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A project in which I seceded from Curtin University and established an independently governed micronation in my provided studio space.
This project was inspired by two things: firstly, a camping trip to the weird and wonderful Principality of Hutt River in July 2014, and secondly, my usual grievances with university politics. I was driven by the seemingly futile nature of my secession: can a micronation still be considered a micronation if its sovereignty goes unrecognised by the institution it riles against, or is that precisely what makes it a micronation?
The Principality of Hutt River was established in 1970 after the Western Australian government introduced "draconian" wheat production legislation - an issue which also affected my family further south (I later found out that my paternal grandparents actually visited Hutt River in support of their cause). Although the Principality can be easily dismissed as a gimmick, I was struck by the sincerity of Prince Leonard and his family, and I particularly admired their clever audacity in declaring their land as independent through international law. It was a remarkable act of defiance, and I wanted to do the same.
Upon returning to university, I declared my own studio space to be a micronation, in which I was the sole resident, leader, legislator and diplomat. I converted the space into an office, and made international correspondence through Official Micronational Communications. To me the micronation was the spatial manifestation of the spatially deprived art student; a conflicted site of productivity and dissent, in which I performed similar tasks to the faceless bureaucrats of Curtin. Ultimately, it was a project made for the requirements of my degree, but this was an irony that I quietly enjoyed.
The Micronation was exhibited as part of the 2014 Curtin Degree Show, and I performed as a security guard issuing visas on opening night.
Thank you to the Casley family of the Principality of Hutt River for their hospitality, and to Cecilia, Graham, Jack, Jess, Joel, Phoebe, Sophie and Wendy for their company on the journey; and thank you to the supporters of my own Micronation.