5 - 21 July 2019
In 1988 I was wheeled off a train in Brisbane, strapped to a rickety pram, my eyes were wide at the crush of people that surrounded me. I was rolled along a boulevard toward a monolithic inflatable kangaroo, and as my creaky carriage was pushed past this mega-fauna, it looked at me and winked. It was Matilda, the mascot from the 1982 Commonwealth games, and I was at Expo ’88.
This is my earliest memory.
The Expo as a concept has a long history rooted deeply in colonial showboating and self-congratulation. The expo’s would echo the agenda that to be civilised meant to be modern and that to be modern meant forward progression along some kind of invented trajectory out of Africa and toward iphones. The Expo’s would proudly display the spoils of the colonial project and, like the Olympics and Commonwealth Games, reinforce separatist nativism and celebrate authoritarian power. Like it is something to be proud of.
This collection of works – this parade – is the pavilion the Expo forgot. Maybe. It is two rooms of things created by one person (with the help of many others). It is an echo detached from its source.
Now I love kangaroo’s and hate overcrowded public transport. It is easy to understand why.
Presented by Boxcopy and hosted by Outer Space
Pas de Deux
HD video and sound, 13:00 mins. Courtesy of the Artist.