Allegory of Good and Bad Government

About Allegory of Good and Bad Government

Priscilla Bracks created a modern version of the Italian renaissance fresco 'Allegory of Good and Bad Government', that was reworked to suit the personality of her home city, which is often nicknamed 'Brisvagas'. The image is divided into two panels (the effect of good government on the city on the left, and the effect of bad government on the city on the right) by a giant (fake) 'barbie' doll a top a pink iced birthday cake - a position occupied by a ruling figure in the original fresco.

Located in South East Queensland, Brisbane is the fastest growing city in Australia, and the second-fastest growing city in the industrialised world after Phoenix, Arizona in the United States. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, over 1,000 people moved to South East Queensland each week last year. Over the next 25 years the State Government is spending upwards of $60 billion on infrastructure projects in the south-east corner of Queensland and the Brisbane City Council, the largest municipal authority in the southern hemisphere, is conducting major transport infrastructure refurbishment in preparation for an anticipated 10,000 new residents in the inner-south over the next decade.

The 2006 Straight Out of Brisbane Festival (SOOB) considered what this rapid growth means for the city's creative communities when it presented Bri$crane, a temporal public art event held on the Good Will Bridge between 4:30 and 6:30 pm on Friday 18 August. 3 artists, (Priscilla Bracks, Di Ball and Serin Pugh) were asked to respond to this question and offering a view into Brisbane's urban futures through illustrations on clear perspex windows that were mounted onto the bridge with scaffolding.

In a city where a celebrity transvestite was once a popular candidate for Lord Mayor, Bracks' figure of authority may not be too far fetched. But of the future Bracks reflects "Its hard to say what the future holds for Brisbane. The only thing that is certain is that it depends on the decisions populations and governments make in the present time. Given the age of the Italian fresco, this is something we've known for a long time, but not always had in mind when acting in the past, so I thought it might be good to make a contemporary version."

Bri$crane was curated by Fiona Hogg.

Priscilla Bracks 2006