In planning this exhibition we began with a question: what reproduces the conditions for an artist’s work? We might think of this broadly: a community, a “scene”, cultural relationships and identities, state policies, economic and social determinations (the wage and the unwaged labour in its shadow, class privilege and lack thereof), the past and present of colonial effects (as well as the refusal of and resistance against them), an environment (in the micro and the macro sense of the word), and habits of seeing, perceiving, and therefore producing. Or we might think of it more intimately: food, money, rest, friends, work… These lists are far from being exhaustive or without gaps.
We began with this seemingly innocuous question, which, it turns out, can’t simply be answered by works of art. What we can say is that it’s not the role of this exhibition to provide answers, rather, what we can observe is that artworks themselves raise another and very old question: what is the ability of the work of art to reflect the conditions in which it is made? Or said another way: what does it reproduce?
Reproductions is an exhibition of work by six artists based in Australia.