Defining Moments: Recession art and other strategies with Peter Cripps

Artist and former Director of the Institute of Modern Art (IMA), Brisbane (1984–86), Peter Cripps discusses ‘Recession art and other strategies’ 1985 at the IMA with a response by Channon Goodwin, as part of ACCA’s lecture series, Defining Moments: Australian Exhibition Histories 1968–1999.

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.

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.

This two-year series is presented in association with Abercrombie & Kent and Research Partner, Centre of Visual Art (CoVA) at The University of Melbourne and supported by Art Guide Australia, The Saturday Paper, Triple R, The Melbourne Gin Company, Capi and the City of Melbourne.

Video produced by Gatherer Media.