PREPPERS is a touring gallery show of multimedia art work curated by Guy Louden, Dan McCabe, and Loren Kronemyer. The exhibition features sculpture, installation, video and hanging works by five artists mutually fascinated by the prepper lifestyle: Tiyan Baker (NSW), Guy Louden (WA/NSW), Loren Kronemyer (USA/TAS), Dan McCabe (WA) and Thomas Yeomans (UK). Photos of PREPPERS at Fremantle Arts Centre by Dan McCabe.
Preppers is an exhibition about doomsday preppers —the global subculture of people who prepare for the collapse of society. Preppers collect specialised gear, practice survival skills, and hoard violent knowledge. They gather in communities and clubs as well as online. Prepping is a hobby but also a world-view, with its own distinct aesthetics, vocabulary, and consumer products.
This exhibition considers the prepper phenomenon as an expression of wider cultural anxieties. Today catastrophe looms on many fronts —whether environmental collapse, disruptive technology, rising political nativism, or another financial crash. While established power systems fail to address these great challenges, preppers are hard at work planning for the worst. In this moment of great uncertainty, they understand that chaos also represents an opportunity.
The Preppers exhibition is part of a series on this theme. The project began with experimental presentations at galleries in Sydney, Melbourne, and Perth, now culminating in a major exhibition at Fremantle Arts Centre. This iteration features five contemporary Australian and international artists producing sculpture, video, installation, and print art. The art in this show draws on internet and consumer culture, as well as actual experience within prepping communities. It emphasises the aesthetics of rugged survival gear, high-performance materials, specialist technology and tools.In the hands of the artists involved, these tools take on new capacities to express the paranoia, ambivalence, absurdities and hope in an uncertain future.
Listen to the PREPPERS Panel here. Facilitated by Erin Coates, FAC Special Projects Curator, the speakers included Shani Graham from Ecoburbia, artist Loren Kronemyer, writer and researcher Cassie Lynch and the Extinction Rebellion‘s Jesse Noakes.