EXTRA MARCH 2020
THE 22ND BIENNALE OF SYDNEY, TITLED NIRIN, IS GOING VIRTUAL
The 22nd Biennale of Sydney, titled NIRIN, is going virtual. Just 10 days after it’s official opening, the Biennale led by artistic director Brook Andrew had to close its physical exhibition spaces in response to the growing global COVID-19 crisis.
The Biennale has announced the first instalment in a series of online activations and experiences that respond to the seven guiding themes of the exhibition, remaining staunchly artist-led. What was originally planned as NIRIN WIR, a series of interconnected events across the entire 87 days of the exhibition, can now be experienced online through a range of learning materials. Turning focus to teacher, student and family resources, the programs interactive tools, podcasts, artist interviews, videos and tutorials respond to the urgent social, political and environmental issues of today. The online program, currently being held over 10 weeks on the Biennale of Sydney’s website and social channels, champions diverse global cultural perspectives to foster connection, dialogue and healing.
Whilst the loss of social connection and international exposure for the 101 artists and collectives in NIRIN is a devastating blow, this unprecedented push towards the virtual has highlighted Andrew’s true radicalisation of the ways of learning and teaching that motivated the curatorial vision of the Biennale.
Simultaneously, the Biennale is working to create a virtual platform for audiences to experience the 700 artworks with the help of Google Arts & Culture. Working with all six exhibition partners – from the Art Gallery of New South Wales to the Campbelltown Arts Centre – the Biennale and Google are working to create 360-degree tours, video walkthroughs and curated content that allows audiences to attend the NSW-based exhibitions from home.
The 22nd Biennale of Sydney: NIRIN can be experienced online here
Image credit: Barbara McGrady with John-Janson Moore, Ngiyaningy Maran Yaliwaunga Ngaara-li (Our Ancestors Are Always Watching), 2020, inkjet prints. Installation view (2020) for the 22nd Biennale of Sydney, Campbelltown Arts Centre. Courtesy the artist. Photograph: Zan Wimberley. Commissioned by the Biennale of Sydney with generous support from the Australia Council for the Arts.
THE WORLD’S LARGEST AND MOST VISITED MUSEUMS AND EXHIBITIONS HAVE CLOSED AMIDST THE GLOBAL COVID-19 CRISIS
From the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Musée du Louvre in Paris to the postponement of international exhibitions such as the 17th Venice Architecture Biennale, the 11th Berlin Biennale and Art Basel in Hong Kong, the global art world is working to adapt past models and innovate solutions to the way we consume art today and into the future.
Google Arts and Culture has been innovating in the field of virtual museums experiences for years and now the world is catching up. Google has amassed digital documentation of more than 2,000 international institutions with visitation speculated to have quadrupled in the last month. A notable newcomer to Google is the Galleria degli Uffizi in Florence who will present an ongoing program which highlights key works and histories in the collection.
Elsewhere, institutions are shifting focus towards education, producing new digital learning resources and making online courses freely accessible. MoMA is leading the way with nine free online courses that range from ‘What is Contemporary Art?’ to ‘How to make a Bruce Lee Tracksuit’.
Whilst the art world had long been moving towards digital consumption, online markets and more accessible resources, the loss of physical cultural spaces forces us to question how we engage with art beyond place, space and time.
Image credit:MoMA visitors walk around a sculpture by Barnett Newman titled Broken Obelisk. Photo: Mario Tama / Getty Images
PROTOTYPE CARE PACKAGES
Prototype – which launched in 2019 as a direct, experimental and independent digital arts and streaming platform – returns with Prototype Care Packages. Every Friday from 17 April, Prototype will deliver new screen works direct to subscribers’ inboxes. From short experimental film, moving image art to video art and the uncategorizable, the program includes over ten works from Australian and international artists.
New works have been commissioned of artist-filmmaker Robert Nugent, Soda_Jerk collaborator Sam Smith, Chilean experimental filmmaker Malena Szlam, documentary maker Sari Braithwaite and Australian-Bidayuh artist Tiyan Baker. The full program also includes work by Australian theatre and filmmaker Sarah Hadley, Netherlands-based artist Pilar Mata Dupont, Australian documentary artist Esther Carlin, Australian-Balinese artist Leyla Stevens, Australian mining researcher Amelia Hine and new work by Australian experimental filmmaker Allison Chhorn.
