Goodbye Kind World is an exhibition of works by Victorian artists that commemorate our shared journey through the twentieth century.


In addition to the exhibition, Goodbye Kind World will provide a venue for a number of discussions and dramatisations of potential future directions. At this turning point in Australian politics—as we say goodbye to the ‘kind world’ of the 20th century—it seems critical to stimulate debate as much as possible. We need a format in which to provide a range of ideas about how the nation might be sensibly positioned in the world. What format might that be? By default, such arguments can be found in lecture theatres and policy documents, but the sterile nature of these formats can be alienating to many. One strategy is to use a familiar symbol of community as a structure to talk about its loss.

To this end, a fruit and vegetable market seems like the ideal metaphor. A place like the Victoria Market is cherished as one of the sacred sites of city life. It provides a broad mix of people from different classes, languages and tastes, who enjoy the bounty of nature in a free public air. Buskers serenade passing crowds of local stalwarts, interstate football fans, Japanese tourists, children in trolleys and hungry dogs. It is the friendly face of free trade. And especially, it is an enduring and productive exchange between the city and the bush.

How might such a symbol be used? The market is a mixed business of stalls, shops, sampling tables and buskers. It provides an open metaphor for competing ideas. A ‘market of ideas’ thus puts different ideologies in separate stalls. These ideologies are presented in layers: specific initiatives are placed before platform philosophies. To avoid confusion with government, such ideologies will not be tied to individual parties. They may include:

  • Protectionist/Nationalist
  • Environmentalist
  • Christian
  • Socialist
  • Aestheticist
  • Cyberian
  • Feminist

How would these ideologies be assembled? There will be a call for submissions, targeting lobby groups, magazines, writers and academics. The final selection of individuals will be paid to produce texts in response to particular questions.

What form would it take? The core location of ‘Over the Counter’ is online. This provides a relatively enduring yet fluid and interactive structure that can utilise related online information elsewhere. The construction of this site will also involve artists who can translate the sights and sounds of a market to the small screen.

Around this online service will be a series of live and print presentations in a public forum and newspaper coverage. The live talks will be held in the conference facilities as the Metro Craft Centre. The organisations currently involved in discussions about this program are The Age, the City of Melbourne, eMERGE, ABC Radio National and the Australian Centre (University of Melbourne).