Inkahoots invites you to endorse or take revenge on Australia’s jingoistic nationalism. Vexed is a gesture-controlled interactive installation allowing you to either wave or destroy flags displaying current mantras of blithe political propaganda. Vexed combines the most popular visual and verbal expressions of jingoistic nationalism and an invitation to trash them.
Vexed will be on display at IMA Belltower at the Judith Wright Arts Centre from 9 December until 19 December, 2020.
"How good’s Straya?!
Phrases like 'gas-fired recovery' (using the pandemic as an excuse to cling to fossil fuel dependency) positions environmentalists as unpatriotic. Likewise, the unemployed – with rehearsed slogans such as 'you've got to have a go to get a go' (positioning the under-privileged as outside the national social-contract). While 'now is not the time' is the standard conservative cop-out, recently applied to everything from welfare and tax reform, climate change, First Nations rights, and pretty much anything that needs urgent action.
Vexillology is the study of flags. To be vexed is to be attacked, harassed or troubled. The word comes from the Latin vexare, meaning 'to shake, jolt or toss violently'.
Although there have been frequent efforts to criminalise the desecration of the national flag and make an offence of 'burning, mutilating or otherwise destroying a protected flag or ensign', it’s still legal in Australia. But the sensitivities around flags prove the potency of national symbols, and the related enduring potential of flag desecration for dissent and protest.
Vexed follows on from Unsettled, New Anthems and Hoisted, continuing Inkahoots' critique of sovereignty, nationalism and national identity through graphic design’s expressive modes of visual language."
Inkahoots, Vexed, 2020, gesture-controlled installation, dimensions variable. Accompanying audio 00:04.09 loop.
Inkahoots is an Australian design studio focusing on creating democratic spaces for productive social resistance and public dialogue. They collaborate locally and internationally on projects of all sizes across a range of media, specialising in the creative integration of physical and digital experiences.
Born as a community access screenprinting studio/arts collective, Inkahoots continues to work for social change with adventurous visual communication at the intersection of design, art and activism. They are widely published and exhibited around the world. In Australia, Inkahoots’ work is held in the collection of the National Gallery of Australia, the National Museum of Australia, the Queensland Art Gallery, and others.