An election year is always a big one for those in the field of political satire.
“It’s a bit of a rejig, a change of personnel, and they have to actually talk to people, and the disparity between what they say and what they actually do is always good fodder,” says Jon Kudelka, Behind the Lines 2019 Cartoonist of the Year.
Framed by the world of rock music and under this year’s theme, The Greatest Hits Tour, the work of Australia’s leading political cartoonists has been laid out at MoAD, as it is every year for the annual Behind the Lines exhibition.
“I think a dodgy, greatest hits cover band is not a bad metaphor for the government that got in,” Mr Kudelka smiles.
Curator of this year’s Behind the Lines, Jennifer Forest, says that the theme for this year’s exhibition represents the loud and noisy year of politics in 2019, both in Australia and overseas.
“The 2019 Federal Election played out like a battle of the bands, with a playlist of old favourites and some brand new tunes,” Ms Forest says.
Outside the election, Mr Kudelka says the events of 2019 have provided him with plenty of material, particularly of late.
“There’s obviously been the fires and people starting to realise climate change is a real thing, and the politicians are at best paying lip service to doing anything about it, and that’s almost difficult to joke about because it’s quite terrifying.”
This year, Behind the Lines features over 80 artworks from over 30 political cartoonists from across Australia.
Mr Kudelka says the way his works, and those of his contemporaries, were laid out was particularly interesting.
“We’re very close to our own work, so it’s very interesting to have an objective view of which ones were significant to other people.
“It’s interesting to see it in a museum, curated, then put on a wall into a coherent narrative.”
Behind the Lines 2019 is on display until December 2020; MoAD is open 9am-5pm daily; moadoph.gov.au/btl