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The Adam Kalkin Tennis Academy as part of Mis-design. Photo: Viki Petherbridge
Andrea Zittel’s smockshop archive. © Courtesy the artist and Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York. Photo: Viki Petherbridge
Maryann Talia Pau from the Pacific Women’s Weaving Circle at Alfa 60 as part of Mis-design. Photograph: Suzette Wearne
Mis-design is an attempt to re-map the potential of contemporary art in a culture overwhelmed by design. Art is unique for its ability to unravel and undermine preconceived notions of ‘purpose’, ‘utility’, and ‘value’. It is this capacity towards anti-design that gives art a future in an increasingly commercial, visual world. Mis-design conceives of, and affirms a future for art—outside of the art world—as a parasite in the complex machinery of consumer culture.
Mis-design is a six-part project comprised of two exhibitions at the Ian Potter Museum of Art and three exhibitions at inner-city Melbourne sites. The sixth affiliated project, Adam Kalkin’s Pop-up Pirate Radio Tower, is produced by the Victorian College of the Arts.
Installed at the Potter are two separate exhibitions, the Adam Kalkin Tennis Academy (AKTA), and Andrea Zittel’s smockshop archive and experimental design studio A–Z Administrative Services. Slow Art Collective’s installation Shelter features in the underground car park of McDonald’s Restaurant on Smith Street in Collingwood and in nearby Fitzroy, the Pacific Women’s Weaving Circle occupy the clothing store Alphaville located on Brunswick Street. At two separate sites in Melbourne Central shopping centre on Swanston Street in Melbourne CBD, Flatland OK has installed two Thinking pavilions. Designed in collaboration with RMIT interior design students to prompt passersby to pause and think, the pavilions attempt to literally unhinge your mind for a few moments to make space for contemplation of other things.
Mis-design is curated by Grace McQuilten, a scholar with a passion for contemporary art and community development. McQuilten completed her PhD in Art History at the University of Melbourne in 2008. Her doctoral research explored interconnections between art, design, and consumer culture.