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Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA)


10 Sep 1999 to 29 Nov 1999


Laurence Aberhart, AMUCK (Lindsay Westphal), Emmanuel Angelicus, John Brack, Mary-Louise Brown, Janet Burchill, Jon Campbell, Domenico de Clario, Maria Cruz, Shane Cotton, Trevor Dallen, Aleks Danko, Nancy Dwyer, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Sylvie Fleury, General Idea, Matthys Gerber, Richard Hamilton, Robert Indiana, Jasper Johns, Matthew Jones, Narelle Jubelin, Joseph Kosuth, Maria Kozic, Derck Kreckler, Colin McCahon, Robert MacPherson, Linda Marrinon, Maurizio Nannucci, Bruce Nauman, Jan Nelson, Rose Nolan, Susan Norrie, Mike Parr, Mel Ramsden, Kay Rosen, Ed Ruscha, Martin Sharp, Christopher Snee, Mike Stevenson, Imants Tillers, Richard Tipping, Peter Tyndall, Ronnie van Hout


Linda Michael with Peter Tyndall

about the exhibition

word explored the use of text in contemporary Australian and international art. Inspired by Arthur Stace, who inscribed the word ‘Eternity’ in public locations throughout Sydney, it brought together many recent artworks from Australia, and selectively from overseas, that depicted one word. Words appeared as signs rather than as elements of a narrative structure.

Works which used proper names, exclamations, signatures, brand-names and slang. Some words conjured up times and places: Robert Indiana’s 1960s Love, Debra Dawes’ Sorry. A number of works exploited the declarative power of advertising signs or verbal forms of address, while others amplified or displaced the authorising power of a signature, or used images to emphasise or contradict the meaning of a word.

The exhibition included sound works, such as Derek Kreckler’s Boo, videos and slide projections, as well as paintings and sculptures.

Featuring Works from the MCA Collection

Emmanuel Angelicas
  • The Border
Janet Burchill
  • Equivalence (4th version)
Shane Cotton
  • Faith
Richard Kelly Tipping
  • The Sydney Morning volumes 1-4