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MCA Unpacked

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA)


14 March to 11 June 2001


Marina Abramovic & Ulay, Howard Arkley, Jill Bangamala, Laurie Baymaralla, Joseph Beuys, Kate Beynon, Ruby Bilidja, Barbara Bloom, Paul Boston, Arthur Boyd, Jackie Bunkaniyal, Lynette Burida, Stephen Bush, Sophie Calle, Sandro Chia, Tony Clark, Tracey Cooper, Tony Dhanyala, Dhapalang, Lena Djamarraykku, Rosie Djunmujungurr, John Firth-Smith, Fiona Foley, Elizabeth Gamalanga, Rosalie Gascoigne, Margaret Gubalarrbarr, Keith Haring, Barbara Hepworth, Louise Hopkins, Susan Inmingala, Ruby Jinmanga, Michael Johnson, Tim Johnson, Nancy Kaibirama, Anchor Kalunba, Elizabeth Kanabuma, Maria Kozic, Nikolaus Lang, Margaret Lanpupu, Sherrie Levine, Margaret Lolop, Daphne Malarirr, Minnie Manarrjala, Marrangu, Linda Marrinon, John Mawurndjul, Anne-Marie May, Mabel Mayangal, Colin McCahon, Peter Milaynga, Maudie Milmilpinny, Shirley Minjingala, Elizabeth Mipilangurr, Ruby Mordabiya, Margaret Morgan, Yasumasa Morimura, Ben Nicholson, Mike Parr, Robert Rauschenberg, Lena Rungwarnga, Mary Sananggai, Becky Singleton, Antoni Tapies, Imants Tillers, Rosemarie Trockel, Peter Tyndall, Jenny Watson, Boyd Webb, Stefan Wewerka, Rosie Wulungurr, Nancy Yalabuma and John Young


Rachel Kent

About the exhibition

MCA Unpacked was an exhibition drawn from the MCA’s collections. In this exhibition, seven individuals distinguished in the humanities, science, law, politics and the arts chose thematic groupings from the collection, creating displays that were meaningful to them and reflected their personal interests or professional training.

The selectors were filmmaker Jane Campion; research scientist Professor Adrienne Clarke; fashion designer Akira Isogawa; writer Drusilla Modjeska; Artistic Director of the Sydney Dance Company, Graeme Murphy; magistrate Dr Pat O’Shane; and former Chairperson of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation, Dr Evelyn Scott.

This exhibition aimed to open the MCA’s collections up to new interpretations and perspectives. With no curatorial restrictions placed upon the selectors, each display varied in its style, theme and presentation. Essays by each selector outlined their approach to the selection process, describing which works they selected and why. From art storage to gallery floor, MCA Unpacked moved away from the standard museum-curated exhibition, proposing an alternative model for ‘unpacking’ the visual culture of our time.

The exhibition was continued in 2003 with a second iteration, MCA Unpacked II.

Tour Itinerary

Newcastle Regional Art Gallery, NSW: 26 October – 2 December 2001
Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery, NSW: 13 December 2001 – 26 January 2002
Orange Regional Art Gallery, NSW: 26 April – 2 June 2002
Grafton Regional Gallery, NSW: 17 July – 25 August 2002
Taree Regional Gallery, NSW: 6 September – 6 October 2002
Port Maquarie-Hastings Regional Art Gallery, NSW: 4 September – 20 October 2002
Caloundra Regional Gallery, Qld: 4 December 2002 – 26 January 2003
Queensland University of Technology Art Museum, Qld: 7 February – 13 April 2003
Wagga Wagga Art Gallery, NSW: 12 May – 17 August 2003

