The ideas for this show were developed from conversations between Paul Hedge, the gallery director and the great libertarian artist/s Bob and Roberta Smith, centring around a text based work that the artist/s had made in 2007 entitled The Apathy Workshop, 2003.
The mock diary page featured in the work describes how the artist/s set up an apathy workshop as a response to the hopelessness they felt when participating in government art programmes set up to do good in areas of mental health and prison inmate reform. The premise arrived at from these exchanges was that art is paradoxically a powerful tool in the fight for freedom because at its heart it is useless.
Discussions followed, with all sorts of artists, many of whom are the artists now participating in this show and it seemed that this sense of hopelessness was widespread, yet the response from the artists was to stoically continue to make art in the face of powerlessness.
'Freedom', has been used as a tag line for many organizations from both the Right and the Left of the political spectrum, by groups both religious and secular, to the psychedelic and peculiar.
The show attempts to create an environment where Freedom is promoted in all of its contradictory forms. The Freedom Centre celebrates the empty rhetoric and unrealistic nature of its aims.
Artists included in the show:
Trevor Appleson, Adam Dant, Ian Davis, Katy Dove, Peter Joslyn, Richard Klein, Hew Locke, Laura Oldfield Ford, Tom Price, Ross Sinclair, Bob and Roberta Smith, Tomoko Takahashi, Jim Torok, Julie Verhoeven, Jane Wilbraham, Martin Wilner.