ART Unlocking Fear: Exploring New Activism in Australia - Using the Art Installations and Interventions of Freya Pinney
Abstract: This paper grew from an indepth interview and pshcyoauto/biography with Brisbane based artist Freya Pinney. In large part this paper introduces Freya's art activism to a wider audience interested in the role of art in a time of terror. Underpinning this paper is an innovative method of interview including a shared analysis of the transcript offering a rich focus on the interconnections between micro individual biography and macro social experience. Three themes emerge from the rich data of this interview. First there is the wider context of community fear in the 'Howard Era'. Second there is the particular ground on which Freya's work thrives as a challenge to existing sociological and psychology accounts of identity wherein binary oppositions of belonging and exclusion dominate discussions of community panic. In particular we explore Holistic and Artistic examinations of the spaces 'inbetween', which might render visible new spaces for national identity not dependant on nostalgia, belonging or shared experience. Thus, in this paper we argue that Freya's installations Insecurity I and II also reflect a new feminist activism transforming shared cultural fears through individual phenomenology and bodily awareness of emotion and reaction. Third and finally as an 'artist under surveillance' Freya Pinney's art and activism signals new directions in art and politics for a younger generation Australians who must create their own activist legacy after the Babyboomers.
The Australian Sociological Association Refereed Conference Papers 2006