Troppo Print Studio Graduate Award for high academic achievement in third year.
RMIT MILITARY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX.
RMIT partners with weapons companies.
Elbit systems, BAE systems, Thales and Boeing Defence (the list goes on) fund research and scholarships, provide internships and work with RMIT to develop new weaponry technology. Military industry partnerships are not unique to RMIT – universities across Australia participate in one of the most murderous modes of profit making in the world.
What does this say about the university system?
What does this say about education?
What does this say about art?
The RMIT Bachelor of Fine Art is a three-year degree in which students are immersed in their creative practice, responding to the world around them. This sits in stark contrast with the weapons partnerships that also run under this institution. Whilst there is a violent discord, the two cannot be viewed as separate or in isolation from one another.
Both provide the university an opportunity to make profit.
The aim of this project is to draw to light the violent, corrupt side of the functioning of the university and attempt to raise questions about the role of the university and the relationship between art and capitalism.
This project is a small intervention into a much greater system of exploitation and oppression. In order to spark action or change, it cannot come from one great artwork or a few intellectuals. It must come from collective action and mass resistance.
Gemma is a print-based artist and socialist activist based on Wurundjeri Country in Melbourne. Their practice critically investigates gallery hierarchies and the relationship between art and capitalism. Responding to the site or context in which they are making, their work includes installations in non-gallery contexts and aims to insight critical engagement from those that come across it.
Statement from RMIT University in response to Gemma Seymour’s work: RMIT’s partnerships and collaborations stem from a deep commitment to innovation in undergraduate education, postgraduate research and employment opportunities and collaborative research projects. Importantly, RMIT does not design, develop or manufacture weapons or munitions in the university or as part of any partnership.