Object-bound Curses is an online exhibition of new works by Sydney-based artist Penelope Cain, that takes as a pivot point the moment that then-Treasurer, Scott Morrison, spruiked a lump of coal in Parliament in February 2017. The lump of coal had come from the Hunter Valley and was formed from late-Permian vegetation; Gondwana forests from 250 million years ago. It had been lacquered to prevent it from dirtying the politician’s hands.
An “object-bound curse” describes a curse that, rather than being directed at a particular person, is attached to an object, affecting whomever it comes into contact with. Economic definitions describe the “resource curse” playing out as a conflict between a country’s resource commons, such as coal, gas, oil and minerals, and opportunities for exploitation, secrecy, corruption and mis-governance. Australia has contended with this curse, this paradox of plenty, since white colonisation.
The gallery is open and adhering to COVID-19 social distancing measures.
This exhibition can also be viewed on the gallery website. View exhibition here.