No More Public Space, Only Public Order (Water Cannon) was a public artwork created by Catherine Ryan and I, with choreographer Ashley Dyer, for 2016 MONA FOMA festival. It involved an absurd, mobile sculpture of a water cannon made out of materials used to control the movement of people in urban spaces, such as safety cones.
The water cannon was presented to the public in an exuberant parade around Salamanca Lawns, Hobart on Sunday January 17, 2016. The water cannon’s capabilities were demonstrated in a choreography featuring a bagpipe player, dog handlers and security personnel, with the assistance of traffic controllers and the police. The cannon was then exhibited at Kelly’s Garden, Salamanca Arts Centre, until February 24.
For this work we commissioned the philosopher and activist, Nina Power, to write a questionnaire to accompany the work. Copies of The Public/Private Questionnaire were handed out to the public at the parade.
At a time when harsh new anti-protest laws were being proposed in jurisdictions throughout Australia, Catherine and I intended to prompt reflection about the regulation and control of the public sphere.
This project was presented by Salamanca Arts Centre, HyPe and Kelly’s Garden Curated Projects in association with MONA FOMA 2016. It was assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, and through Arts Tasmania by the Minister for Tourism and the Arts, and the City of Hobart.
For more information about the project see also:
Photos by Craig Opie, John Possemato and Lucy Parakhina.