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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.

How bludger was screened.

Detail of Like Clockwork.

Detail of Reading Material.

Detail of the sign-in desk.

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

Stills from bludger.