Installation Art

Claire Healy and Sean Cordeiro

November 3, 2012
Claire Healy and Sean Cordeiro, Future Remnant, 2011

Claire Healy and Sean Cordeiro may be the first Australian artists to take full advantage of the new globalised art world. Over the past decade they have travelled incessantly, undertaken residencies in Europe and Asia, and exhibited their work in museums and private galleries from Kathmandu to Washington DC. The Museum of Contemporary Art has … More


White Rabbit – Double Take

September 22, 2012
Liu Zhuoquan, Seven Sparrows, 2010, pigments on glass light fittings and one glass bottle

Ever since Deng Xiaoping plunged China into the era of reforms in the late 1970s, with the legendary words: “To get rich is glorious”, the nation’s leaders have spent a great deal of time resolving – or ignoring – contradictions. Karl Marx himself would have had difficulty explaining the paradox of a communist country with … More


The Clock, Marking Time

May 12, 2012
The Clock, 2010 single-channel video, 24 hours, photo by Christian Marclay

Switzerland gave us the cuckoo clock, and Swiss-American artist, Christian Marclay, has created the most preposterous time-piece in the history of art. The Clock is such a unique artifact it defies all but the most impressionistic responses. This is obvious from Zadie Smith’s essay in the brochure published for the work’s showing at the Museum … More


Parallel Collisions: The 2012 Adelaide Biennial

March 10, 2012
Tim Silver, 'Untitled' (object), 2011-12.

“We love language,” confessed the curators of Parallel Collisions: the 12th Adelaide Biennial. This may not sound controversial – for the purposes of communication it’s very useful. It was only as I read through the boxed, brick-heavy catalogue for this exhibition that I began to feel Natasha Bullock and Alexie Glass-Kantor may love language not … More


Wim Delvoye

January 28, 2012
Wim Delvoye, Cloaca Professional, 2010

Adolf Loos, the outspoken Austrian designer and critic, argued: “the modern person who tattoos himself is either a criminal or a degenerate.” Loos was writing in 1929, and one can only wonder what he would make of the present day vogue for tattoos that cover an arm and half a torso. He would probably see … More


Tokujin Yoshioka, Shen Shaomin & Chun Kwang-Young

December 3, 2011
Tokujin Yoshioka, Waterfall installation

There is an emerging trend in town: slipper art, and it has nothing to do with the new Speaker in Federal Parliament. At two venues this week the viewer is asked to slip a protective covering over his or her shoes, so as not to soil the art. This is slightly at odds with the … More


Guanxi

October 15, 2011
Li Wei, Hero-Chorus (2), 2010

Guanxi is a curious word. It is usually translated as  “contacts”, but there is no single English-language term that captures all the connotations it has for a Chinese speaker. Guanxi refers to a special kind of relationship between people whereby one may always be counted on to help the other. Such relationships are long-term and … More


William Kentridge; Phillip King; Gareth Sansom

July 31, 2010
William Kentridge  "Mirror" 2010, sugarlift aquatint, spitebite aquatint, etching, drypoint & burnishing paper size 35 x 40 cm image size 19.7 x 24.8 cm

Dimitri Shostakovich was 22 years old and freshly out of the Leningrad Conservatory, when he wrote the opera, The Nose. The piece is based on Gogol’s famous short story of 1836, in which a minor civil servant wakes to find his nose missing from his face. The protagonist pursues the fugitive organ through the streets of … More


Ron Mueck

February 27, 2010
Ron Mueck, ‘Old Woman in bed’, (detail) 2002

There is no place in the upper echelons of contemporary art for a reasonable person: to be a success one has to be an extremist. There are artists whose work is so sloppy it might have been thrown together the day before an opening, and those with an obsessive eye for detail. Many curators and … More


Olafur Eliasson

February 13, 2010
Olafur Eliasson, 360° room for all colours, 2002, Stainless steel, projection foil, fluorescent lights, wood, control unit 320 cm, 815 cm, Installation view at Musée d’ Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, 2002

When a show is called Take Your Time, and runs for four full months, there seems to be no great urgency in visiting the Museum of Contemporary Art. So little urgency that I’m always talking to people who missed an MCA exhibition because they thought they might go next week, or perhaps the week after, … More