During the current COVID-19 crisis, the organisations core ambition is more relevant than ever. Prototype had already been championing the ways in which artists adapt to screen, the internet and digital consumption, and now the Prototype Care Packages reflect how these practices have rapidly changed during a global state of emergency. The notion of care is twofold in this project. Not only does Prototype offer audiences creative encounters, community and solace during home isolation, it offers artists income and work as the industry navigates a new economic climate.
Every Friday from 17 April 2020
Subscribe here to receive Prototype Care Packages direct to your inbox
Image credit: Robert Nugent, Roadside Picnic, 2020. Courtesy the artist and Prototype
FRANCIS UPRITCHARD AT MUSEUM DHONDT-DHAENENS, BELGIUM
Big Fish Eat Little Fish is the most recent solo exhibition from New Zealand-born, London-based artist Francis Upritchard. With a unique practice defined by in-depth experimentation with material, colour, shape and scale, Upritchard’s latest work continues to provoke expectations of referentiality. Often devoid of cultural, geographical or chronological boundaries, Upritchard’s sculptures are motivated by a fascination with museology and design to present self-designed displays and scenography.
For her current exhibition at the Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens in Belgium, the artist presents a reinterpretation of her 2018 exhibition Wetwang Slack at the Barbican Centre, London. Wetwang Slack, an archaeological site in East Yorkshire, was the starting point for exploring unusual materials such as balata, a rare Brazilian rubber from the Amazon forest. For Big Fish Eat Little Fish, Upritchard presents a number of new anthropomorphic sculptures in a scenography that embraces the architecture of the Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens and alludes to a meaningless world in which the powerful instinctively prey on the weak.
As is typical of Uprtichard’s practice, Big Fish Eat Little Fish leans into ambiguity to disassociate figures from references to characters and personas. Instead they exemplify a liminal space between gender, time and space, ultimately exploring larger social discourse through the lens of fiction and malleability.
Francis Upritchard At Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Belgium
Big Fish Eat Little Fish
View the exhibition online here
Image credit: Installation view, Francis Upritchard - Big Fish Eat Little Fish, Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, 2020. Courtesy of the artist and Kate MacGarry. Photo: Rik Vannevel
JOHNNY NARGOODAH & TRENT JANSEN AT ARC ONE GALLERY
As part of Melbourne Design Week in March, ARC ONE in partnership with Gallery Sally Dan-Cuthbert presented a suite of new works by designers Johnny Nargoodah and Trent Jansen. Nargoodah and Jensen have been collaborating since 2016 imparting their unique perspectives as a saddler on remote cattle stations and as an avant-garde object designer into every project they have produced. It is this incongruous process of collaboration that defines the objects in Partu, the title derived from the Walmajarri word meaning skin. Developed in Thirroul in New South Wales across 18 months, Nargoodah and Jansen undertook sketching exchanges before coming together to design by making, manipulating materials at full scale to produce co-authored outcomes.
Johnny Nargoodah & Trent Jansen at ARC ONE Gallery
View the exhibition online here
Image credit: Installation view, Johnny Nargoodah and Trent Jansen, Partu (Skin), ARC ONE Gallery, 2020. Courtesy of ARC ONE Gallery. Photo: Tom Ross
COLLECTIVITY TALKS: THE NEW GENERATION OF CREATIVE COLLABORATIONS AT NATIONAL GALLERY OF VICTORIA
On Thursday the 12th March, VAULT listened to a panel discussion exploring the relationship between fashion, art, design at NGV Members Lounge at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.
The panel was Presented by Communications Collective and RUSSH Magazine as part of the Collectivity Talks series and was presented at Melbourne Design week. The panel had an intention to discuss what it meant to be meaningful change on issues of sustainability and social justice. The panel heard from speakers Kit Willow of KitX, Ukrainian artist Stanislava Pinchuk, Australian artist Anna-Wili Highfield, Genevieve Brannigan of Communications Collective and Jess Blanch, editor in chief RUSSH Magazine.
Often known by her pseudonym, Miso, Stanislava Pinchuk works with data-mapping the changing topographies of war and conflict zones. Having previously worked for large brands like Nike and Chanel, Pinchuk recently curated an exhibition for the Immigration Museum on tattooing and its intersection with ideas of migration journeys, embodiment of trauma, heritage and identity.
