Campus security tears down SCA poster exhibition for Verge Festival

Date : 10 Oct 2016 04:52 PM
  • Eden Faithfull

Photo source: Suzy Faiz

Campus security has torn down a poster exhibition set up by students of the Sydney College of the Arts for the Verge festival, despite it being an approved installation.

The poster series was intended to be an “all-inclusive” exhibition, representing the diversity of voices from the SCA.

After the proposed closure of the SCA campus at Callan Park earlier this year, students have been criticising the University management’s decision through visual protest.

Juanel de la ForĂȘt, an active proponent of the ‘Let SCA Stay’ campaign, has expressed shock at the lack of consultation  by campus security.

“The works were mounted on cardboard and could have been removed without damaging the artworks, but instead it was destroyed deliberately. It is appalling that they are willing to silence dissent like this,” de la ForĂȘt said.

“It demonstrates the lengths they will go to to remove even the most peaceful of protest.”


Photo Source: Suzy Faiz

The exhibition has been planned and coordinated with the Verge Festival over a number of weeks, and was approved by Verge Festival director Andrew Rickert.

Last night, Rickert showed campus security the approved paperwork. The exhibition was torn down this morning.

“On Friday we sent a hail Mary to University Venues, asking for permission to use the exterior blue wall of the Eastern Avenue Auditorium. This was asked by phone and confirmed approved by email,” Rickert said.

While installing the exhibition, Rickert and a number of the artists were approached by a member of campus security.

“We talked to him and he refused to look at our approval and said there wasn't really a point in forwarding it to campus security.”

One of the artists then made their way to the campus security office, and was assured that approval for the installation went through.

“In the morning it had been removed overnight, with various reasons given: it was thought to have been approved for inside the foyer, it was a protest piece, etc.”

Rickert expressed his disappointment at the way campus security dealt with the situation.

“Although I understand the removal of decals for safety reasons, I wish we were contacted. I'm disappointed for the artists who made posters and submitted their work for display, as well as the numerous people who spent an 11 hour day installing the various pieces,” he said.

Photo source: Verge Festival

The contention comes only days after SCA campaigners pitched tents in front of the Quadrangle in protest of the Sydney University management’s decision to close the Callan Park campus.

Campus security also intervened in this demonstration, with two protesters being escorted off campus.

Campus Security declined to comment.

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