Date: 05-May-2012 – 03-Jun-2012
Location: Contemporary Art Tasmania
Bad Samaritans consists of documentation and performance works by international contemporary artists who use the physical body as a tool for challenging the polity and society they inhabit.
The immediacy of performance and video is used by the artists both as a medium and as documentary tools to expose the boundaries of the ethical and moral bases of a range of economic, political and social systems. These explorations extend across medical research, police powers, interspecies relations, substance authorization and exploitation, nationalism and mainstream media tactics.
The artists consistently use physical bodies (often their own) to create personified actions between power systems and individuals: between society and the state, pharmacology and consumers, and the law and activists. In this embodied practice, where the body is fundamental to larger society, the artists harness its unique potency as a medium of communication and disruption. They embrace practices that make the body vulnerable while simultaneously celebrating the agency the individual form has over the vast social body.
Real or depictive engagement in acts that violate the limits of acceptable behaviour – deviance against laws or national ideologies – are used to locate or expose inconsistent and unethical limitations in contemporary environments. By engaging with content that defies the sanctioned norm, these artists’ works provoke particular atmospheres of instability and unrest within contemporary global culture.
The works also contain elements of intimacy and exhibitionism.