Vexed at IMA
How good’s Straya?! Inkahoots invites you to endorse or take revenge on Australia’s jingoistic nationalism as part of the Institute of Modern Art’s Making Art Work initiative.
Come along and have a play with Vexed, a gesture-controlled projection allowing you to either wave or destroy flags displaying current mantras of blithe political propaganda. Vexed combines the most popular visual and verbal expressions of jingoistic nationalism and an invitation to trash them.
Sound bites like “gas-fired recovery” (using the pandemic as an excuse to cling to fossil fuel dependency) positions environmentalists as unpatriotic. Likewise, the unemployed – with rehearsed slogans such as “you've got to have a go to get a go” (positioning the under-privileged as outside the national social-contract). While “now is not the time” is the standard conservative cop-out, recently applied to everything from welfare and tax reform, climate change, First Nations rights, and pretty much anything that needs urgent action.
Vexillology is the study of flags. To be vexed is to be attacked, harassed or troubled. The word comes from the Latin vexare, meaning “to shake, jolt or toss violently”.
Although there have been frequent efforts to criminalise the desecration of the national flag and make an offence of “burning, mutilating or otherwise destroying a protected flag or ensign”, it’s still legal in Australia. But the sensitivities around flags prove the potency of national symbols, and the related enduring potential of flag desecration for dissent and protest.
Vexed follows on from Unsettled, New Anthems and Hoisted, continuing Inkahoots' critique of sovereignty, nationalism and national identity through graphic design’s expressive modes of visual language.
The installation will be live at the IMA in the Brunswick Street front window and inside the Belltower from the 9th until the 19th of December.
Global studies say Australians are more likely to be indifferent or critical of our flag (by a bloody wide margin), but you wouldn't know it from the posturing of Australia's far-right...
Vexed by Inkahoots
December 9–19, 2020
Inside the Belltower
(with accompanying audio composition)
In Brunswick St front window
Institute of Modern Art
420 Brunswick Street
Brisbane QLD 4006
See participating artists' work here.