Art and politics: unfinished business?
A forum in association with David Chesworth’s ‘Richter/Meinhof-Opera’
In the lead-up to performances of David Chesworth’s Richter/Meinhof-Opera at the Art Gallery of NSW, four experts in the field come together to discuss the often fraught relationship between art and politics.
David Chesworth gives an overview of Richter/Meinhof-Opera’s key themes, raising questions about the relationship between art and political struggle. Jolanta Nowak focuses on the same questions through the prism of an exhibition held in Berlin called Regarding Terror: The RAF Exhibition. Tony Bond queries the binary between the political and the apolitical in contemporary art, arguing that the positioning of a work of art in relation to politics is far more complex than the structure of a binary allows for.
The forum is moderated by ABC Radio National’s Tony MacGregor, whose earlier libretto provided the impetus for Richter/Meinhof-Opera.
Tony Bond OAM is the assistant director, curatorial, and head curator of international art at the Art Gallery of NSW.
David Chesworth’s practice involves several diverse areas of music and installation art. Together with artist Sonia Leber, Chesworth creates challenging sound, video and sculptural installations for both galleries and the public domain.
Dr Jolanta Nowak is Melbourne Research Fellow in the art history program, School of Culture and Communication at the University of Melbourne. She is currently researching the position of autonomy in contemporary art criticism and the implications of that for understanding art’s relationship to ethics.
Tony MacGregor is the national arts editor for ABC Radio National and has more than 20 years’ experience as a documentary maker and sound artist. He wrote the libretto for David Chesworth’s opera Cosmonaut (2002).
Image: David Chesworth