power of our belief systems.
The sentimental power that we grant our inanimate objects points to the residue of by-gone spiritualities. The human mind can conjure a mystical talisman from a piece of trash. When is this turning point?
Today a rabbit's foot, a casino chip or a chipped coffee mug from Paris, are all potential refuse, or perhaps something greater. While we feverishly attribute value to various man-made objects, our environment is simultaneously depleted by our addiction to them. Trash is disguised with aesthetic beauty in an effort to prey on the desires of a people desperate to locate signposts towards meaning and sanctity.
In a secular society, perhaps we are not the stalwarts of reason we assume.
Banana + Friedrich
‘… Hi Friedrich, I thought it would be fun to keep the show light and kind of give it the feel of a bit of free luv. Really I am describing a bit of what you were talking to me about the spiritual and mystical and what it may be - either lacking or finding. I think there is a place to find - seekers or not! I have also bought in the element of the experiment, kind of like a model for us and maybe for others - which is something we assume we are doing anyway in art production. Maybe its too light for you, let me know - I just don't want to force some academic/theory onto something that it can't be - I reckon this is really obvious when I read these in a gallery setting. I also wanted to refer to the gallery as a place that can parallel other environments, where things/events can be 'real' and seamless to other 'real' activities of life. Anyways... see below.
Love your bossy friend, B (Ps. please spell check for me)…’
Mystical spaces, places of unknown quantities and qualities, have bought us together. It is our wish for you to find this place in the centre of the jungle/gallery/psyche/troughs or plains that you find yourself in. Here is the experiment that we have made earlier as an example for you to use as a model. We hope that you find it. Banana & Friedrich x