Installation Art

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

Lynette Wallworth & Circa 1979: Signal to Noise

January 23, 2010
Lynette Wallworth, Evolution of Fearlessness, 2006

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, Annihilation of the Blacks, 1986, wood, synthetic polymer paint, feathers, string 278 x 300 x 60 cm

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
Patricia Piccinini, Game Boys Advanced, 2002-2003, Silicone, acrylic, human hair, clothing, hand-held video games, edition of 3, 140 cm × 36 cm × 75 cm

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
Ken Unsworth, A Ringing Glass, Toy grand pianos are suspended in the air, 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
Cao Fei, Whose Utopia?, 2006, Video installation, 20 minutes

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
Yelena Vorobyeva & Viktor Vorobyev, Artist Asleep, 1998,  Installation (bed in front), Central Asia pavillon

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