“Collaborations are really great, in that – at their best – they remind us how nimble and receptive we need to be in our own practices to push through to something interesting,” she says.
This panel was a refreshing insight into the complex, nuanced and exciting methods that creatives are employing to connect beyond their discipline and to create new moments of encounter.
Collectivity Talks: The new generation of creative collaborations at National Gallery of Victoria
12 March 2020
Image credit: Artist Stanislava Pinchuk, Genevieve Brannigan Director of Communications Collective, Kit Willow of KitX, artist Anna-Wili Highfield and Jess Blanch Editor In Chief RUSSH
SAMUEL HODGE AT UNSW GALLERIES
In The Wit of the Staircase, Samuel Hodge draws on his extensive archive of artistic practice to present an unpredictable installation of photography, archival prints, digital video, textiles and collage that reanimate and recontextualise past moments. Offering audiences multiple points of access to the imagination of his practice, Hodge intentionally juxtaposes disparate elements which interrupt and collide with misaligned ‘official’ histories. Ultimately, the exhibition forces us to consider the past encounters that direct us to the present.
Samuel Hodge at UNSW Galleries
The Wit of the Staircase
View the exhibition online here
Image credit: Installation view, Samuel Hodge: The Wit of the Staircase, UNSW Galleries, 2020. Courtesy UNSW Galleries
JO LANKESTER AT ONESPACE GALLERY
Mind’s Eye: Mapping the Landscape presents a new body of work by Townsville-based artist Jo Lankester. At Onespace the detail and sensitivity to the Australian landscape that has categorised Lankester’s practice for nearly 30 years culminates in her first solo exhibition in Brisbane. Employing a range of techniques from intaglio and relief combined with hand stitching and collage, the exhibition explores the subject of landscape in equal parts, as a representation of the real or observed world, and as an internal site. Through mark making over swathes of deep earthy hues, Lankester depicts imagery from memories associated with the physicality of experiencing the diverse landscapes of Queensland.
Jo Lankester at Onespace Gallery
Mind's Eye: Mapping the Landscape
On show until 25 April 2020 (by appointment only)
View the exhibition online here until 30 April 2020
Image credit: Jo Lankester, Summer – Nelly Bay to Arcadia ridge, 2020, Multi-colour plate intaglio print and hand stitching, in a Tasmanian Oak frame, Edition of 2, 118 x 92cm. Courtesy of the artist and Onespace Gallery
MELANIE SMITH AT CAIRNS ART GALLERY
As part of the International Screen Series, British-born, Mexico City-based artist Melanie Smith’s acclaimed 2014 filmic work Fordlandia is on display at the Cairns Art Gallery. Smith’s single-channel video examines industrialist Henry Ford’s failed utopia in the tropical Brazilian rainforest and the tensions between colonisation, industry and nature. Powerfully detailed, gripping and masterfully shot, Fordlandia weaves an extraordinary visual narrative of Ford’s failed attempt to build a replica all-American city which was later reclaimed by the rapacious Amazonian jungle.
Melanie Smith at Cairns Art Gallery
On show until 3 May 2020
Available for view online here
Image credit: Melanie Smith. Born Poole, England, 1965. Fordlandia (still), 2014, single channel video, colour, sound, 29:42 mins. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Peter Kilchmann, Zurich, Switzerland
CONTACT US AT CEMENT FONDU
Contacts Us brings together the work of Tom Polo, Emma Finneran and Campbell Patterson to consider the gestures through which we silently communicate. Pertinent now more than ever, Contact Us traces ethereal and tangible actions through video, installation and painting. Finneran highlights the residue of silent gestures that mean we are constantly and unwittingly communicating; Polo focuses in on the physical and emotional zones of contact between people to consider the traces of interpersonal relationships; and Patterson revisits past works and their collected memory to examine emotional responses, personal boundaries and the abjectness of the bodies of strangers.
Contact Us at Cement Fondu
Tom Polo, Emma Finneran, Campbell Patterson
On show until 3 May 2020 (by appointment only)
View the exhibition online here
Image credit: Installation view, Contact Us, Tom Polo, Emma Finneran and Campbell Patterson, Cement Fondu, 2020. Photo: Jessica Maurer