Curators Sean Redmond and Darrin Verhagen said it is now more important than ever to ask what defines a ‘model citizen’, as the question of citizenship is newly and sometimes cruelly defined by governments.
“The exhibition investigates the way humans map and make sense of the world, and how they form imagined communities,” said Dr Verhagen, senior lecturer in Media and Communication, RMIT.
“Too often, the question of who is classified as a model citizen is related to access and power, to gender and race.
“What we propose is that art can operate as a public form of truth or dare, and in its ‘making’ or ‘modelling’ can shine a powerful light on what it means to belong.”
According to Prof Sean Redmond (Screen and Design, Deakin University), the two aspects of the exhibition’s title are equally important: the artists desire that through modelling, their art becomes political life; and citizenship itself needs (re)modelling as it suffers in an age of withering truth and fake news.
“As creative and critical stakeholders, artists have a central role to play in shaping public life. This exhibition isn’t intended to just creatively comment on the politics and poetics of the model citizen, but to offer up ways of transforming the processes of citizenship itself,” Redmond said.
The Model Citizen features artists Asim Bhatti, David Cross, Larissa Hjorth, Leah Kardos, Jondi Keane, Bronek Kozka, Lyn McCredden, John McCormick, Shaun McLeod, Rowan McNaught, Olivia Millard, Adam Nash, Patrick Pound, Sean Redmond, Sadia Sadia, Polly Stanton and (((20hz))).