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Voice Over Matter At The Arts Centre

By Benjamen Judd

Official Website

There is a particularly fascinating exhibition currently showing at The Arts Centre Gold Coast that, if you find yourself needing a fix of something cultural (and even if you don’t). Voice Over Matter by Brisbane-based artists Gabriella Szanlewska and Brent Wilson explores the contention that ‘those with freedom of speech impinge upon the freedom of others’. Topical, huh?

Outside of being of being awesome artists Gabriella Szablewska and Brent Wilson share a studio and collaborate with one another in between work, band practice, tending their garden and family commitments. Both graduated from Queensland College of Art: Wilson completed his BA in 2007 and Szablewska was awarded her Master of Art in Visual Art with First Class Honours in 2008, and is currently completing her PhD. Of their practice, Curator Samantha Littley observed, “Their shared desired to work as activists as well as artists forms the platform from which their art springs.”

Their installation, which consists of a tiny microphone caged within a large glass bell dome, requires audience participation. Yet the technical equipment is designed to deliberately disseminate the spoken word. By doing so, the speaker literally ‘can’t hear themselves think’. Continues Littley, “Their premise and its execution are evidence of their dedication to social reform – what they demonstrate is the true value of having a voice. By depriving us of the power of speech, they free our thoughts.”

Voice Over Matter is currently showing at the Arts Centre Gold Coast until April 27.

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