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sensitively national, selectively global

visual and media arts: 2010 adelaide & sydney festivals


Tony Albert, No Place (4), 2009, type-C photograph, image courtesy the artist and Jan Manton Art, Brisbane and Gallerysmith, Melbourne; from Putsch at Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute, Adelaide Festival of Arts Tony Albert, No Place (4), 2009, type-C photograph, image courtesy the artist and Jan Manton Art, Brisbane and Gallerysmith, Melbourne; from Putsch at Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute, Adelaide Festival of Arts
AS EVER THE VISUAL ARTS PROGRAM IS AN IMPORTANT PART OF THE ADELAIDE FESTIVAL. BUT FOR THE FIRST TIME THERE’S AN AN AMBITIOUS, CURATED PROGRAM TITLED ADELAIDE INTERNATIONAL AS WELL AS THE WELL-ESTABLISHED BIENNIAL OF AUSTRALIAN ART. IN THE SYDNEY FESTIVAL THE FOCUS IS ON LEADING CONTEMPORARY MEDIA ARTISTS, LYNETTE WALLWORTH (AUSTRALIA) AND OLAFUR ELIASSON (ICELAND/FINLAND) AND A NEW THREE-YEAR PROGRAM THAT CONNECTS THE CITY AND ITS COMMUNITIES WITH THE ASIA-PACIFIC REGION.

adelaide

The first Adelaide International, titled Apart, we are together, is curated by Victoria Lynn, bringing together the Anne & Gordon Samstag Museum of Art, Australian Experimental Art Foundation, Contemporary Art Centre of SA, Flinders University City Gallery and JamFactory Contemporary Craft and Design. Exploring the festival’s ‘heart’ theme (see page 13), the exhibition will ask, “What does it take to survive, to keep the heart going? What forms of resistance and resilience are at work?” The art will embrace “a spirit of inclusion and hospitality, as well as a celebration of difference...that in being ‘apart’, we can also be ‘together’.”

Apart, we are together will show the work of 11 international artists in a rich cross-cultural mix, including an important Thai filmmaker, Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Tropical Malady, Blissfully Yours, Syndromes and a Century). The other participating artists are Rossella Biscotti (Italy), Julian Hooper (NZ), Nina Fischer/Maroan El Sani (Germany), Iman Issa (Egypt), Donghee Koo (Republic of Korea), Li Mu (China), Raeda Saadeh (Palestine), Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Thailand), Lucy Orta (UK), Jorge Orta (Argentina), Tara Donovan (USA) and Praneet Soi (India/Netherlands).

The Art Gallery of South Australia will present the 2010 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Before & After Science, curated by Charlotte Day and Sarah Tutton, featuring the work of 22 artists and groups, with strong Indigenous representation and many of the works making their first appearance. Day says, “The works will all respond to the resurgence of mythology, spirituality and mysticism across political and social spectrums of this global society.”

In the third component of the Adelaide Festival visual arts program, Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute is presenting Putsch by Brisbane-based proppaNOW. The collective of artist innovators and activists will show large-scale works ranging from painting to installation, printmaking, sculpture and video. As Putsch, the artists Richard Bell, Vernon Ah Kee, Tony Albert, Bianca Beetson, Andrea Fisher, Jennifer Herd, Gordon Hookey and Laurie Nilsen have a clear agenda, to defy white expectations of Aboriginal art and to eliminate self-censorship.

The fourth component of the festival’s visual arts program is, of course, Artists’ Week, wisely re-located to the UniSA’s Hawke Building (the home of the Anne & Gordon Samstag Museum) and focused on art and politics (Gerald Raunig), contemporary studio practice (Lucy Orta), “peer to peer urbanism” (Geert Lovink) and “The Edge of Reason” (Michael Taussig)

sydney

In the Sydney Festival, Australian media artist Lynette Wallworth, who had a well-received major show at Adelaide’s Anne & Gordon Samstag Museum during the 2009 Adelaide Film Festival, will be represented at CarriageWorks by three works—Invisible by Night, Evolution of Fearlessness and Duality of Light—now functioning together as a single installation. Wallworth challenges our visual and spatial perceptions in order that we re-consider ethical perspectives. Olafur Eliasson (Denmark/Iceland), in one of the festival centrepieces at the MCA, likewise plays with our perceptions, including our relationship with nature, the artist drawing on his connections with the landscape of Iceland. Titled Take Your Time, the show includes sculpture, photography and immersive, large-scale installations from collections around the world in a show from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

the edge of elsewhere

In an exciting development with regional ramifications, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Gallery 4A and the Sydney Festival are combining to present Edge of Elsewhere, an Asia-Pacific art project spanning three years. The aim is to “bring together some of the most exciting contemporary artists from across Australia, Asia and the Pacific to develop new artworks in partnership with Sydney communities.”

The 2010 selection of artists?is a strong one: Brook Andrew (Australia),?Arahmaiani (Indonesia),?Richard Bell (Australia),?YOUNG-HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES (Korea),?Dacchi Dang (Australia),?Newell Harry (Australia),?Shigeyuki Kihara (Aotearoa New Zealand),?Jun Nguyen-Hatsushiba (Vietnam),?Lisa Reihana (Aotearoa New Zealand),?Khaled Sabsabi (Australia) and?Wang Jianwei (China).

Lisa Havilah, director of the Campbelltown Arts Centre, and co-curator with Aaron Seeto and Thomas Berghuis of Edge of Elsewhere, tells RealTime that some projects have already begun. Shigeyuki Kihara worked with Indian and Samoan communities in Minto on a performance in August this year and is involved in an ongoing collaboration with local Aboriginal people and the Campbelltown Pipe and Drums band. In January she will commence work on a project in Chinatown. Lisa Reihana will collaborate next month with a Minto Women’s Tapa group (tapa is a Samoan beaten bark cloth). Edge of Elsewhere is not simply about hosting visiting artists, but is a direct response to the cultural diversity of Sydney itself through regional collaborations. Havilah says that the first exhibition will comprise outcomes from current commissions and extant works by participating artists.


For dates and venues: Adelaide Festival, Feb 26-March 14, www.adelaidefestival.com.au; Sydney Festival 2010, Jan 9-30 www.sydneyfestival.org.au

RealTime issue #94 Dec-Jan 2009 pg. 55

© RealTime ; for permission to reproduce apply to realtime@realtimearts.net

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