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Exhibition

Energies: Haines & Hinterding

25 Jun - 06 Sep

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Aleks Danko

30 Jul - 18 Oct

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Primavera 2015

22 Sep - 06 Dec

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Genext:

06 Sep, 6.00pm, Throughout the MCA

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Workshop

Creativity in the Primary Classroom

11 Sep, 9.00am, The National Centre for Creative Learning

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Creative Connections #2

15 Sep, 9.00am, Creative Studios National Centre for Creative Learning

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We laughed, we cried, we danced, we barked…

Teachers from across NSW gathered at the MCA and Sydney Opera House for two days of creative dialogue and exchange as part of the 2015 Engaging Students with Disability forum. more

If these walls could talk | #AleksDanko

Ha-ha-ha-ha. Learn the meaning behind artist Aleks Danko’s Laughing Wall.... more

Digital Excursions; New Connections

Alex White reflects upon the newly launched program offerings and the possibilities these hold for students and teachers anywhere in Australia. more

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Volume One: MCA Collection

Works from the MCA Collection on display

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Remain in Light: Photography from the MCA Collections

On tour until October 2015

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ARTIST INTERVIEW

Watch our latest artist interview with Khaled Sabsabi

Hayden Fowler

New World Order 2013

Museum of Contemporary Art, purchased with the assistance of MCA Young Ambassadors, 2013

single-channel digital video, HD, colour, sound, 15min 17s

About the Artwork

Artist Hayden Fowler explores humanity’s relationship with the natural world and the broader historical and cultural concepts that influence this engagement. The artist is known for his technically complex productions, which involve long periods of research, the construction of elaborate sets and specialised training for a range of domestic animals, including goats, lambs and rats. Recurring themes within his interdisciplinary practice are ideas surrounding desire, freedom, loss and ‘the romantic hope for a return to nature’.

In the video New World Order (2013) Fowler depicts a dense woodland of blackened and sallow trees inhabited by an ‘ecology’ of peculiar birds. Ashen and barren, this eerie environment resembles something between a scene from a fairy tale and a vision of a post-apocalyptic future. Animating this strange world is a group of rare, heritage breed chickens, whose unusual plumages are completely unlike the common domestic and commercial fowl breeds we are more familiar with. Preening high up on a branch, scratching the scabby ground or slipping under the tree roots into underground burrows, the chickens appear completely at home in this unnatural place. At regular intervals a bird will call, emitting a computerised sound of blips and clicks that punctuates the silence of the dark forest.

New World Order appears to exist out of time, incorporating elements from both the past and the future. Presented as a series of sliding vignettes, the video draws on both historical and contemporary depictions of nature, from landscape paintings and museum dioramas through to wildlife documentary films.

An underlying theme within a number of Fowler’s works is the relationship between the real and the fictitious. New World Order continues this exploration by depicting a scenario in which there is no clear distinction between authentic or synthetic nature. As the video progresses we begin to query what it is we are seeing – Are they real birds? What is that noise they are making? Where is the forest? But in this hybrid world such questions no longer seem to have any meaning.

Drawing on contemporary discussions around ecological destruction, genetic modification and the alienation of an increasingly urban society from the natural environment, New World Order presents a place that merges scientific theory with popular culture. However, even though New World Order may suggest a dystopic future, there is hope, for life continues even in this barren place.

References

Artist Statement, February 2009

Megan Robson (curator) and Hayden Fowler Interview, 2013

Hayden Fowler

– About the artist

b.1973

Hayden Fowler completed a Bachelor of Science (Biology), majoring in animal behaviour, and later completed a Master of Fine Arts from the College of Fine Arts, University of NSW (CoFA). He is currently a PhD candidate at CoFA, where he also lectures in the Sculpture, Performance and Installation Studio.

Learn more
– Other works by the artist

– View also

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