Featuring Works from the MCA Collection

  • Djerrk (string and feather bag)
  • (parrot feather string)
  • Sedge grass collecting bag
Howard Arkley
  • Well situated home
Jill Bangamala
  • Djerrk (string bag with feather ornaments)
Laurie Baymaralla
  • (pandanus palm coiled weave basket circular one handle)
Kate Beynon
  • Hats for ten sons
Ruby Bilidja
  • (bush string and parrot feather dilly bag)
Barbara Bloom
  • The reign of narcissism (handkerchief)
Paul Boston
  • Tap
Andrew Browne
  • Ninteenth and twentieth centuries
Jacky Bunkaniyal
  • Pandanus palm collecting bag
  • (pandanus palm dilly bag)
  • (pandanus palm dilly bag)
Lynette Burida
  • Pandanus palm coil weave basket
Sophie Calle
  • The tie
Tony Clark
  • 1992
  • Clark's Myriorama
Lena Djamarrayku
  • (bush string and feather dilly bag)
Rosie Djunmujunggul
  • (pandanus palm dilly bag)
John Firth-Smith
  • Sea music
Elizabeth Gamalanga
  • (feather and bush string dilly bag)
Margaret Gubalarrbarr
  • (pandanus palm dilly bag)
Louise Hopkins
  • 2/5
Susan Inmingala
  • Cone necklace (velvet pods)
  • Necklace of decorated banksia cones
Ruby Jinmanga
  • (pandanus palm/ochred dilly bag)
Michael Johnson
  • Marco's answer
Tim Johnson
  • Little Big Horn
Elizabeth Kanabuma
  • (pandanus coil weave basket circular, one handle)
Nancy Kaybbirama
  • (pandanus palm dilly bag)
Maria Kozic
  • Manster (the picture of Dorian Grey)
  • Manster (Wolf man)
Margaret Lanbupu
  • (pandanus palm dilly bag)
  • (pandanus palm ochred dilly bag)
Nikolaus Lang
  • Colour Field no.2 (from "The Colour Fields"; dedicated to the Kaurna people)
  • It all started with lightning
Sherrie Levine
  • 2 shoes
Margaret Lollop
  • Pandanus palm collecting bag
  • Pandanus palm collecting bag
Daphne Malarirr
  • (pandanus palm structured basket)
Minnie Manarrdjala
  • (pandanus palm dilly bag)
  • (pandanus palm dilly bag)
  • Sedge grass collecting bag
  • Sedge grass collecting bag
Linda Marrinon
  • Sorry
Anne-Marie May
  • Untitled
Mabel Mayangal
  • Pandanus palm collecting bag
  • Pandanus palm collecting bag
Maudie Milmilpinny
  • (pandanus palm dilly bag)
Shirley Minyingarla
  • (banyan tree bark dilly bag)
Elizabeth Mipilanggurr
  • Golbordok (pandanus palm honey collecting bag)
Ruby Mordabiya
  • (pandanus palm dilly bag)
Margaret Morgan
  • Untitled from the series A little history
Yasumasa Morimura
  • Ambiguous beauty / Aimai-no-bi
Mike Parr
  • The lung, 12 untitled self portraits
Lena Rungwarnga
  • Pandanus palm coil weave basket
  • Pandanus palm coil weave basket
Mary Sananggai
  • (pandanus palm dilly bag)
Becky Singleton
  • (pandanus coil weave basket circular, one handle, with small zigzag design in base)
  • (pandanus coil weave basket circular, one handle, with small zigzag design in base)
Rosemarie Trockel
  • 4-eyes
  • Untitled
Peter Tyndall
  • detail/ A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/someone looks at something...
Glen Watson
  • (pandanus palm dilly bag)
Jenny Watson
  • The Bottled Memories (1)
  • The bottled memories (2)
  • The bottled memories (3)
  • The bottled memories (4)
  • The bottled memories (5)
Boyd Webb
  • Cataract
Rosie Wulungurr
  • (pandanus palm coil weave basket, circular two handles)
  • (pandanus palm coil,weave basket, circular, with lid attached)
  • Pandanus palm coil weave basket, circular zig zag, open weave
Nancy Yalabuma
  • Pandanus palm mat