MUMA Exhibition and Public Programs | Direct Democracy

Direct Democracy (Raquelle Ormella, 'Poetic possibilities' 2012)

About the Exhibition

Direct Democracy explores the changing nature of our engagement with the democratic tradition and looks to the emergence of new democratic models. The exhibition reflects contemporary social movements, unrest and the desire for change; modelling key social dynamics and possible futures. In Direct Democracy destruction and resistance are connected with the need to collaborate and rebuild. Recent political shifts such as the Arab Spring, the global financial crisis and movements such as Occupy are considered in relation to earlier struggles for autonomy and self-definition, as well as the interplay of constructive and corrosive dynamics in leadership and governance. The exhibition examines the shifting forms of political agency, in both emerging and foundational democracies.

Direct Democracy continues MUMA’s ongoing series of thematic and discursive exhibitions, such as Networks (Cells & Silos) and Liquid Archive. Curated by MUMA’s Senior Curator Geraldine Barlow, Direct Democracy features the work of a number of international artists together with artists and artist collectives from Australia. An extensive exhibition catalogue will also be produced in combination with the presentation of Direct Democracy.

Exhibition runs until 6th July 2013.

Public Programs

Disobedience: The Monash Labour Club and the Student Struggles of the 1960s and 1970s 

Disobedience will focus on the origins and rise of student activism at Monash University, and the student struggles of the Monash Labor Club in the 1960s and `70s. The discussion will take into account the role of significant radicalising events that occurred throughout the world, within Melbourne and at Monash University during this period.

Bringing together former Monash students and key members of the Monash Labor Club the discussion will explore their unique understanding of Marxism and the application of their praxis to contemporary forms of occupation, Situationism, information technology and knowledge production.

Disobedience contributors will include: Darce Cassidy, Michael Hyde, Jill Jolliffe, Ken Mansell and Dave Nadel.

Venue: Ground Floor, Building F, Monash University, Caulfield Campus 900 Dandenong Road, Caulfield East VIC 3145 Australia

The discussion will be convened by Dr Kate Murphy, a Lecturer in Contemporary History at Monash University.

Kate has recently completed (with co-author Professor Graeme Davison) a history of Monash University, entitled University Unlimited: The Monash Story (Allen and Unwin: 2012). The history spans the founding of Monash, the growing demand for higher education; the student experience and ‘troubles’ of the late 1960s and early 1970s, when it became a symbolic centre for student radicalism in Australia; and from the late 1980s the reforms and expansion of the university. Kate’s current research is on the Australian student movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Disobedience coincides with the inaugural annual sculpture commission in the Ian Potter Sculpture Court, Emily Floyd’s This place will always be open, 2012. Floyd’s sculpture explores the role and legacy of the university campus – and museum – as a site of political potential. Drawing its title and conceptual framework from the experimental student struggles at Monash University during the 1960s and `70s, Floyd’s work serves as a space for social encounter – re-invoking a utopian spirit that is open, inclusive, free, provisional and generative.

To reserve your place please contact MUMA on 03 9905 4217 or via email

Website for further details

A Centre for Everything Workshops

A Centre for Everything (Gabrielle de Vietri & Will Foster) is a collaborative project established in 2012. Open to anyone who wishes to participate, the project takes form as a series of regular events modelled on a Venn diagram of disparate interests that manifest as workshops, discussions, activities, and meals.

Events include The House: Plein Air Drawing Workshop Saturday 8th June and Party Food Politics  Saturday 6th July 2013. For more details see the website or

To reserve your place for these events please contact A Centre for Everything: