'I'm worried this will become a slogan (Anthony)' and 'I'm worried I am not political enough (Julie)' are from a series of banners Raquel Ormella made between 1999 and 2009. Clearly handmade out of modest materials, they have both the urgency and the pathos of personal political commitment leavened by anxiety about political efficacy.
Each banner is two sided, on the other side of 'I'm worried this will become a slogan' (Anthony) is the text: 'Anthony', an Australian, has lived with Falintil Guerillas for 2 years. While he has not seen combat he is prepared to because "the world has turned it's back on East Timor." While on the other side of 'I'm worried I am not political enough' (Julie) is the text: Julia 'Butterfly Hill lived for 2 years in a 300 year old redwood tree to stop it from being chopped down.
Ormella contrasts accounts of individual political commitment, action and resistance with the comfortable anxieties of left wing middle class politics. In emulating the forms of protest banners there is pathos in seeing these displayed in an art gallery where politics are inevitably muted by the institutional and aesthetic parameters of their display. The 'I' in the text also addresses their audience, asking us to identify with being worried while suggesting we may never have the commitment of Anthony and Julie. Inevitably they also ask how can art be political at this juncture in time and how may it find a voice that will be heard?
double-sided banner, sewn wool and felt
128.0 x 202.0 cm
Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Contemporary Collection Benefactors 2015
Not on display
© Raquel Ormella
Shown in 3 exhibitions
Feedback, art, social consciousness and resistance, Monash University Museum of Art, Caulfield East, 19 Mar 2003–10 May 2003
Making it new: focus on contemporary Australian art, Museum of Contemporary Art, Australia, 10 Sep 2009–11 Nov 2009
Exploded Textiles, Tamworth Regional Gallery, Tamworth, 28 Sep 2019–01 Dec 2019
Referenced in 5 publications
Charles Green, Art and Australia (Vol. 37, No. 4), 'Art and politics: living here now: Australian Perspecta 1999', pg. 358-360, Sydney, Jun 2000-Aug 2000, 359 (colour illus.). general reference to Raquel Ormella's 'I'm worried this will become a political slogan' 1999-2009 series
Rachel Kent, Making it new: focus on contemporary art, 'Raquel Ormella: Double act', pg. 70-77, Sydney, 2009, 105. general reference to Raquel Ormella's 'I'm worried this will become a political slogan' 1999-2009 series
Stephen O'Connell, Frieze no.50, 'Australian Perspecta 99', pg. 109-110, London, Winter 2000, 109 (colour illus.). general reference to Raquel Ormella's 'I'm worried this will become a political slogan' 1999-2009 series
Macushla Robinson, See you at the barricades, Sydney, 2015, 27 (colour illus.), 47.
Wayne Tunnicliffe and Hetti Perkins, Australian Perspecta 1999: living here now - art and politics, 'Talkback', pg. 32-33, Sydney, 1999, 32. general reference to Raquel Ormella's 'I'm worried this will become a political slogan' 1999-2009 series