Cosmic Love Wonder Lust: An Imperial Slacks Project

Art Life , Exhibitions Aug 17, 2015 No Comments

From Rebecca Gallo

Artist-run initiatives (ARIs) are the spaces, communities and hubs where most artists start their exhibiting careers. They range from long-running professional establishments to short-term projects. Perhaps most importantly, ARIs are communities. They run on volunteer time, sweat and love. They are held together by a sense of shared endeavor and responsibility, and the knowledge that if you want to do something new and exciting and do it right, you have to organise it yourself.

Techa Noble_Imperial Slacks

By all accounts, Imperial Slacks (1999-2002) was an ARI that was super-charged and working overtime. It was a warehouse space in Surry Hills where 15-plus artists lived, created and exhibited. According to Cosmic Love Wonder Lust co-curator Nicholas Tsoutas, the so-called Slackers were constantly rewriting the rules, and everything was subject to scrutiny: the art establishment, moral values, gender, sex and collectivity. They radiated energy and ideas, and nothing was impossible. With these heady origins, it’s perhaps not surprising that many of them have gone on to become some of Australia’s foremost contemporary artists. Cosmic Love Wonder Lust revives this time and takes a look at where they are now, with new and old works by 15 former Slackers including Angelica Mesiti, Wade Marynowsky, The Kingpins, Shaun Gladwell and Claire Healy & Sean Cordeiro.

Until September 12
Sydney College of the Arts, Rozelle
Until October 18
Campbelltown Arts Centre, Campbelltown
Pic: Técha Noble, Imperial Slacks Etymology.

Rebecca Gallo

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