The term Union is often associated with a group of individuals that share a common purpose. On any scale, a union’s purpose or motivation is likely political; it may be defined by struggles for or against power. It may occur because of an urgency to collaborate, in the wake of a crime, or a restlessness about the status quo. Unions may take the form of protests, strikes, rallies, kinships, voices, collective happenings, quiet resilience, acts of care, and love. They may be about collective actions toward hope.

Thinking publicly about union is urgent. Dissensus is not new, but it is presently foregrounded by the echo chambers of the Internet, closing borders, inflamed democracy, and the rise of insular nationalism. Close to home, myopic policies around asylum, Indigenous sovereignty, and referendums based on definitions of love and belonging abound. Ideologies in contrast to reconciliation, unionism, and student-on-student protest are a proximal reality. Across 2020, The University of Queensland (UQ) Art Museum will present a series of exhibitions and projects by artists and collectives that address ideas of union through the lens of common purpose and collective action.

Union is the second in a series of inquiries that investigate and articulate the role of the UQ Art Museum in its broader university context and artistic ecology; 2019’s tether was Unlearning. Collectively titled An Art Museum in Several Acts, this focus aims to invert the temporal role of art museums by engaging in long-term conversations with artists, students, and our communities. These inquiries allow the Art Museum and its communities to speculate on possible futures of art institutions, collections, and artistic practice with generosity, care, and transparency. 

On 28 February, 2020 celebrate the launch of our 2020 creative program Union with artists, new artworks, exhibitions, projects, creative thinkers, food, drinks and DJ set by Dameeeela.

6:00 pm Doors open, refreshments and DJ Dameeeela to commence

6:30 pm Acknowledgement of Country

6:40 pm Performance of Mel O’Callaghan’s Respire, Respire

Register here to attend.