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“Our rulers and their servants want our civil obedience and our submissive shopping addictions, our bent will, our unethical investment, our slaving quietude, our dutiful mating rituals. They eat our fear, they feed our spectres, they insist on impossible insurances.” For her keynote lecture at the 2010 Next Wave Festival, celebrated Sydney-based artist Deborah Kelly will take audiences through the ways she has tried to fight – the useful struggles and the dumb, lost, scratched and weeping battles with titans and, alas, with midges. In the early 1980s, Kelly was a teenage revolutionary cartoonist, but her drawings were stolen (now, we might say sampled) so often that she realised she could never make a living from her artwork. From this experience she slowly emerged into a conceptual artist, the kind who gives their work away. The Network of Uncollectable Artists (NUCA) once named Kelly one of Australia’s five LEAST collectable artists, and this remains an honour she is yet to live down. For EVEN MY BEST WORKS DASH THEIR HEARTS ON ROCKS, Kelly will show audiences where she has been, and why, and how. She will share her secrets, throw the gauntlet down, and demand we all improve upon the work she has done, take up her slack, and run with the wind. Finally, the audience will perform as lab rats – or as Kelly’s honoured genius collaborators – and help her figure out how to bring some thwarted artworks to life, which are busting to be born.

Supporters: Ian Potter Foundation, Sofitel, NGV


Speaker: Deborah Kelly

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· Dates & Times ·

Lecture · Monday May 24 from 6:30PM

Clemenger BBDO Auditorium, NGV International, 180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne

Enter North Entrance, via Arts Centre forecourt

Duration: One and a half hours

Price: Free