Cosmopolitan, 2019
A WORLD WHERE multiculturalism has gone
to the extreme, AND cultural boundaries have
all but collapsed

for Rafaela Pandolfini
and Jana Hawkins-Andersen
Motion Design by Rad Mora
Sound Design by E. Jane

Over seven days and four nights of live events, the Cosmopolitan exhibition program, organised by Rafaela Pandolfini with Jana Hawkins-Andersen, brought together artists, writers and collectives from Australia, Aotearoa, China, the USA and France, speaking to 'the social' in relationship to world-making, centres and peripheries. The show included artists who, together, address our changing relationship to the divisions and interconnections between contentious notions of the local and the global. Subcultural aesthetics and expressions of community pushed up against the logic of globalisation.

The typography imagines a possible future where multiculturalism has gone to the extreme, cultural boundaries have all but collapsed and fetishization reigns. Dragon motifs are as commonplace as serifs, geometric forms or pixels. Smokey atmospheric conditions are applied to the scene both for the drama the varied opacities present in the show’s themes…and of course because future humans stay vaping 💨

The poster for the event uses a fantastic text by artist and writer Ainsley Templeton, adorned by a serpentine swath of beveled metallic smoke, a visual contradiction that feels inline with the mood and atmosphere of the exhibition. The exhibition itself felt like a black box theater and the works were layered onto provisional skeleton walls. The overall impression was somewhere between experimental theater and the laptop of an alt-girl in the depths of an online rabbit-hole

Cosmopolitanism is a concept that has a number of usages/deployments. Etymologically it is derived from the Ancient Greek: kosmos, i.e. "world", "universe", or "cosmos", "politês", i.e. "citizen" or "[one] of a city".  At the centre of cosmopolitanism is the notion that all individuals, regardless of socio-political affiliation, are members of a universal and singular community. As such, we are challenged to detach from more localised, parochial, discrete and exclusive forms of socio-political organisation - nation state, ethnicity, religion etc - in exchange for wide, all-encompassing modes of global-being. We are to echoe with 4th century BCE cynic Diogenes, “I am a citizen of the world” —Lukiah Bodley, The Cosmopolitan, 2019

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