Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA)
29 Sep 2016 to 04 Dec 2016
Stephen Cybulka, Pia van Gelder, Biljana Jancic, Ruth McConchie, Adelle Mills, Mira Oosterweghel, Emily Parsons-Lord, Danae Valenza
Primavera 2016: Young Australian Artists presented the work of eight young Australian artists whose work highlighted the ways in which art can connect physically with the viewer, and how an artwork’s meaning can be generated by this bodily encounter. The exhibition drew on theories about 'embodied cognition’, a rapidly expanding field of cognitive science (the study of thought, learning and mental organisation) which puts forward the argument that the creation of knowledge might first begin in the body rather than the brain.
All of the artworks in Primavera 2016 were created especially for the exhibition. They all invited the viewer to experience them through a range of senses – not just vision – and through bodily actions such as breathing or felt sensations. In the exhibition, we breathed art into our bodies, mirrored it in our muscles and generated it using our bodies’ own radiant energy. The works were incomplete until the audience physically interacted with them.
Primavera 2016 imagined the gallery space as a body, with each artist representing a bodily system: respiratory, sensory, skeletal, muscular, endocrine (the collection of glands that regulate our metabolism, growth and development) and limbic. The exhibition began with the breath and ended with that most complex of all, the brain – the limbic system – that controls our instincts and our moods.
Primavera is the Museum’s annual exhibition of Australian artists aged 35 years and under. Since 1992, the series has showcased the works of artists in the early stages of their career, many of whom have gone on to exhibit nationally and internationally.
Primavera was initiated in 1992 by Dr Edward Jackson AM and Mrs Cynthia Jackson AM and their family in memory of their daughter and sister Belinda, a talented jeweller who died at the age of 29.