Installation Art

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William Kentridge; Phillip King; Gareth Sansom

July 31, 2010

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

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

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


Lynette Wallworth & Circa 1979: Signal to Noise

January 23, 2010

This year’s Sydney Festival follows the familiar pattern of being chiefly concerned with theatre and music. This comes as no great surprise, but it is important that the visual arts events are not treated merely as an afterthought. Olafur Eliasson at the Museum of Contemporary Art is the headline act, while the Campbelltown Arts Centre … More


Fiona Foley

January 9, 2010

Fiona Foley is an artist who has benefited from being in the right place at the right time. Having begun exhibiting in the mid-1980s, she is young enough to have missed the great ideological battles that took place in the art of the sixties and seventies. She never had to worry about edges and picture … More


Rebecca Horn and Medicine & Art

December 5, 2009

It’s appropriate that the Tokyo Museum of Contemporary Art is staging Japan’s first-ever Rebecca Horn retrospective at the same time the Mori Art Museum is hosting the show, Medicine and Art. Of all those who dwell in the upper echelons of international contemporary art, no-one has been more dedicated than Horn when it comes to … More


Ken Unsworth & Paul Selwood

July 11, 2009

As a by-product of last year’s flawed Biennale, Sydney was introduced to an extraordinary new venue. Cockatoo Island is an old naval shipyard, an industrial fantasia, only fifteen minutes by ferry from Circular Quay. Over the past six months the island has been used as concert venue and as a drawing camp for students from … More


Doubletake: The Anne Landa Award

July 4, 2009

It may enjoy a ‘cutting edge’ reputation, but too much new media art translates into an aimless, shapeless sequence of images grouped around one or two central ideas. These works are not valued for what they are, but for what they represent. Australia’s official contribution to the Venice Biennale provides an excellent example. To read … More


53rd Venice Biennale

June 20, 2009

Making Worlds – Fare Mondi is the theme for this year’s Venice Biennale, the 53rd installment of the world’s leading contemporary art exhibition. In the words of Daniel Birnbaum, the Swedish-born, Frankfurt-based director, the title expresses a wish “to emphasise the process of creation.” This may sound a very modest ambition but Birnbaum does have … More


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