News
– TALK: Can Art Change The World? Art & Politics in Australia

Posted on July 31, 2014

With all the talk this week around City of Sydney’s new public art program for George street, we at the MCA thought it quite apt that we have a discussion about whether art can change the world.

Image: *Guan Wei*, _The Journey to Australia_ (detail), 2013, installation view, Museum of Contemporary Art Australa, image courtesy and © the artist. Photograph: Alex Davies

Image: Guan Wei, The Journey to Australia (detail), 2013, installation view, Museum of Contemporary Art Australa, image courtesy and © the artist. Photograph: Alex Davies

Whether art can change the world’s politics has always undergone hotly headed debate; from Picasso’s Guernica to Pussy Riot’s Punk Punkisms with everything from Ai Wei Wei’s Tiananmen Finger and many more famous (and infamous) examples before and after. This is the art that often pushes boundaries and provokes us to question our contemporary environment. Can art change policy? Can it change the way we think? The way we vote? Can it make us a global city? Can it provoke us to get out in the street and protest, speak up for something that disturbs us or even challenges our values? In fact, contemporary art can legitimately claim a fair slice of the credit in this genre. Some argue that art couldn’t possibly be separated from politics in the first place.

Whether you are the brave antagonist who takes the art on, the thinker who is compelled to question issues more profoundly or the individual who feels the many emotions and actions in-between; this is an issue we know fascinates humanity.

As the amazing responses to our last summer exhibition War is Over (if you want it) by Yoko Ono or the group exhibition In the Balance: Art for a Changing World in 2010 demonstrated, we think our audiences might be interested in this too.

If this question piques your attention and curiosity, please come to the MCA for a panel of politically minded journalists, writers and artists to debate the role of art and its possibility to influence contemporary politics, enact social change and/or improve the world.

Join a panel to debate the role of art and its possibility to influence contemporary politics, enact social change and improve the world. Journalist, author and filmmaker Jeff McMullen will lead this conversation, welcoming the audience to share their insights and opinions with artist Fiona Foley and artist/writer Adam Gezcy.

The event is a casual ‘talk-show’ style discussion in the lecture theatre of the MCA. Questions from the audience and open discussion are encouraged.

Can Art Change The World? Art & Politics in Australia
Thu 14 Aug
6.30–8pm
$15/$10 MCA Members and Concessions
Veolia Lecture Theatre
Chair: Jeff McMullen

Buy Tickets Here