– 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.

Real Fictions

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA)

Duration

01 Sep 1996 to 01 Dec 1996

Artists:

Stan Douglas, Robert Houle, Ken Lum, Liz Magor

Curator:

Linda Michael

about the exhibition

Real Fictions featured work by four artists from Canada that examined contemporary experiences of identity. In different ways, they explored the shifting relationships between personal and public identity, subjective and mass-mediated experience.

Works by Stan Douglas, Robert Houle, Ken Lum and Liz Magor did not so much depict the world, as articulate the complex social and historical forces that shaped contemporary life. While their works were fictional constructions, they were always documenting something real. This oscillation between fact and fiction characterised a contemporary version of realism, a socially engaged art which explored the contradictions of lived experience.

Using techniques of staging, doubling and juxtaposition, identity was presented as a changing set of roles, projections and masks, and the uncertain relationship between fiction and reality in a media-saturated society was explored. Many of the works used photography to highlight this seeming paradox.

The exhibition did not present a singularly ‘Canadian’ perspective, but the parallels between Australian and Canadian society were evident in issues such as the relationship between indigenous and colonising cultures, the relatively recent colonisation and independence of each country, and the colouring of local experience by a dominant mass-media – a particularly relevant issue in a diverse, multi-cultural Australia with a strong indigenous culture, where media was still dominated by white European authors, actors and personalities.

Featuring Works from the MCA Collection

Robert Houle
  • Parfleches for Sydney