My current involvement in the Museum of Contemporary Art is focused on the MCA Foundation. The Foundation has now raised about $2mill since re-forming under the Chairmanship of MCA board member Ari Droga a couple of years ago.
Being a Foundation Council member is one of my greatest joys. Not just because of the fund raising itself, but also because it’s a direct line into the minds of the curator’s – a thrilling way of keeping a finger on the fast-beating pulse of contemporary art here in Australia.
For artists to survive and thrive they need their work bought, and the impact being purchased from an institution can have on an artist's career is mind blowing. The Foundation's funds go solely to this function so it's a real sweet spot!
The most recently opened exhibition, Taking It All Away, curated by Natasha Bullock, shows a number of these recently-acquired works (all works are from the MCA's own collection). One of these is Stuart Ringholt's 'Untitled (Clock)’ of 2014 – a giant, contemporary grandfather clock, transparent from the back, beautifully crafted with a watchmaker's precision, however running 45 seconds to the minute. This piece really talks to our era in a number of ways and create a real uneasiness due to time appearing to run away even faster that it already does. Science has made of time such a finite thing, however it's extraordinary to see how we bend and play with it with our minds.
For me, the cornerstone of the exhibition is Christian Capurro's 'Another Misspent Portrait of Etienne de Silhouette', an epic 5 year project! I was lucky enough to hear Christian talk about his work in a very intimate group. It didn't start as an artwork, not to his knowledge in any case. He took a copy of L'uomo Vogue with Sly Stallone on the cover and started handing around to friends, asking them to carefully and gently erase a page each using a rubber. There were period where the work went missing, people who were slow, didn't want to give it back... a real journey. However, in the end the work is a performative, collaborative, manifestation with a haunting quality due to the absence of what once was. This work was shown at the Venice Biennale, so we're very excited to have it as part of the MCA's collection.
It should also be mentioned that there are 2 works of the very recently deceased Robert Hunter in the exhibition. These sublime works of 70s minimalism are so quiet upon first inspection however their intensity grows with time in a most extraordinary and powerful way. Robert died during the preparation of this show. Vale Robert Hunter.
Until February 22nd.