Presented at Linden Contemporary Art Centre, Melbourne in 2005, Dangerous Liaisons contends with representations of class in film. Cinema offers a framework for a critique of class division in society, as contemporary cinema continues to explore and uphold class distinctions. Each of the characters from the movies represented in this exhibition is embroiled in an individual class struggle. They might be ensnared in the vanity of upper-class boredom as in Dangerous Liaisons, or hell-bent on self-improvement, like the Kerrigan family in The Castle.
With a wing-backed chair and fleur-de-lys curtains, Dangerous Liaisons recreates an aristocratic salon that is the stage for the unfolding of a dramatic scene, as we hear their voices echo uncannily from the chimney of the room. Conversations can be heard from different corners of the room and the voices are familiar. These are excerpts from seven contemporary films with a focus on class distinction, including Dangerous Liaisons, The Castle, Brassed Off, Ghost Dog, Billy Elliot, Adaptation and American Beauty. Seven paintings are props in the scene, each being a miniature work on mirror from the seven films.
The guide for this project is available here to download. It features contributions on the topic of class and cinema from members of Lily Hibberd’s family, with whom the artist has spent countless hours debating this subject.