– Highlights

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Exhibition

Tatsuo Miyajima

03 Nov - 05 Mar

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Mca Collection

MCA Collection: Today Tomorrow Yesterday

01 Sep - 31 Dec

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Exhibition

Primavera at 25: MCA Collection

19 Dec - 19 Mar

– Learning Events

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Pop-Up Bar

Sakura Sundays

05 Mar, 3.00pm, Ground Floor: Outdoor Terrace

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Workshop

Contemporary Art Studio

09 Mar, 10.30am, Level 3: National Centre for Creative Learning

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Conference

Educators conference: 6-7 April

06 Apr, 6.00pm, Level 3: National Centre for Creative Learning

– News from inside the MCA

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Want to show your zine-work at the 2017 MCA Zine Fair? Here we share our tips for applying more

Louise Zhang's horror infused ARTBAR

Navigating the space between attractive and repulsive, Chinese-Australian artist Louise Zhang kicks off the ARTBAR year in suitable style with a night entitled ‘New Year’s Rot’. 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.

Runa Islam

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA)

Duration

19 Aug 2010 to 21 Nov 2010

Curators: Rachel Kent (MCA) and Mark Lanctôt (MAC Montreal)

About the exhibition

This exhibition represented British artist Runa Islam’s first solo project in Australia. Islam was born in Bangladesh (1970) and grew up in London, where she lives and works. She is renowned for her 16mm and 35mm film works that experiment with light, colour, movement and abstraction as a means to question visual representation and create new ways of seeing. She draws on the history and aesthetics of cinema, engaging notions of ‘language’ within film, and its relationship to photography. Narrative structures are tested in Islam’s films and she cites experimental and expanded cinema as influential.

Runa Islam introduced audiences to a selection of the artist’s 16mm film installations from the previous seven years. Featured works included Assault (2008), a small suspended back-projection of a young man who is subjected to a ‘screen test’ of constantly changing coloured lights. Another silent work, Untitled (2008), employed a macro lens to focus on an indistinct black-and-white surface which slowly resolves, with the camera’s backwards pull, into an old photographic reproduction of a hunting scene from the artist’s family archive. In both films Islam used the apparatus as her medium and subject. Other works included Scale (1/16 inch = 1 foot) (2003) and Be The First To See What You See As You See It (2004), which used architecture of existing buildings and constructed sets to explore ideas of physicality and scale.

A major new work, Magical Consciousness (2010), co-commissioned by the MCA and the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, completed the exhibition. It focused upon the reverse side of a folded Japanese screen, revealing a gold-leaf surface which viewers would not normally see. Islam’s film suspended narrative content in favour of abstraction, manifested in her focus on the unseen, ‘invisible’ side of the screen with its unexpectedly opulent surface. It created its own tempo of panels and folds, extending the artist’s focus on overlooked aspects of representation. The horizontal format of the Japanese screen suggested a cinematic screen – an empty, luminous space for the projection of visual imagery and the black-and-white footage transformed gold to silver, like the ‘silver screen’ of Hollywood cinema.

In the Shop