Created across distance between Brisbane and New York where the artist currently lives, Julian Day’s installation at IMA Belltower examines the power of instruction as a medium, and the embedded tensions between personal liberty and social duty.
Please scream inside your heart is viewable at the IMA Belltower, 420 Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley from the 4–26 September. Co-commissioned by Brisbane Festival.
Please scream inside your heart utilises commercial signage and exploits its quotidian relationship to the abundance of information and caution that now rules our lives in these unprecedented times.
The hyperbolic and sometimes fanciful texts displayed on these LED surfaces are drawn from Day’s decade-long interest in instructional scores—melding seminal works of performance art, with snippets of the news cycle, and (as the title of the work suggests) the new vocabulary of the global pandemic. These contradictory, even impossible statutes cast a caustic eye on our current circumstances, questioning the ethics of delegation and command, and whether we have the right to resist, negotiate, or talk back to power.
Julian Day, Please scream inside your heart, 2020. This project was co-commissioned by Brisbane Festival. Brisbane Festival is an initiative of the Queensland Government and Brisbane City Council.
Open studio, 2019. Photo: Alex Stearns
Julian Day, Relax, 2018, light box. Image: Matthew Venables
Julian Day uses sound to understand the complexities of how we form, maintain and relinquish social bonds. He typically facilitates ‘temporary communities’ of participants from contrasting backgrounds—students, workers, seniors—who collectively develop non-verbal vocabularies to articulate and enliven civic spaces. He works across performance, sculpture, installation, video, and text. Day has exhibited in the California Pacific Triennial, Asia Pacific Triennial, NEW16 (Australian Centre for Contemporary Art), and Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art. His work has been collected by Museum of Contemporary Art Australia. He has been undertaking an MFA at Columbia University in New York through the Samstag Scholarship.