Art News

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia 2012 Reopening Program‏

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia. Photo by Brett Boardman.

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia

2012 Reopening Program Launches with Marking Time, Christian Marclay’s The Clock, a new presentation of the MCA Collection, new commissions, performances and more.

March 29, 2012
10am–5pm Daily, 10am–9pm Thursday
Museum of Contemporary
Art Australia
140 George Street
The Rocks, Sydney, NSW 2000
On Thursday 29 March 2012 a new and significantly expanded Museum of Contemporary Art Australia will be unveiled to the public. The redevelopment transforms the MCA, with spacious new galleries including an entire floor dedicated to the MCA Collection; the National Centre for Creative Learning with state-of-the-art technology; public spaces that embrace one of the world’s most famous locations, and a series of site-specific artists’ commissions.

Architect Sam Marshall in association with the Government Architect’s Office has created a contemporary building that responds to its unique location and meets the needs of the Museum, bringing together old and new to create a context for engaging artists with audiences for the 21st century.

The new MCA opens with Marking Time, which explores the ways in which artists visualise time, from family history and the failures of memory, to the ancient time of the planet or cosmos, to calendar cycles mapping the duration of the exhibition itself and its passing, across diverse media. Marking Time features works by: Edgar Arceneaux (US), Jim Campbell (US), Daniel Crooks (AU), John Gerrard (UK), Lindy Lee (AU), Tatsuo Miyajima (JP), Rivane Neuenschwander (BR), Tom Nicholson (AU), Katie Paterson (UK), Elisa Sighicelli (IT), and Gulumbu Yunupingu (AU).

The highly acclaimed 24-hour video installation The Clock by Christian Marclay will occupy the largest gallery, Level 1, in the new wing. The Clock will be shown in its entirety on the MCA’s opening day, then played continuously during regular museum opening hours. Every Thursday there will be a special 24-hour presentation of this work.

The new MCA opens with a focus on its Collection, works acquired since the MCA was established in 1989. Volume One: MCA Collection, includes more than 150 Australian artists. Selected by MCA Curator Glenn Barkley, Volume One: MCA Collection reflects the diversity of Australian contemporary art over the past 20 years, including work by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, the consolidation of film and video practice from a marginal to central position; the emergence of diverse cultural voices; as well as ephemeral and performative practices. Artists include Richard Bell, Gordon Bennett, Brown Council, Juan Davila, Mikala Dwyer, Fiona Foley, Rosalie Gasgoigne, Shaun Gladwell, Jess MacNeil, TV Moore, Bardayal Lofty Nadjamerrek, David Noonan, Susan Norrie, Patricia Piccinini, Julie Rrap, Khaled Sabsabi, Ricky Swallow, Ah Xian and William Yang.

The MCA will also unveil five new commissions. These include the inaugural work for the new Sculpture Terrace by Hany Armanious, the Australian Representative at the 54th Venice Biennale, a multi-sensory piece by Emily Floyd, a large-scale wall painting by Helen Eager, a permanent piece by Brook Andrew referring to the historic docks on the site and a video for the new foyer featuring names of building donors by Grant Stevens.

The National Centre for Creative Learning (NCCL) is a significant highlight of the upgrade, which will deliver the Museum’s commitment to innovation and its role as a leader in art education. The NCCL features a dedicated multimedia room and digital classroom, two practical studios, the 114-seat Veolia Lecture Theatre and the Bella room for children with special needs. Using unique learning programs and the latest technology, the Centre will connect with classrooms across Australia and the world to engage people with art through seamless accessibility.

The reopening will also be celebrated with a week-long series of launch events, beginning with Zoe Walker and Neil Bromwich’s performance Celestial Radio, a pirate radio station housed on a sail boat covered in mirror tiles and moored in Sydney Harbour. The station will broadcast programs inspired by and created for Sydney. The opening weekend festivities will culminate in a dynamic schedule of free artist talks and public programs, vox pop sessions and live VJ performances in the NCCL.

The Museum has commissioned Performance Space to curate a performance program in and around the new building. In addition to Celestial Radio, Local Positioning Systems features six Australian artists; Julie-Anne Long, Jason Maling, Bennett Miller, Stuart Ringholt, Latai Taumoepeau and Lara Thoms.