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Tread Occupation Exhibition: Socially Engaged Art in the Deindustrialising City

posted on 2018-01-30, 00:00 authored by Merinda KellyMerinda Kelly
Tread Occupation Exhibition: Socially Engaged Art in the Deindustrialising City



Tread Occupation: Socially Engaged Art in the Deindustrialising City (2018 : Geelong, Victoria)


Merinda Kelly


Denny Lascelle's Gallery, Deakin University, Geelong

Place of publication

Geelong, Vic.

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Research statement

Background The NTRO is situated in the fields of socially engaged art, experimental pedagogy and urban and placemaking studies. It emerged in response to the ever-increasing vacant spaces emerging in the Geelong CBD. Many of these spaces were once vibrant pockets of the city that featured alternative shops, galleries, restaurants and a vibrant underground arts scene. A major socially engaged art intervention was activated with/in a vacant shop in the former creative hub of the city. The focus of the investigation was to examine what materialized when an intergenerational and diverse group of citizen participants occupied a highly visible, vacant space in the city. Contribution During a week of intense distraction, when so many in the City of Greater Geelong were focused on Christmas shopping, a group of citizens gathered to occupy an empty shop in the CBD for a period of one week. Open to the potentialities of what might unfold, participants took time out of their lives to reimagining Geelong. As the occupation unfolded, the space transitioned to an open platform for community engagement, social connection, critical discourse and creative action. Participants reimagined time, transition and change in Geelong from diverse past, present and future perspectives. Experimental provocations and social experiments illuminated stories, experiences, viewpoints, memories and imaginings for a better, more socially, ecologically, financially and culturally just and equal Geelong. Significance Participants in the project co-created a broad range of responses to the provocations posed throughout the occupation. The site was visited by many passersby and was well attended by participants. The variety of sub-projects and citizen initiatives unfolding throughout this project led to an exhibition which showcased the different modes of community participation and responsive action.

Publication classification

JC4 Curated Exhibition or Event – Other


Soraya Moboyad

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