“Occasionally it’s like a dream sequence in a David Lynch film, disturbing, unstoppable. Sometimes it reeks of loneliness, people going about their business in some seriously fucked-up economy hotel. But mostly it’s full of laughter and hope, a feeling very much helped by the wide demographic of its contributors.” RealTime Arts
Disturbingly obvious and tantalisingly strange, THE DEMOCRATIC SET is an experimental residency model for working with communities.
Created using an assembly of short performances for film, THE DEMOCRATIC SET is an unrestricted and uncensored exploration of ideals of equality and freedom.
Using a custom-made film set, a neutral room with two opposing doors, THE DEMOCRATIC SET is a free space to be pushed, extended or manipulated, with each participant having full control over how their time is spent in the set.
Authoring a unique living trace of a community at a particular moment in time, THE DEMOCRATIC SET invites each participant to untangle what an uncensored space means to them, and each viewer to be surprised and seduced by the mysterious, funny, poignant and provocative sets as they pan the screen.
Concept, Design & Direction Bruce Gladwin
Design & Original Set Construction Mark Cuthbertson
Original Videography Rhian Hinkley
Developed with support from
The Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, and the Victorian Government through Arts Victoria.
Back to Back develops experimental residency models. The models create space for the intuition of collaborating artists and community participants. Once developed, a residency model often travels iteratively, in different communities over several years, allowing for approaches from one incarnation to seep into the next, and for collaborators’ working practices to deepen and flourish. The structure proposes artistic directions with a focus on collaboration, not facilitation.
The film below includes footage from 15 Democratic Set residencies and was screened at the 2015 PQAU Exhibition, as part of the Prague Quadrennial, 18 – 28 June 2015.
Film: Rhian Hinkley
The Substation, Melbourne, Australia
We are People: An exhibition of THE DEMOCRATIC SETBOOK NOW