Rachel O'Reilly is an artist, poet, critic, independent curator and researcher whose work explores relationships between art and situated cultural practice, media and psychoanalysis, aesthetic philosophy and political economy.
She was formerly a curator of film, video and new media at the Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, including the Fifth Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art and a researcher in residence at the Jan van Eyck Academie.
Rachel has a background in comparative literature, and a Master (Cum Laude) in Media and Culture from the University of Amsterdam, supervised by Geert Lovink and Patricia Pisters, that theorized videographic crisis genres as post-fordist commodities, symptomatic of art’s own neoliberal transition. The project tracked emergent event genres across several installation art practices exemplarily attendant to ressentimental affect logics of right populism, the drama of austerity, and the precarity of museological liberalism.
Her ongoing artistic research project The Gas Imaginary (2013- ) uses poetry, animation, installation and public lectures to explain the racial and ecocidal logic of ‘unconventional’ fossil gas fracking expansions in settler colonial space, and has been exhibited at Tate Liverpool, Van Abbemuseum, E-flux, David Roberts Art Foundation, Qalandiya International, Gasworks, IMA, and UNSW.
Curatorial projects include The Leisure Class, GoMA, Brisbane; Videoground, (Bangkok Experimental Film Festival, Chicago Film Studies Centre, MAAP, Brisbane); and Some Profound Misunderstanding at the Heart of What Is (w/Cathleen Schuster and Marcel Dickhage), Hedah Contemporary Art Space, Maastricht, part of Moving Images of Speculation Inlab of the JvE Academie; Ex-Embassy.com, an exhibition and text series at the former Australian Embassy to the GDR with Sonja Hornung; and ‘Planetary Records: Performing Justice between Art and Law’ with Natasha Ginwala.
Rachel publishes on Non-aligned Movement legacies with Jelena Vesic and on the politics of artistic autonomy under settler colonialism with Danny Butt, and edits Feminist Takes on Black Wave film with Vesic and Antonia Majaca for Sternberg Press. Her first feature-length documentary installation INFRACTIONS 2019 mediating threats to 50% of the Northern Territory of Australia from shale gas expansions was commissioned by KW Production Series Berlin in 2019.
Her critical writing has been published by Cambridge Scholars Press, MIT Press, Postcolonial Studies and in collaborative criticism e-books by the V2 Institute for Unstable Media, Rotterdam. She is currently a Phd researcher at Goldsmiths’ Centre for Research Architecture.
Rachel O'Reilly's seminars and symposia for DAI: