Vitalstatistix has made the extremely difficult decision to cancel the public program of events for this year’s Adhocracy, our experimental art lab and festival, scheduled to take place 3-5 September.
Adhocracy is a national arts event that takes place in South Australia; and as a national event it has been dramatically affected by the COVID-19 Delta outbreak, and subsequent lockdowns and travel restrictions.
60% of participating artists cannot attend the event. Two thirds of the projects have had their plans significantly impacted. The program of showings and work-in-progress outcomes that we planned to offer audiences has been substantially affected.
The current climate means that the spirit of Adhocracy – its national nature and the sense of togetherness that develops between both artists and audiences – has been compromised, and we don’t believe that yet another swift pivot to an online format would be of benefit to artists or audiences. The priority for our organisation is the mental health of the people we work with. The show does not have to go on.
All artists, and the casual staff arranged for the event, will be paid in full. Restrictions permitting, South Australian artists will have access to our venues Waterside and Hart’s Mill, as well as the resources of Vitalstatistix, to develop their works.
We made this decision in consultation with, and the full support of, participating artists. Most artists intend to undertake development of their projects, either from their homes, or in Waterside and Hart’s Mill for South Australian-based artists. Adhocracy has always been about supporting and centring artists and their processes, and this decision brings it back to simply focusing on the works themselves.
The Vitals team will use the finite time and energy we would have expended on delivering a high pressure, COVID-19 safe public event, to provide further curatorial and caring support directly to the artists and their projects.
Under pandemic conditions, artists and arts organisations are being asked to continuously undertake acts of unfair and harmful cognitive dissonance in the face of known unknowns, in order to attempt to deliver cultural products to a public. In this instance, for a creative development program of the kind that Adhocracy is, we strongly believe we have made a caring decision that gives certainty, relief, and support to our Adhocracy 2021 cohort. It’s a decision that reduces pressure and that matches reality rather than denies it.
We know that loyal Adhocracy audiences will be disappointed, and we trust that you will understand. It is disappointing that this will be the first time in 12 years of Adhocracy that we are unable to run a public program for this signature Vitalstatistix event, however we are grateful to have the full support of our funding partners Arts South Australia and the Australia Council for the Arts, who have secured Adhocracy’s future in 2022 and 2023 through recent funding.