SHOCK ART: An ABC documentary exploring the power of transgressive art

Art has power. In an age of instant-gratification, political delusion, and commercial creative efforts built only for cheap and easy consumption, this is a fact is easily forgotten today. But a new web series being screened on ABC iview since yesterday (March 16th) aims to remind everyone lucky enough to witness it that art – rather than being spineless, shallow or dull – can still be ferocious, confronting and shocking.

SHOCK ART is a collaborative effort between ABC and Screen Australia, will be comprised of six ten-minute episodes, and will follow Doctor Christina Chau as she immerses herself in live-action artistic stories that intend to challenge preconceptions about art and highlight strange societal taboos. Joining forces with two acclaimed broadcast documentary filmmakers, Sam Bodhi Field and Alice Ross, Art history expert Chau will experience firsthand the confrontational and offensive messages at root within each surprising narrative.

By showing extreme scenes such as sculptures made of faeces, a shared bath filled with the ingredients for soup, and disturbingly contorted human phalluses, SHOCK ART aims to force the viewer to answer its many questions: what does it mean to be shocked? If you reacted with disgust, what does that say about you? And, if we wish to understand more about both our world and ourselves, must we be shocked – confronted by images and feelings of immense power?

A must-see for any devotee to artistic expression, SHOCK ART will be available on ABC iview here!



About Patrick McCarthy

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An aspiring writer and filmmaker, Patrick's biggest wish is not to be successful, but to be Morpheus, the Sandman, King of Stories