Toward a New World Order
Michael Goldberg
31 August - 2 October 2011

The artist transforms this vacant lot behind Artspace into an archaeologist’s site that has been frozen in time, evidence of a last stand against climate change, the threatened collapse of financial markets and the disintegration of the social order. 

Visitors may enter the site to peer at a space from which the archaeologist has suddenly disappeared. This once vacant lot has been transformed into an installation with specific aesthetic considerations. The dialogue between reality and art will revolve around the transformation of the site’s spatial environment and artefacts as sculpture. 

The work is evocatively situated in Woolloomooloo. This is an area that has been subjected to many of the key social, cultural, environmental and economic upheavals that mark Australian history: the displacement of an Indigenous population; the granting of private land title; harbourfront land reclamation; the development then loss of local industry; the evolving gentrification of a once working class neighbourhood. 

Drawing from New World Order conspiracy theories, Goldberg’s installation also looks to the survivalist movement, which consists of dedicated groups who prepare themselves for the possible future disruption of the social order brought about by political upheaval, natural disaster, manmade disaster, economic collapse and pandemics.

Toward a New World Order takes its title from a speech delivered on 11 September 1990 to the U.S. Congress by President George H.W. Bush in which the former president outlined his objectives for joint post-Cold-War global governance with the post-Soviet states. In current popular conspiracy theories, the term ‘New World Order’ refers to the breakdown of social and governance systems resulting in an apocalyptic scenario known as the End of Times. 

Over and above these extremist, at times apocalyptic beliefs and tendencies of established survivalist groups, the artist argues that there is now more than ever a need to address the crucial subject of the planet’s survival in the face of global warming and international misapplication of capital resources. 

The installation is located on a vacant lot in Nicholson Street behind Artspace, close to the foreshore of Woolloomooloo. Upon exiting Artspace, turn left toward Forbes Street. Follow Forbes Street away from the Wharf, past the Tilbury Hotel and turn left at Nicholson Street. 

Site location: 56-58 Nicholson Street
Site hours: Tuesday – Sunday, 11am – 5pm

Toward a New World Order sculptural realisation provided by Liu Balboa Studios and project management provided by Dimension 5.

Toward a New World Order is generously supported by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.



Michael Goldberg discusses Toward a New World Order
17 October 2011