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Outsourcing art: Gertrude Contemporary’s new show

Where Australia used to be tyrannised by distance and suffer from a problem of provincialism its artists are now part of a never-ending, two-way global exchange. David Brazier and Kelda Free are London artists currently resident at Gertrude Contemporary, where they’re researching issues around migration.

However, on a 2010 art residency in New Delhi, they highlighted the pointy end of all this globalisation by outsourcing their artistic obligations to a firm called Virtual Employee. In what could variously pass as “institutional critique”, “social-practice art” or “relational aesthetics”, they hired call-centre worker Ashish Sharma to teach Hindi to African immigrants and provide gambling counselling to at-risk children.

Brazier and Free claim that Sharma – who had no previous art experience – subsequently professed a desire to take up the trade.

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