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I Know How Hard It Can Get was a solo exhibition about unemployment and welfare policy shown at Moana Project Space in September 2017. The multimedia installation presented a triad of ideologically conflicting voices: former Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey (and, by extension, the language of the Jobactive program); singer-songwriter Shannon Noll; and a semi-fictional dole bludger, played by me. Confined together in a space that evoked the alienating and purgatorial atmosphere of the unemployment office, these voices examined the relationship between authority and authenticity, co-optation and appropriation, and sympathy and contempt.

A transcript of the artist talk can be viewed here.

bludger can be viewed online here. Excellent and greatly appreciated camera work by Graham Mathwin, who also plays the off-screen interviewer.

You can also listen to the audio track that was playing from inside the sign-in desk for the entire duration of the exhibition here.

A digital copy of the exhibition catalogue can be found in the Text section.

All install photography by Paul Sutherland.

 
 
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How bludger was screened.

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Detail of Like Clockwork.

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Detail of Reading Material.

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Detail of the sign-in desk.

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Detail of Lifters and Leaners. Footage courtesy of the Australian Federal Parliament.

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Stills from bludger.

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