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History Repeats Itself

17 February 2018 - 7 October 2018

History is the recording of events describing human evolution.  The German thinker Karl Marx once proposed that ‘history repeats itself’, suggesting that any event will likely occur and then recur, ‘first as tragedy, then as farce’, in an endless loop of self-citations.

Many artists today use history as inspiration and material, and are particularly concerned with the cyclicality Marx mentioned.  They examine historical processes, freely interpreting them through imitation or re-enacting of that which has already happened.

The artists featured in this exhibition embrace a documentary mode to illustrate these ideas.  They tell a story, either mundane or grandiose, but always related to mythology, morals, economics or politics, shifting between master narratives and personal incidents, lived experience and imagination.

Their works reflect issues associated with war, racism, colonialism, revolution, inequality, diaspora, exile, identity, immigration and environmentalism.  Through analysis of facts or allegory, direct references or simulation, they bear witness to events in order to convey something of the realities of social life.


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