Plastic Histories wraps up in Hobart

Posted by Situate
17 Jul 2016

The Australian premiere of Cigdem Aydemir‘s Plastic Histories caused a stir at this year’s Dark Mofo, with statues wrapped in pink plastic in Hobart’s Franklin Square and Parliament Lawns.

The mysterious occurrences, unexplained for several days, attracted speculation on social media. Were the statutes being renovated? Was it part of Dark Mofo’s branding? Was it a joke? Once the revelation came that the covered statues were an artwork, the debate continued.

Here’s some of the media coverage:

The ‘queering’ of Hobart’s monuments: ridiculous pink condoms or important public art? by Kate Hennessy, The Guardian

Dark Mofo installation means a colourful dress code for city’s statues by Zara Gudnason, Mercury

On a more sober note, Dark Mofo this year coincided with news of the tragic mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. On 20 June in Hobart the Franklin Square fountain was decorated with rainbow water for a candlelight vigil to honour the victims…..and the plastic-wrapped statues now became an even stronger statement than the artist could have imagined.

Cigdem had a chance to discuss Plastic Histories directly with the Dark Mofo audience via her residency in the Long Gallery at Salamanca Arts Centre during the festival. An exhibition entitled Plastic Histories Unpacked provided some context and glimpse into the work’s development. Cigdem even provided an opportunity for direct feedback, inviting people to leave their thoughts on post-it notes in the gallery.

Plastic Histories was first presented as part of the Vryfees Festival in Bloemfontein, Free State, South Africa in July 2014, the first artist’s commission by one of SAC’s Festival partners coming through SITUATE Art in Festivals Arts Lab 2013.


Main image: Cigdem Aydemir preparing for her work Plastic Histories as part of Dark Mofo in June 2016. Image by Sandi Sissel.