DRUGS is an experimental, sculptural body of work by Paul Eggins. It aims to identify the conservative attitude the Australian Government currently holds towards the use of a range of illicit substances and contextualise them in a more progressive manner. DRUGS by no means supports the uneducated use of these substances, but rather acts as a conversation piece and a hypothesis for future pharmaceutical medicines.

Result #1

DRUGS is an experimental, sculptural body of work by Paul Eggins. It aims to identify the conservative attitude the Australian Government currently holds towards the use of a range of illicit substances and contextualise them in a more progressive manner. DRUGS by no means supports the uneducated use of these substances, but rather acts as a conversation piece and a hypothesis for future pharmaceutical medicines. The work has been shown in various forms in various cities, and at various venues, but has been made available for viewing in the gallery. The work consists of a collection of objects and letters that contain personal and professional messages that Egginss family members have exchanged over the past five years. The letters are part of a larger work, The Last Memoir, 1993, which Eggin has been making since 1994. It is a compilation of letters that Eggin has received from his family members during the last five years of their lives. The letters include personal details such as names, dates of birth, and various personal effects such as passports, identification cards, and family photographs. The works title is a quote from the famous poem by John Cages entitled The Last Memoir.The exhibition is divided into two parts, The Last Memoir, 1993, and The Last Memoir, 1994. The former consists of three large wooden sculptures, each bearing the name of a deceased person. The titles of these works are selected from the last five years of a deceaseds life; for example, The Last Memoir, 1994, is an attempt to capture the people who are still alive in the present, while The Last Memoir, 1994, is a re-creation of the last years of the deceased. The three works, which are covered in a sheet of paper, look like paintings, and they are, in fact, pieces of paper. The artist has cut out the sections of the wood and placed them on the gallery floor. The artist has also cut out the letters and placed them on the paper. The artist has also cut out the photographs of the sculptures and placed them on the gallery walls.The latter part of The Last Memoir, which Eggin has been working on since 1993, consists of three photographs of the sculptures. The photographs are of the same dimensions as the photographs of the sculptures. The photographs show the original works on paper, and all of them are intact.

Result #2

In this sense, the work is a good example of what the present government is attempting to do: to get a lot of things done in a very small time. It is, however, rather to the point that, given the limited space and limited resources of the art world, DRUGS is a risky and disappointing attempt.

Result #3

DRUGS is an experimental, sculptural body of work by Paul Eggins. It aims to identify the conservative attitude the Australian Government currently holds towards the use of a range of illicit substances and contextualise them in a more progressive manner. DRUGS by no means supports the uneducated use of these substances, but rather acts as a conversation piece and a hypothesis for future pharmaceutical medicines. In addition to Eggins, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Melbourne, and the Art Gallery of Western Australia have sponsored DRUGS as part of a program of Australian government-funded exhibitions that seek to develop an Australian identity. The importance of this event can be seen in the fact that it took place on the same day as the opening of the Brisbane Biennale, which featured a similar event. This relationship between the two events is made all the more poignant by the fact that this biennial is the most powerful to date in Australia.The biennial is organized in two stages. The first, which begins with a selection of works from the past decade, is devoted to the theme of the arts in the age of globalization. The second, which runs concurrently with the first, is a major retrospective, with works from the 80s and early 90s. The latter, curated by the museum director, Richard Wilsons, is the most comprehensive yet. The curators have presented the work of eighty artists from forty countries. This eclectic selection was assembled in collaboration with local artists, from artists from the United States and Australia, to international figures such as the Swedish artist Sigríður Íðurinnsson, who is internationally known for his innovative installation, Áppurá, 1999. The exhibition is an important example of international collaborative work in contemporary art. The curators have also worked with the artist and curator João Maria Gusmão, a Brazilian, to develop a special theme for this years Biennale, entitled The Politics of the Imagination. The theme is the attempt to link the contemporary imagination with the politics of globalization. In this context, the use of drugs as an artistic medium is a natural part of the exhibition. The first stage of the exhibition is an exploration of the role of the body in the globalized world, especially as it is used by artists. This process of experimentation is reflected in the current fashion for taking photographs and making objects.

Result #4

DRUGS is an experimental, sculptural body of work by Paul Eggins. It aims to identify the conservative attitude the Australian Government currently holds towards the use of a range of illicit substances and contextualise them in a more progressive manner. DRUGS by no means supports the uneducated use of these substances, but rather acts as a conversation piece and a hypothesis for future pharmaceutical medicines. The idea is to take a mass of untraditional materials and make them available to those who might otherwise not have access to them. The question is: whats going to happen?The works include a number of individual-scale objects and sculptures (including a pair of jeans and a pair of sneakers) and a video. The video, The Great Fashions Debate, is a riff on the debate on pornography, with Egginss voice as the voice of a young man in a high-fashion-oriented lifestyle. In the video, he discusses the various ways in which sex can be transformed into a commodity (and a reference to the political implications of this particular metaphor). He also invokes the Australian context by referring to the Australian colors (the red, the yellow and the blue) as the national colours. The video concludes with Egginss own commentary on the debate on pornography, and the audience is asked to read the comments as a commentary on the current sexual revolution in Australia. The context is clearly the Australian context, but the commentary is not particularly insightful.The work also includes a number of works that combine collectivism and the marketplace. For example, one of the sculptures is called The Great Fashions Debate, 1987. It is a series of black-and-white photographs, with the red and the yellow of the Australian flag on the surface. A red and a yellow are also printed on the surface of the work. In a similar way, a number of other works in the show are similar to Eggins own work, which deals with the theme of the New Intellectual. The subject is one of the most cherished in contemporary Australia, and it is a subject that is difficult to speak about in a formal or critical manner. The work of these artists is to represent the essence of intellectual expression, and the works are thus both political and emotional. They are also the most intimate and private, and thus the most difficult to exhibit in a gallery.

Result #5

DRUGS is an experimental, sculptural body of work by Paul Eggins. It aims to identify the conservative attitude the Australian Government currently holds towards the use of a range of illicit substances and contextualise them in a more progressive manner. DRUGS by no means supports the uneducated use of these substances, but rather acts as a conversation piece and a hypothesis for future pharmaceutical medicines. The exhibition offers a thought experiment as a suggestion for further experiments and an analysis of the current state of affairs.A large number of recent works were exhibited, from the self-portraits of the artist to his film, The Philosopher, which documents the various encounters he has had with a philosophical group. The films title, which was taken from a poem by John Cage, is a reference to the philosophical problems of the modernist, as well as to the Australian context, with the film being an attempt to identify the beliefs and values of a group of artists. The philosophical problem is that the philosophical argument cannot be used to justify the use of a particular substance. The philosophical problem is that the individual is a hollow vessel, the concrete being the end of all questions. The film is a self-reflexive commentary on the fact that, in Australia, drugs are still viewed as a criminal and the criminal is still viewed as a drug user. In the same way that the philosophical problem is a function of the individual, the use of drugs is a function of society. DRUGS was an attempt to present the Australian perspective on drugs, to offer a view from a contemporary perspective and to point out the contradictions between the belief in a civilized society and the fact that drugs are still viewed as a threat to society.The exhibition included a number of large-scale works in glass vitrines. These vitrines were also self-portraits, but in this case the artist was posing as a philosopher, a reflection on his own place within the art world. The vitrines were in fact the same vitrines in which the films were shown. These vitrines are filled with objects, including a painting, a bottle of water, a writing pad, a piece of newspaper, and a letter to the editor. These are all items that have been used by artists, including Eggins, in the past.

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