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Regimes of Value

7 March–7 April 2013
The Substation // Newport
15 March–13 April 2013
Margaret Lawrence Gallery // Southbank

An exhibition over two Melbourne venues investigating the appropriation of urban detritus as a contemporary art strategy. Curated by Elizabeth Gower.

"The focus of Regimes of Value is the collection, appropriation and re-purpose of ephemera and urban detritus as a contemporary art strategy. The cultures of the industrialized 21st century, which are predicated on disposability, technological change, proliferation of manufactured goods, built in obsolescence, conspicuous consumption and surplus have led to waste on a previously unimaginable scale. It is, therefore, not surprising that discards and leftovers are operative in a range of cultural practices.


The artists contributing to Regimes of Value are collectors, the accumulation or selection of specific, ‘charged’ materials being central to their practice. They are all based in Melbourne, the majority do not have home-based studios, and at least half do not drive. Consequently the street, hard rubbish collections, recycling bins, industrial skips and bits and pieces picked up on journeys to and from temporary studios are embedded in their practice. This material does not 'disappear into its use', but rather retains its identity even as it contributes to the larger narrative of the work.


Works fabricated using materials, deemed valueless and discarded after consumption, desire, trade and exchange have ceased, are inevitably representative of and relevant to the culture from which they originate, enabling engagement with socio/political narratives, notions of kitsch and parody, or functioning as nostalgia, memory and metaphors of entropy. More recently awareness of dwindling resources has motivated some contemporary artists to utilise surplus materials, within the rhetoric of sustainability. In the catalogue each artist has responded to two questions, which provide insights into their conceptual intention and methodology."

— Elizabeth Gower

Lauren Berkowitz, Ryan Foote, Michael Georgetti, Elizabeth Gower, Nathan Gray, Lou Hubbard, Christopher Lg Hill, Matt Hinkley, Melanie Irwin, Ash Keating, Nicholas Mangan, Rowan Mcnaught, John Nixon, Louise Paramor, Simon Pericich, Joshua Petherick, Caroline Phillips, Elvis Richardson, Stuart Ringholt, Ilia Rosli, Julie Shiels, Slow Art Collective, Kate Smith, Charlie Sofo, Masato Takasaka, Alex Vivian


Regimes of Value blog

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