Hobart’s annual Dark Mofo Festival is courting controversy once more, as well known political artist and progressive mimic Anthony ‘Albo’ Albanese presents his latest installation ‘Stadium’.
Described variously by critics as ‘brave’, ‘provocative’ and ‘absolutely fucking nuts’, the $700 million commissioned piece involves starving thousands of citizens while a football stadium is constructed in real time.
“It’s a thought-provoking work that juxtaposes Australia’s obsession with ‘eating’ with its love-affair with sport,” a description of the work reads.
Developed to tie in with Dark Mofo’s 2023 theme ‘reflection’, Albo explained that the work is actually a satirical piece which asks us to reflect on the treatment of the poor in one of the world’s wealthiest countries while listening to him speak about how he grew up in government housing.
“I’m not sure if you know this about me, but I grew up in government housing, so there’s an extra subtle layer of irony in this piece for astute viewers,” he explained.
Art commentators say the work is at once mystifying and confronting. “A lot of people would say that there’s already a football stadium in Hobart. This piece forces viewers to ask themselves, ‘but is there?”” one art critic mused. Another said it was a clever take on the bootstraps narrative often peddled by politicians. “What this piece says is: ‘Imagine how many future PMs we can get by allowing thousands of Australians to fight their way out of poverty with nothing but sheer will’”.
The piece is made possible by a tax-payer funded grant.
By Matt Harvey @mattharveystuff