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Dadaistic tendencies: Dave Hullfish Bailey's Citycat Project in Brisbane

Projektraum 2
Ort, Treffpunkt (1)
Ort, Adresse (1)
Kurzbauergasse 9
Ort, PLZ und/oder Ort (1)
1020 Wien

Vortrag von Dave Hullfish Bailey und David Pestoriusorganisiert am Institut für bildende Kunst, Textuelle Bildhauerei (in englischer Sprache).

Dave Hullfish Bailey has said that “if there's a one-liner about what my [site-based projects] attempt, it has to do with replacing an iconographic vision of place with an inhabited, on-the-ground geography” (Artext, No. 76, 2002). The artist’s ongoing CityCat Project in Brisbane enables us to think this ambition, and the complex ‘space of art’ it proposes: an unfolding ecology of relations between producers and audiences, histories and locations, aesthetic decisions and political effects.

The CityCat Project began in 2003 with a brief to develop a public project for The University of Queensland. Bailey’s response led him to invite local Indigenous leader Sam Watson to site and choreograph unannounced interruptions to the routine routing of Brisbane’s popular CityCat ferries, which since the late 1990s have played a key role in the redevelopment of the Brisbane River as a civic and touristic amenity. While the momentary diversion of the CityCats constitutes the central element in the project, it has also activated multiple forms, contexts and audiences, and includes drawings, photographic works, field recordings, exhibitions, architectural interventions, public discussions and publications.


This presentation reflects upon the procedures and implications of Bailey’s CityCat Project with particular emphasis on its critical 'updating' of Dadaist tendencies: its proliferation and confusion of spaces, information and agency (including institutional frameworks and the branded spaces of art), and its radically collaborative yet authorially fragmented process, which assumes its participants may not share common knowledges, aesthetic languages, nor political aims. It will also consider what may be the project’s most significant, and most surprising, outcome: its important status for local Aboriginal people and Watson’s public declaration that it will be re-told and re-enacted into the future, much like the ancient Dreaming stories that it alludes to.

Dave Hullfish Bailey is an artist based in Los Angeles. Since 2006 he has undertaken major projects for the Secession (Vienna), Centre d'Art Santa Monica (Barcelona) and CASCO Office for Art, Design and Theory (Utrecht). In 2007 a selection of Bailey's projects, including his CityCat Project (2003–), was presented at the Lyon Biennale, while in 2009 CASCO and the Sternberg Press (Berlin) published the artist’s book What’s Left, with contextual essays by Jan Tumlir, Lars Bang Larson and Emily Pethick. Bailey is Adjunct Associate Professor in the Fine Art Department at Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, California.

David Pestorius is an art historian, curator and gallerist based in Brisbane. Since 2003 he has worked closely with Dave Hullfish Bailey and the Brisbane Indigenous leader, playwright and community activist Sam Watson on Bailey’s CityCat Project.