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Inhibodresslocked

  • Nancy Underhill

Australian artists’ co-operative gallery that existed in Sydney between 1970–72. It was the first co-operative gallery in Australia run by artists and it championed conceptual and performance art. The core organizers were mike Parr, Peter Kennedy and Tim Johnson, but anyone who contributed to the rent could be a member and exhibit. While it had no manifesto, nor formal pattern to its exhibitions, Inhibodress challenged dominant aesthetic practices and social structures, including American cultural and military imperialism. The burning aesthetic issue was, what constituted art? For the avant-garde, co-modification of the precious object was unacceptable, so alternatives to commercial galleries, museums, the singular art-maker, or even oil painting were sought.

Inhibodress and, in particular, Parr and Kennedy, espoused Marshall McLuhan’s ideal of a global village and developed a network with overseas artists, venues and magazines, which included the Nova Scotia Art School, Guerrilla Art Action Group of New York, Fluxus, Patricia Minardi’s Feminist Art Journal and the magazine Pages. Parr and Kennedy’s collaborative exchanges, Idea Demonstrations, which was a collection of performances on video, and the exhibition Communications, to which 65 overseas artists contributed, furthered this cause. While Inhibodress gained the most international recognition, in Sydney other galleries such as Gallery A, Central Street Gallery, Watters Gallery, the Earthworks Poster Group and the Yellow House and in Melbourne the Ewing and George Paton Gallery and Pinacotheca also supported radical art-making. Combined, they formed a base for the rapid development of new institutions and commitment to feminism during the late 1970s.

Bibliography

  • D. Brook: ‘Sydney Commentary: New Art in Australia’, Studio International 181 (Feb, 1971), pp. 76–80
  • Inhibodress 1970–1972 (exh. cat. by S. Carmer, Brisbane, Inst. Mod. A., 1989)