coming up in april
To see some of John Tranter's photos from the heady party at the opening of the avoiding myth & message exhibition last Monday night click here.
The intersection of Australia’s literary and contemporary art worlds is the subject of a new exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, opening this autumn.
avoiding myth & message: Australian artists and the literary world presents works by 28 contemporary Australian artists whose practice has been informed by literature.
& like any poet
avoiding myth & message
to fake a flashy ode, consider
what model of Australia as a nation
could match the ocean, or get your desk
to resemble a beach/
The exhibition title is a line taken from John Forbes’ ‘On The Beach: A Bicentennial Poem’ (extracted above). Curated by Glenn Barkley and running from 7th April until 12th July 2009, avoiding myth & message takes up major themes within the Australian literary and visual traditions; themes which often overlap, such as landscape/interior, text and image, urban life, politics and the personal. Predominantly an MCA collection-based exhibition, it will include ephemera, publications and media-based works produced by artists and publishers from 1968 onwards.
It includes artists who have worked in an illustrative mode; artists who use words and texts within their work; and practitioners who adopt a more poetic, narrative-based approach inspired by literature’s ability to create a visual world based on language.
Works range from Vernon Ah Kee’s vinyl wall piece ‘Many lies’ (2004) which has been specially reconfigured for the exhibition cascading down an 11 metre wall, to Sandra Selig’s ‘Surface of Change’ (2007), a work created using pages from a children’s science book that have had words removed, leaving a new kind of poetry.
Destiny Deacon, Rosalie Gascoigne, Shaun Gladwell, Robert Macpherson, Noel McKenna, Ruark Lewis, Mike Parr, Imants Tillers, Jenny Watson and zinester Vanessa Berry are included.
Two works from the early 1970s by Mike Parr, ‘Wall Definition’ (1971) and the seminal conceptual artist’s book, ‘Black Box of Word Situations’ (1971–91), will be displayed as they were in Inhibodress when first exhibited in 1971.
Key collaborative book works and journals such as A Package Deal Assembly Book, Magic Sam, Surfers Paradise and Cocabola’s Funny Picture Book will be included in the exhibition, as well as individual writer and artists’ texts and publications, performance footage and works that trace the emergence of feminist, multicultural and gay voices within the literary and artistic scenes. This historical (1970s) section of the exhibition will also include a number of texts reproduced straight onto the wall, as well as works and publications by major figures within the Australian literary and artistic worlds, such as Rudi Krausmann, Tim Johnson, John Forbes, Ken Bolton, Tim Burns, TTO, John Tranter, Anna Couani, Vicki Viidikas, Pam Brown and Micky Allan.
MCA Public Programs are an integral part of the exhibition and many of the works have a performative or interactive component, with a number of poetry readings and talks scheduled to take place throughout the exhibition.
(I’ll post further information on the winter series of events co-ordinated by Morgan Smith of gleebooks closer to the dates in June and July.)