New life for old wool store - the Visions of Utopia art exhibit

12 June 2009

The opening of Deakin University's refurbished Dennys Lascelles building on Geelong's Waterfront this week has already provided a new opportunity for an equally innovative art exhibit - Visions of Utopia, which opens on 12 June 2009.

Taking advantage of the new space, Leanne Willis, Deakin's Art Collections and Galleries Manager, has developed with the University's Faculty of Arts and Education a fascinating new exhibition highlighting the transition in China from Maoist propaganda posters to capitalist billboards.

Ms Willis said: "This is the first of many displays – following the Visions of Utopia exhibition, the building will host a touring exhibition from Old Parliament House ('Mrs Prime Minister'), about prime ministerial wives organised by the Alfred Deakin Prime Ministerial Library which is also located in the Dennys Lascelles building.

"The versatility of the exhibition space in the building lends itself to both functions and exhibitions of all kinds – we are lucky to be the first to use this wonderful new addition to Deakin's Geelong Waterfront Campus."

In order to illustrate this change, artists Lisa Scharoun (Lecturer of Graphic Design at Deakin ) and Frances Tatarovic (former Deakin Lecturer of Photography), have created a series of 'advertisements' that utilise similar themes of Maoist era propaganda posters with the infusion of the glossy characteristics of luxury fashion advertising. The images reference techniques and the visual language of contemporary western commercial fashion photography. Within the artworks, the past and present visual culture of China is juxtaposed to create a dialogue between the icons of the Maoist vision of a socialist utopia and the contemporary visual icons of fashion and luxury advertising.

The exhibition will run from 12-29 June 2009 at the refurbished Dennys Lascelles Exhibition Gallery at Deakin University's Geelong Waterfront Campus (1 Gheringhap Street, Geelong) and will be open for viewing between 10 am and 4 pm, Monday to Friday.


Media contact

Rebecca Tucker
Media and Corporate Communications
03 5227 8568, 0418 979 134
Email Rebecca

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