Imperial Slacks collective formed in 2000 in Surry Hills, Sydney in response to a need to continue the activities of the artist run space Herringbone Gallery. The collective is made up of resident artists and friends from the studios that surrounded the exhibition space. The Imperial Slacks collective ran the gallery until late-2002, supporting curated exhibitions, sound events and performance projects from local and international artists. During that time, the group exhibited annually, producing 18 is enough, Imperial Alliance, Positive Overkill and Period (an exchange project with Blaugrau artist run space). The gallery project terminated with Slacking Off, opening up the live-in spaces for an expanse of mini-exhibitions from invited and resident artists.

Work, Rest, Play (Escape) is the collective’s first collaboration since leaving the Surry Hills space.

WORK, REST, PLAY (ESCAPE) - Artspace, Sydney, Febuary, 2004
Imperial Slacks collective present an environment that questions the possibilities and failings of collective and alternative living. A key objective of this theoretical Imperial Slacks kibbutz-Hilton is the synthesis of work, rest and play into one stream of delimited activity. These various social modes will be networked through a perverse arrangement of natural, domestic, sporting and recreational materials. The "Slackers" speculate upon a design for living that will physically and symbolically suspend the function of these familiar materials and relationships in order to offer new hybridised and esoteric formations. This constructed environment is intended to continue a development of its own language, rituals and beliefs against a variety of conflicting forces external to the group.
The potential for this model of creative cohabitation to nomadically uproot and fragment is a great disappointment to utopian thought, Vogue Living, Ikea, Better Homes and Gardens (and our mums). In doing so, the model escapes its own physical and social architecture in favour of new manifestations: at worst, another institutional "test site," at best, a group pod somewhere else, sometime soon.
detail, 2004, materials: telegraph pole, lights, sandbags, chain
detail, 2004, materials: beds, linen, rope
detail, 2004. materials: ply, string, bark, paint, goon bag surveillance system
detail, 2004, materials: book shelving, catalogues and art publications.