The Australian Centre for Contemporary Art
Greater Together begins with the question of work and of how to work better. It takes place in a period of uncertainty, when contemporary societal divisions (political, environmental, cultural and geographic) are creating real need to share knowledge and resources, and to reassess ideas of production and organisation – professionally, socially and artistically. At the same time, conventional methods of working are changing, with advances in thinking and technology creating new ways for people to communicate and organise – offering unprecedented opportunities to share services and skills, and to create networks and relationships across distance, difference and time.
Greater Together assembles eight artist projects that complicate individual notions of authorship to consider ideas of collaboration and cooperation as deliberate and productive means of agency and solidarity in a complex and changing world. While acknowledging the inherent challenges of working together, and the often-utopian ideals of collectivity, the exhibition explores various models of artistic collaboration (from conscious, pragmatic decisions to divide skills and labour; to the natural result of long-term friendships, romantic partnerships or family ties) to consider broader ideas of community, communication and cooperation – both in the discipline of art and in the wider global, networked world.
A ninth project WORK/SHOP, developed by Laura Couttie, engages four artist practitioners and collaborators (Debris Facility, Get to Work, OK YEAH COOL GREAT and Paradise Structures) who have developed conceptual retail projects for the ACCA bookshop as a physical and metaphorical extension of the exhibition. WORK/SHOP will draw out themes from the exhibition, exploring alternative modes of authorship, production and labour; the concept of art as commodity; and the retail space and gallery as sites of exchange.