– Highlights

highlight
Mca Collection

MCA Collection: Today Tomorrow Yesterday

01 Sep - 31 Dec

highlight
Exhibition

The National 2017

30 Mar - 18 Jun

highlight
Exhibition

Kader Attia

12 Apr - 30 Jul

– Learning Events

highlight
Tour

Art Baby

04 May, 10.30am, MCA

highlight
Event

WORKSHOP FOR PRIMARY TEACHERS

12 May, 9.00am, Level 3: National Centre for Creative Learning

highlight
Event

MCA Zine Fair 2017

21 May, 10.30am, MCA

– News from inside the MCA

Young Art Lovers' Book List

To celebrate World Book Day (Sunday 23 April) the MCA Store and MCA Learning crew have teamed up to put together a selection of fun, inspiring and engaging titles sure to spark the imaginations of budding artists and creative thinkers. more

From the archives: Curious catalogue

Never judge a book by its cover? In this issue of our monthly archive series, MCA Archives and Records Management Coordinator, Stephanie, leafs through some unusual pages more

Girl On Film: Erin Coates

The National 2017: New Australian Art artist Erin Coates gets in the driving seat for our April film experience more

– Spotlights from the collection online

highlight
MCA Collection

Works from the MCA Collection

highlight
Collection Artist Interviews

Watch our latest interviews in the MCA Video Portal

highlight
Joint acquisitions by MCA and Tate

The Program promotes Australian art globally, helping Australian artists reach new audiences.

Australian Perspecta 1999: Living Here Now - Art / Politics

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA)

Duration

20 Aug 1999 to 08 Nov 1999

Artists:

Gordon Bennett, Adam Cullen, Elizabeth Gertsakis, Derek Kreckler, Tony Schwensen

Curator:

Linda Michael

About the exhibition

Australian Perspecta was a biennial event started by the Art Gallery of New South Wales in 1981 to showcase Australian contemporary art. In 1997, the biennial expanded from the Art Gallery to exhibit in a number of venues across Sydney, including the MCA and the Australian Centre for Photography. Each venue displayed its own separately curated exhibition which addressed an overarching theme.

For Australian Perspecta 1999, each curator was asked to address the theme Living Here Now – Art / Politics, taking a critical look at contemporary Australian nationhood and testing the limits of Australian nationalism.

The MCA component of the biennial was curated by Linda Michael, and subtitled Preamble. Five Australian artists whose works emerged from a specifically Australian context were selected: Gordon Bennett, Adam Cullen, Elizabeth Gertsakis, Derek Kreckler and Tony Schwensen. The exhibition aimed to get underneath the skin of what it means to be in Australia, with an honesty that revealed itself through humour and contradiction. The artists were engaged with issues that underpinned the politics of the time: nationalism, globalism, racism, multiculturalism and republicanism.

The exhibition took as its premise Prime Minister John Howard’s constitutional preamble. While it was a statement of national identity, issues of reconciliation remained unresolved. The artists in this exhibition recognised that new social and political models were needed to sustain them – models that did not claim a present devoid of history, but instead revealed complex histories. Their works explored these ideas through recasting mythic figures (such as Ned Kelly), or questioning the structures of identification within Australian culture.