SYDNEY.- The Museum of Contemporary Art Australia
reveals the seven artists selected for the 21st edition of Primavera, the annual exhibition for Australian artists aged 35 years and under.
Primavera 2012 is curated by the MCAs Anna Davis and brings together the work of Dion Beasley (NT), Benjamin Forster (WA), Anastasia Klose (VIC), Todd McMillan (NSW), Kate Mitchell (NSW), Teho Ropeyan (QLD) and Justine Varga (NSW).
Works range from highly autobiographical performances to more oblique strategies where the self is transformed into a fictional persona, represented by an animal, a computer program, the trace of an action or even a pile of nuts. Humour in the face of failure and an acceptance of the comic absurdity of life are other ideas explored in the exhibition as well as themes of darkness and illumination, circular time, the haziness of memory and our ability to conceptually travel through the past, present and future. The works cover a wide range of artistic practices and sensibilities, from drawing, printmaking, film and video, to performance, installation, digital media and photography.
MCA Curator Anna Davis said: Last year Primavera physically went out of the Museum context and into The Rocks. This years edition is back in the MCA galleries, with a focus on looking inside into imaginary territories, spiritual landscapes and private interior realms. I have selected artists from all over the country and look forward to presenting them to national and international audiences.
Highlights include Kate Mitchells My life in Nuts (2012), a mound of 11,109 unshelled peanuts hand counted by the artist one for every day she has been alive up to the opening of the exhibition.
Benjamin Forsters Drawing Machine (Output = Plotter) (20082012) is the artists attempt to teach a computer to draw in a human way. Discourse (2010) is another computer-driven, print-based work that simulates a never-ending conversation between Karl Marx and Adam Smith. The conversation is printed onto long strands of receipt paper that accumulate in a tangled heap on the gallery floor.
In The Re-living Room (2012) Anastasia Klose re-enacts a two month period of unemployment. The artist will inhabit a small semi-enclosed cavity space inside the MCA galleries for the duration of the exhibition, watching television, eating junk food and dancing to music video clips during Museum opening hours.
Todd McMillans 16 mm film installation albatross (working title) (201112) stems from the artists expedition to a remote location off the coast of Tasmania in the Southern Ocean to document the rare and endangered Shy Albatross.
Dion Beasleys whimsical prints and drawings tell vivid stories of camp dogs and other animals in the Aboriginal communities near Tennant Creek where he grew up.
Teho Ropeyarns prints feature totemic animals and landscapes from his home community of Injinoo in the Cape York Peninsula in Far North Queensland. His works take their inspiration from stories passed down from Injinoo Elders and feature traditional ceremonial markings.
Justine Vargas Empty Studio and Still Life series of works are the result of long periods of time spent observing the minute details of her everyday environment. The artist examines and re-positions small objects in her home and studio, documenting subtle changes in light using analogue photography, 16 mm film and video.