Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA)
12 Nov 2008 to 22 Feb 2009
James Angus, Suzannah Barta, Stephen Bram, Vicente Butron, Felicia Kan, Mikala Dwyer, Marco Fusinato, Shaun Gladwell, Gail Hastings, Nick Mangan, Andrew McQualter, Yukultji Napangati, Kerri Poliness, Elizabeth Pulie, David Rosetzky, Nike Savvas, Tim Silver, Lyndal Walker
To make a work of timeless art presented a selection of works in the MCA Collection by artists who had previously exhibited in the Primavera series of annual exhibitions including: James Angus, Suzannah Barta, Stephen Bram, Vicente Butron, Felicia Kan, Mikala Dwyer, Marco Fusinato, Shaun Gladwell, Gail Hastings, Nick Mangan, Andrew McQualter, Yukultji Napangati, Kerri Poliness, Elizabeth Pulie, David Rosetzky, Nike Savvas, Tim Silver and Lyndal Walker. Established in 1992, Primavera is an annual MCA exhibition series that features Australian artists aged thirty-five years and under and celebrates the vitality of emerging art practices.
To make a work of timeless art took its title from one of the exhibited works, a ‘sculptural situation’ by Gail Hastings. The title reflected the idea of ‘timelessness’ as a condition that is ongoing or in flux—rather than a completed state. One of the strengths within the MCA Collection is its support of ephemeral or instruction-based works of art. In this exhibition, Kerrie Poliness’ Red Matter Wall Drawing #2 was recreated from an instruction book acquired by the MCA in 1995 and Andrew McQualter’s preliminary watercolour for his wall-painting in the MCA Collection was included.
A number of artists in the exhibition explored ideas surrounding time: Tim Silver’s Untitled (adrift) documents the dissolution of a small boat over the course of ten photographs. Vicente Butron capture a painted ‘action’ conducted in 1994 and Lyndal Walker celebrates the perpetual reinvention of art and fashion through her ‘grunge’ sculpture Come as you are. Shaun Gladwell’s video Tangara uses slowed motion to draw attention to the body in relation to the urban environment and Felicia Kan reveals traces of the world turning in her photographs stars, moon and sky. The exhibition also provided the opportunity for artists to ‘revisit’ their works in the collection. Mikala Dwyer, David Rosetzky and Lyndal Walker all reworked their installations and some components were loaned to contextualise MCA Collection pieces.
To make a work of timeless art: MCA Primavera Acquisitions was dedicated to the memory of the late Dr Edward Jackson.