Commissioned by the Campbelltown Arts Centre, 2012 – 14

TEMPORARY DEMOCRACIES (TD), was a unique and evocative art experience in the community of Airds, South Western Sydney. Over 3 years, 12 diverse Australian artists working across interdisciplinary and site-specific practices were invited to generate new experiences in public participatory art works within this suburb in transition.

Curated by Paul Gazzola, TD, was informed by, and operated within the frame of the Airds Bradbury Renewal Project that currently sees a comprehensive redevelopment of this local social housing in the area. As such, TD asked each artist to re-consider the civic realm of their practices and develop projects that opened-up new strategies of engagement by involving residents through participation, dialogue and interaction. By positioning each artist’s practice within the rapidly changing urban landscape, TD delivered first hand experiences of a contemporary art practice within a suburban setting. whilst placing a renewed focus on the relationship between the artist, public and curator in the local domain.

In 2013, a row of recently vacated and to be demolished houses were utilised seeing the creation of a series of installations, performances and public talks plus a mobile cooking trailer. In 2014, public, sporting and suburban spaces were activated both day and night across two weekends. The ongoing web platform www.temporarydemocracies.com locates a series of commissioned articles (as well as information about each project) to critically reflect upon the urban realities of these communities in transition. These texts, explored the current social contexts and consequences made manifest by this re-issuing of another architectural strategy to improve the area.

TEMPORARY DEMOCRACIES continued the tradition established by the Live Art projects Site Lab and Minto: Live which installed contemporary art events and performances in South West Sydney and entered direct dialogue with the public about their urban reality.

TEMPORARY DEMOCRACIES PROJECT ARTISTS: Lachlan Anthony – VIC, Darren Bell – NSW, Bindi Cole – VIC, Rebecca Conroy – NSW, David Cross – VIC, Benjamin Forster – WA, Brian Fuata – NSW, Robert Guth – ACT, Bennet Miller – WA, Kate Mitchell – NSW, Tanya Schultz – WA, Elizabeth Woods – QLD