The time has come to decide what sort of citizens we want to be. From harvesting the data of the dead to hybrid bio robot citizens, the high stakes are explored in RMIT Gallery’s compelling new exhibition, The Model Citizen (8 February – 23 March).
Curators Sean Redmond and Darrin Verhagen said it is now more important than ever to ask what defines a ‘model citizen’, as the question of citizenship is newly and sometimes cruelly defined by governments.
“The exhibition investigates the way humans map and make sense of the world, and how they form imagined communities,” said Dr Verhagen, senior lecturer in Media and Communication, RMIT.
“Too often, the question of who is classified as a model citizen is related to access and power, to gender and race.
“What we propose is that art can operate as a public form of truth or dare, and in its ‘making’ or ‘modelling’ can shine a powerful light on what it means to belong.”
According to Prof Sean Redmond (Screen and Design, Deakin University), the two aspects of the exhibition’s title are equally important: the artists desire that through modelling, their art becomes political life; and citizenship itself needs (re)modelling as it suffers in an age of withering truth and fake news.
“As creative and critical stakeholders, artists have a central role to play in shaping public life,” Redmond said.
“This exhibition isn’t intended to just creatively