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See you at the barricades

Marco Fusinato Double infinitive 5 2009 (detail) UV halftone ink on aluminium, 250 × 500 cm overall, Contemporary Collection Benefactors 2013 © Marco Fusinato. Image courtesy of the artist and Anna Schwartz Gallery

Drawing on the Art Gallery of NSW collection, this exhibition explores the complex relationship between protest and art.

See you at the barricades calls attention to a ‘dissident aesthetic’ emerging in contemporary art. Increasingly, artists are adapting images of 20th-century protest movements, using flags and banners, and re-enacting historical protests.

The imagery on display here is wide-ranging, from brightly coloured posters created by the Guerilla Girls and Redback Graphix to historical videos and elegiac meditations of romantic dissident figures.

Through the prism of the Gallery’s collection, this exhibition asks whether contemporary art remains in itself a form of dissent or whether it’s become a form of nostalgia that valorises the past.

Due to their fragile nature, some of the works will be changed over during the course of the exhibition for conservation purposes.