– Highlights

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Mca Collection

MCA Collection: Today Tomorrow Yesterday

01 Sep - 31 Dec

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Exhibition

The National 2017

30 Mar - 18 Jun

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Exhibition

Kader Attia

12 Apr - 30 Jul

– Learning Events

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Workshop

Art Safari

28 Apr, 10.30am, Level 3: National Centre for Creative Learning

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Special Event

ARTBAR April 2017

28 Apr, 7.00pm, MCA

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Workshop

Workshop

03 May, 6.30pm, Level 3: Digital Studio in NCCL

– 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

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MCA Collection

Works from the MCA Collection

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Collection Artist Interviews

Watch our latest interviews in the MCA Video Portal

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Joint acquisitions by MCA and Tate

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

Masquerade: Representation and the self in contemporary art

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA)

Duration

23 Mar 2006 to 21 May 2006

Artists

Bas Jan Ader, Claude Cahun, Samuel Fosso, Ronnie van Hout, Shigeyuki Kihara, Martin Kippenberger, Kalup Donte Linzy, Ana Mendieta, Todd McMillan, Yasmasa Morimura, Tim Noble & Sue Webster, Tracey Rose, Cindy Sherman, Sam Taylor-Wood, Hannah Wilke, Francesca Woodman

Curator: Rachel Kent

This exhibition examined the act of self-representation in contemporary art. Taking the idea of the self-portrait as inherently ambiguous, it examined ideas about construction, interpretation, artifice and role-play through the lens of selected international and Australian artists from the 1970s to 2006, alongside significant contextual imagery from the early part of the 20th century.

The auto portrait, in which elements of narrative and biography figure strongly, was manifested in some exhibited works whilst others used props, clues or symbols to suggest a sense of self, real or false. Masks, costume and prosthetic devices were variously employed to construct individual identity before the viewer, and through these works the idea of the ‘self’ was actively contested and undermined. Other works were grounded in the physical body, using performance as a way of foregrounding concerns about individual identity and its embodiment. In these works the shadow, doubling, and absence rather than presence, suggested the mutability of the self and its representation in art. Combining critical enquiry with irony, pathos and a sense of play, this exhibition presented just some of the many approaches that artists have taken towards self portraiture in recent years.

This exhibition coincided with the Art Gallery of New South Wales and National Portrait Gallery, London historical survey of self-portraiture through painting. It represented an exciting opportunity for Australian viewers to see both projects and engage with their various discussions about individual identity and its representation across time.

Masquerade: Representation and the self in contemporary art included work by Mike Parr and Sam Taylor-Wood, whose solo exhibitions were held in the Level 1, 2 and 4 galleries, linking all four levels of the Museum in a special MCA Portraiture Season.

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