Creative Crush: Keg De Souza

June 27th 2018

Keg De Souza, Redfern School of Displacement, 2016, The Biennale of Sydney

Image credit: Document Photography

Learning is often associated with a classroom setting – institutional, stale. A lone, under-caffeinated teacher regurgitates the text via Powerpoint presentation to a class of 30+ students. You make a few notes on your laptop, in the knowledge that you’ll probably forget everything they’ve just said and have to re-teach yourself the syllabus the day before the exam, good luck! Is this the only way to learn and teach?

Keg De Souza is an artist interested in more radical ways of teaching, learning and passing on knowledge. In her upcoming solo show at Artspace, Keg seeks to break down the hierarchy of typical knowledge exchange, exploring lived experience, inquiry, solidarity and unlearning as equally vital and valid ways to learn.

The exhibition ‘Common Knowledge and Learning Curves’ will take the familiar aesthetic of the classroom in unexpected ways. Filling the space with chalkboards, uniforms, award ribbons and venetian blinds, and inviting the audience to play and experiment with these forms together, Keg sets the scene for collective play, experimentation and learning experiences. These include a rigorous array of public programs within the exhibition, including talks, tours and meals.

We chatted to Keg De Souza about this upcoming show, what she’s been up to recently and what music gets her creative juices flowing:


Hey Keg, how are you! Where are you today?

I’m in the middle of installing my latest show at Artspace.

Tell us a bit about your practice?

One aspect of my practice sees me creating temporary architectures that act as spaces to host events. These often involve a dialogical aspect where I collaborate with numerous people, often locals to the place I am in, to open up an exploration of the poetics and politics of space. I am interested in knowledge exchange and challenging structures of power.

What have you been working on recently?

I’ve been pretty focussed on making work for this upcoming Artspace show, which comprises of all new work. The show explores radical pedagogy through the use of architectural and educational theory. The show uses the material palette of a classroom, deconstructed to make various spaces, so I’ve been working with things like whiteboards, uniforms and chalkboards… I’ve also been planning a series of events that will activate these spaces during the exhibition.

Have you got any projects coming up?

Common Knowledge and Learning Curves opens this Thursday at Artspace on and in July I’m in a show called New Sacred that opens in July at Mosman Art Gallery and in August I’m in a show at the Art Gallery of WA as part of International Art Space’s spaced3 project where I’m showing work I developed in the 3 months I spent in a town in the north of Iceland last year.

Where can we check that out!?

Artspace is located at The Gunnery, 43-51 Cowper Wharf Roadway in Woolloomooloo. The show runs 29 June – 12 August, with the opening night on Thursday 28 June, 6-8pm. You can find out more about the exhibition here.

What music get your creative juices flowing in the studio?

I’m actually deep into podcast land, music obviously depends what kind of mood I’m in or what I’m working on; Dock Boggs is always good for mornings, late evenings, or if I need to move faster ESG, Islam Chipsy or Konono No.1 and generally I can always go some Talking Heads.


Read more from Anna May Kirk