Indefinite distribution, 2010

Public action on 15 November 2010 with two aeroplanes and aeroplane texts, and the distribution of 30,000 leaflets by 60 volunteer participants, in and around the centre of Porto, Portugal. Exhibited as a set of traces of this public action: one pencil wall drawing, 300 x 200cm; two channel HD video on two flat screens; 7 A4 framed texts; 2 framed photographs.

Exh.: To the arts, citizens!, curated by Óscar Faria and João Fernandes, 20 November 2010 - 13 March 2011, Serralves Museum, Porto, Portugal.


Indefinite distribution was a public action, staged in and around the historic centre of Porto, with two aeroplanes and aeroplane texts, and 60 participants distributing 30,000 facsimiles of a leaflet first dropped over East Timor in 1944 by aeroplanes of the Royal Australian Air Force. This leaflet - bearing the title “Os vossos amigos não vos esquecem”, or “Your friends do not forget you” - showed a photograph of Timorese with Australian troops, the 2nd of the 2nd, the “Sparrow Force”, a force sent to Portuguese Timor to draw Japanese forces into Timor and slow the Japanese advance towards Australia. The Timorese supported the “Sparrow Force” before its withdrawal back to Australia in 1943. The leaflet urged the Timorese to continue to resist the Japanese occupation alone: “Your turn will come”. The leaflet was a promise, which became famous in Australia and in East Timor, particularly during the East Timorese struggle for independence against the occupation of the Indonesian military between 1975 and 1999. The two aeroplanes each towed a text, the first and last lines of the leaflet, in Portuguese and in English.

Commissioned as a public action for the exhibition To the arts, citizens! (an exhibition marking the 100th enniversary of the Portuguese Republic), the work was also shown as a set of traces in the Serralves Museum itself.

The artist was interviewed by the Serralves Museum during the creation of this wall drawing, and in the lead-up to the public action itself. This video is included bellow.



Nicholson also contributed a second work, After action for another library, to the same exhibition.

Indefinite distribution was conceived as a sibling action to the public action performed in Dili with material related to the same leaflet, Dili action, 1999. Click here to see traces of this earlier action, now held in the collection of the AGWA, Perth.



Exhibition also included
Rosella Biscotti & Kevin van Braak, Bureau d’Études, Stefan Brüggeman, Carolina Caycedo, Chto Delat?, Sam Durant, Gardar Eide Einarsson, Matias Faldbakken, Claire Fontaine, Zachary Formwalt, Andrea Geyer, Shilpa Gupta, Sharon Hayes, Gert Jan Kocken, Asier Mendizabal, Carlos Motta, Ahmet Ögüt, Nikolay Oleynikov, Rigo 23, André Romão, Pedro G. Romero, Ahlam Shibli, Mariana Silva, António de Sousa, João Sousa Cardoso, Nicoline Van Harskamp, Vangelis Vlahos, Danh Vo, Simon Wachsmuth.



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