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'21st Century: Art in the First Decade' is an exhibition, publication, blog and series of public programs at the Queensland Art Gallery l Gallery of Modern Art that explore the art of the past ten years. As an expanded platform for the exhibition, the '21st Century Blog' functions as a source book of reference material and contributions provided by artists, curators and writers. Read more

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Extract from Kota Ezawa’s ‘Lennon Sontag Beuys’ 2004

Kota Ezawa’s Lennon Sontag Beuys is based on footage of well-known public speeches by John Lennon, Susan Sontag and Joseph Beuys – three ideologues of different art forms (music, literature and visual art respectively). Each character’s speech presents a different position on art’s power (or impotence) to effect social change. Lennon is depicted with Yoko Ono at the 1969 Amsterdam ‘sleep-in’ for peace, Sontag at her 2001 Columbia University lecture, at which she argues that photography can record but not avert social disasters, while Beuys delivers his 1974 New School lecture in which he solemnly declares that ’this new discipline I call social sculpture can be advantageous for the evolution of the earth’. The audio sequence has not been altered by Ezawa, and we hear the three subjects speaking at once, as if interrupting or talking over each other. The artist stated that he was ‘curious to see if, when I show these three distinct artistic personalities simultaneously, they culminate into something new that is all mine’.

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