Got the Message? showcases some of the most artistically arresting posters created in Australia and internationally over the last 50 years, from 1960s protest posters through to contemporary works when the printed word and image is being strongly challenged by new social media.
It surveys the field of social and political posters which have engaged with critical issues of our time such as war, racism, sexism, AIDS, environmental destruction, nuclear proliferation, consumerism, and political leadership.
While the exhibition focuses on the 1970s and 80s when Australian poster collectives were tackling the pressing issues of that era, it also includes significant posters from the new generation of Australian graphic designers and artists employing digital technology and other media in their quest to reach more hearts and minds.
It includes a strong contingent of highly-charged international posters, few of which have been seen in Australia before. There will be large and representative groups of posters relating to the Vietnam War (USA), May 1968 (France), 'Solidarity' (Poland), Chinese Cultural Revolution, and Amnesty International, as well as to more recent outbreaks of dissent such as the Occupy movement.
Photographic documentation of selected posters in situ and a range of other protest media provide an essential backdrop to the exhibition.
The exhibition is supported by a comprehensive illustrated catalogue which explores the essential history and social context in which these images were created and examines the future of the poster, the role of humour and the problematic function of propaganda and ideology. It also discusses the social role that posters can play in our digital age.