Museum of Contemporary Art

19th Biennale of Sydney (Part 2)

April 19, 2014
Michael Cook, Majority Rule (Tunnel), 2014, inkjet print on paper, 98 x 140 cm or 140 x 200 cm.

In a dream I’m walking through a vast international exhibition with Juliana Engberg, director of the 19th Biennale of Sydney – You Imagine What You Desire. We both have notepads on which we list those works we find especially interesting. Strangely enough we never stop in front of the same work. The things I like, … More


Yoko Ono

November 30, 2013
Artist Yoko Ono, Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt, 2013

For an artist who has devoted her career to peace, love and understanding, Yoko Ono’s press call at the Museum of Contemporary Art was unpleasantly regimented. Journalists and photographers were herded from room to room like errant sheep, and it was made clear that questions about John Lennon would not be welcome. The only problem … More


String Theory

August 31, 2013
Screen Shot 2013-09-01 at 6.31.03 PM

String Theory is loosely defined as “a theory of everything” – which makes it an appropriate title for an exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Be prepared, however, for a different experience to that provided by the usual cutting-edge creations. Allowing for a few conspicuously sophisticated items, most of this show of indigenous fibre-based … More


South of no North

April 6, 2013
Laurence Aberhart, Vicksburg, Mississippi,

South of no North may seem an enigmatic title for an exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art, but a moment’s reflection provides clarity. The name of this show, which brings together the work of Laurence Aberhart, William Eggleston and Noel McKenna, is borrowed from a book of short stories by Charles Bukowski (1916-1994). This … More


Anish Kapoor

January 26, 2013
Anish Kapoor, Memory, 2008

Some artists have greatness thrust upon them, others keep waiting but it never seems to turn up. Even if you are among that select group of the rich and famous, with every museum and collector clamouring for your latest creation, there is no guarantee it will make life easier. Material success has a strange tendency … More


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


Ken Whisson: As If

October 6, 2012
Ken Whisson, Post-abstract Jeu d’Esprit, 2/3/10, 20/12/10, oil on linen, 111 x 120cm

Ken Whisson says he has always enjoyed being “outside of the awful mainstream”, but it may be that he is about to redefine what is mainstream and what is marginal. Ken Whisson: As If at the Museum of Contemporary Art, is the most fascinating retrospective since the National Gallery of Australia’s George Lambert survey of … 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


Rafael Lozano-Hemmer

January 14, 2012
Pulse Room 2006

Like a Virgin Airlines flight, we are assured there is a serious side to Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s Recorders, at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Although this free exhibition of interactive installations feels like a piece of light holiday entertainment for the kids, it wouldn’t be an MCA show if we were not informed that the work … More


In the Balance

October 2, 2010
Andrea Bowers Step It Up Activist, Sand Key Reef, Key West, Florida, Part of North America's Only Remaining Coral Barrier Reef 2009 coloured pencil on paper 56.52 x 76.2 cm

Can an issue be of overwhelming, global importance and not be a great subject for artists? After experiencing In the Balance: Art for a Changing World at the Museum of Contemporary Art, I’m almost inclined to write off the environmental movement as subject matter. This would be unfair, because I’m sure there have been significant … More


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