Common Knowledge and Learning Curves


Keg de Souza

Exhibition dates
29 June – 12 August 2018

Exhibition opening
Thursday 28 June, 6 – 8pm




Common Knowledge and Learning Curves is the first Australian institutional solo exhibition by Keg de Souza, and stems from the artist’s ongoing interest in the ways we teach and learn. The exhibition seeks to break down hierarchies in typical knowledge exchange, exploring radical pedagogy and its tenets including democratic dialogue, lived experience, inquiry learning, solidarity and unlearning.

With a particular focus on the ways in which space informs teaching and learning, de Souza utilises the familiar aesthetics of a classroom in unexpected ways. Props such as chalkboards, uniforms, award ribbons and venetian blinds are deconstructed and employed as architecture to divide the gallery into temporary spaces of varying materiality and functionality. In the spirit of play and experimentation, visitors are invited to use these architectural and sculptural forms. The exhibition becomes a space where ideas and actions can emerge through critical and collective interaction.

Included in the exhibition are enlarged building blocks – a ubiquitous tool designed by the founder of kindergarten Friedrich Fröbel – which here become modular units that can be stacked and reconfigured to suit different activities and also double as seating. This dynamism offers possibilities for visitors to contribute to an ever-changing learning environment for both intimate and group conversations. Another key feature of Common Knowledge and Learning Curves is an experimental library that wraps around the gallery walls with a selection of books and readings that prioritise marginalised voices within education.

De Souza’s temporary architecture creates a playful, mutable setting to host a series of dialogical events throughout the duration of the exhibition. These public events offer an opportunity for deep thinking about pedagogy and the relationship between place and the learning process. Various community members and organisations – including Bigambul Elder Uncle Wes Marne and students from Plunkett Street Primary School – have been invited to lead discussions, host tours and share knowledge as part of the exhibition (more information below), acknowledging lived experience as a highly valued resource. These temporary spaces within the exhibition are also open for use by educators, collectives or students to occupy for conversation, classes or self-directed reading groups.

Keg de Souza, 'Marginal', 2018, detail, courtesy the artist

Keg de Souza, 'Marginal', 2018, detail, courtesy the artist

Public Programs


Ozanam Learning Centre Tour
Where | Artspace Gallery

Guided by locals who access Ozanam Learning Centre, a Woolloomooloo community centre, participants will create a map and tour presentation of the local area, highlighting spaces of significance to them.

Plunkett Street Students' Tour
When | Monday 6 August and Thursday 9 August, 2:15–3pm
Where | Artspace Gallery

Students from neighbouring Plunkett Street Primary School will lead visitors on a tour of the exhibition and introduce the unique local places that are significant to them.

Free Admission, Please RSVP
Monday 6 August 2:15–3pm | RSVP HERE
Thursday 9 August 2:15–3pm | RSVP HERE

Deep Listening with Uncle Wes Marne
When | Saturday 14 July, 1pm 
Where | Artspace Gallery

Uncle Wes Marne is a 96-year-old Bigambul Elder and descendant of a long line of storytellers with a deep knowledge of Aboriginal culture. This storytelling event invites participants to engage in a deep listening exercise about place, land and Country.


Pedagogical Experiments with Remy Low
During the week beginning 23 July, Dr Remy Low and students from Sydney University’s School of Education and Social Work will facilitate a series of pedagogical experiments that draw on sustained introspection to deepen our awareness of ourselves and our relationships to others.

Free Admission, Please RSVP

Letter from the future
Monday 23 July, 4–5pm
Where | Artspace gallery
A guided visualisation exercise on embodying concerns in the world and becoming the change we seek.

Eating interdependence
Wednesday 25 July, 4–5pm
Where | Artspace gallery
A guided mindful eating exercise that touches on social relations, difference and place.

Listening to the worlds of others
Friday 27 July, 4–5pm
Where | Artspace gallery
A guided exercise in deep listening to the different dimensions of our own lives and those of others.

Keg de Souza
is a highly acclaimed Australian interdisciplinary artist. Informed by her architectural training and experience of radical spaces through squatting and organising, her practice explores spatial politics and the built environment. She works across mediums such as temporary architecture, video, drawing, mapping, performance and artists books to develop collaborative and participatory experiences that explore the politics of space. De Souza often creates site- and situation-specific projects, emphasising reciprocity and knowledge exchange.

Recent exhibitions include The National: New Australian Art, Art Gallery of NSW, 2017; 20th Biennale of Sydney, 2016; Setouchi Triennale, 2016; Appetite for Construction, Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver, 2016; Temporary Spaces, Edible Places: Vancouver and Preservation, Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver & AC Institute, New York, 2015; Temporality in Architecture, Food and Communities, Delfina Foundation, London, 2014; Temporary Spaces, Edible Places, Atlas Arts, Isle of Skye, 2014; If There’s Something Strange In Your Neighbourhood…, Ratmakan Kampung, Yogyakarta, 2014; 5th Auckland Triennial, 2013; Vertical Villages, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney; 15th Jakarta Biennale, 2013.  

The presentation of Common Knowledge and Learning Curves at Artspace is supported by the City of Sydney