Defining Moments: Recession art and other strategies, Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane, 1985

Mon 13 Jul 2020

This is a past program.
Main exhibition gallery

This event will be released as a video and a podcast on this page at the time of the event and will also be accessible on ACCA’s video page on our website, YouTube and on our podcast page, SoundCloud, Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Stitcher.

Lecture Topic: Recession art and other strategies 1985, Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane

Speaker: Peter Cripps; Respondent: Channon Goodwin

In response to the social, political and cultural contexts of the 1970’s and 80’s, Peter Cripps curated the exhibition Recession Art, at the Institute of Modern Art (IMA), Brisbane in 1985. According to Cripps, ‘Recession art refers to art which is made under the pressure of little money and an insignificant market. It tends to be small, easy to produce, store and dispose of. It included the development of new strategies for the sale of works; the possibility of replacing parts as they sell with replicas. It is an art based on the limited means of production, speed of production and small size of constituent units, which, since they can form larger works, do not restrict the artist in the scale of his work. It is an art based on intellect rather than on formal qualities.’

In his lecture, Cripps reviews this exhibition, interrogating its legacy, as well as exploring perceived synergies between historical and contemporary independent art practice. Additionally, he assesses the role and impact of this type of artist thinking and practice on the contemporary context.

Peter Cripps is an artist and a former Director of the Institute of Modern Art (IMA), Brisbane (1984–86). As an artist has exhibited widely in Australia and internationally since the 1970s, with recent major individual survey exhibitions including Peter Cripps: Endless Space at the IMA, Brisbane in 2012, and Peter Cripps: Towards an Elegant Solution, ACCA, Melbourne in 2010. Between 1973 and 1988, Cripps worked as a curator and various other roles within a number of major Australian museums, galleries and alternative art spaces, as well as in a freelance capacity.

Permanent Recession: Art Labour & Circumstance – Channon Goodwin and Peter Cripps in conversation

Channon Goodwin is an artist and arts-worker based in Melbourne. Goodwin is the Director of Bus Projects, founding Convener of the All Conference network, and makes films and podcasts for Fellow Worker.


ACCA’s Lecture Series, Defining Moments: Australian Exhibition Histories 1968–1999, will take a deeper look at the moments that have shaped Australian art since 1968. In the second year of this two-year series, seven more guest lecturers will analyse the game changers in Australian art, addressing key contemporary art exhibitions staged over the last three decades of the twentieth century and reflecting on the ways these exhibitions shaped art history and contemporary Australian culture more broadly.

Ambitious, contested, polemical, genre-defining and genre-defying, contemporary art exhibitions have shaped and transformed the cultural landscape, along with our understanding of what constitutes art itself. This program traces the legacies of artists and curators, addresses the critical reception of selected significant projects, and reflects on a wide range of exhibitions and formats; from artist run initiatives to institutions, as well as interventions in public space and remote communities.


As ACCA is currently closed to support public health measures we will be recording our entire 2020 season and releasing all lectures online as freely available videos and podcasts on ACCA’s website and promoted across our social media channels.

A bespoke cocktail recipe created by The Melbourne Gin Company will be available alongside each lecture. We  encourage you to make the cocktail with us at home!

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