For Love or Money exhibition to explore artistic labour, Saturday 6 July – Sunday 25 August

The latest exhibition at Hawthorn’s Town Hall Gallery For Love or Money, examines the economic structures that underpin artistic labour and how artists sustain their practices within broader capitalist systems, from Saturday 6 July – Saturday 25 August.

Guest curated by Sophia Cai in collaboration with Town Hall Gallery, For Love or Money explores ideas related to work, emotional labour and artistic value, through the work of nine Australian artists and art collectives: Kay Abude, Artists’ Subcommittee (Nina Ross and Gabrielle de Vietri), Shannon Lyons, Make or Break (Rebecca Gallo and Connie Anthes), James Nguyen, Steven Rhall, Elvis Richardson, Abdullah M. I. Syed and Salote Tawale.

For Love or Money questions the relationship between work, making art and making it work as an artist. Across the exhibition there are elements of humour and playfulness, contrasted with works that are more critical in their questioning of the notions of value.

For Love or Money uses artistic interventions to critically examine the complex relationship between artistic work, labour, and value.

The artists in this exhibition turn their attention to what is the often unseen labour of artistic creation and output, while also acknowledging the art world is part of larger social and economic systems. 

Melbourne artist Kay Abude creatively incorporates sculpture, large-scale installation, performance, photography and silk-screen printing in her artworks. Abude is fascinated with the nature of labour, with its economic, repetitive and somatic properties, and how work connects and separates us.

Artists’ Subcommittee (image above) is run by a small collective of artists working on the unceded lands of the Wurundjeri and BoonWurrung people of the Kulin nation. The group operates as a subcommittee of the Artists’ Committee, a collective that makes public projects at the intersection of culture, money and ethics.

James Nguyen works with documentary, installation and performance. Often collaborating with family and friends, together they create work that examines the politics of art, self-representation and how these decolonising strategies can contribute to diasporic dialogues.

Abdullah M. I. Syed is a Pakistani-born contemporary artist living and working between Sydney, Karachi and New York.

Syed sees art as a transformative expression as well as an obsessive playful activity that oscillates between outward material realities as form and inward imaginative experiences as content. 

Sophia Cai is a Melbourne-based curator, arts writer and public programmer with a particular interest in Asian art history, the intersection between contemporary art and craft, as well as feminist methodologies and community-based practices.

Visitors of the exhibition can come along to a free artists and curator led Walk and Talk session to gain a deeper understanding of the artworks on Saturday 6 July and Wednesday 7 August. In addition, there is a Panel Discussion: Alternate Economies on Saturday 20 July, 1.30pm-3pm, and a MONOGRAPH Reading Circle on Saturday 3 August, 1pm-2pm.

Town Hall Gallery features a diverse range of contemporary public programs, curated exhibitions and exhibitions drawn from the Town Hall Gallery Collection, celebrating the rich cultural heritage of the City of Boroondara. Part of the Public Galleries Association of Victoria, Town Hall Gallery supports local, national and international artists at varying stage of their careers and offers a space for local artists and community groups to exhibit professionally in a gallery environment.

Image credit (Above): ARTISTS’ SUBCOMMITTEE, Artslog (2018), still from video projection, dimensions variable, © courtesy of the artists.

For Love or Money – FREE
Saturday 6 July – Saturday 25 August 
Town Hall Gallery 
360 Burwood Road, Hawthorn