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Exhibition

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09 Mar - 08 Jun

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Exhibition

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16 Apr - 05 Jul

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Energies: Haines and Hinterding

25 Jun - 06 Sep

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Workshop

Art and Technology in the Classroom

04 Jun, 2.00pm

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Talk

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18 Jun, 11.00am, Creative Studios National Centre for Creative Learning

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Creative Connections #1

22 Jun, 9.00am, Creative Studios National Centre for Creative Learning

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Getting articulate at Light Show

MCA Articulate lets visitors to Light Show respond to artworks in the exhibition. more

Light Perspectives: Christoper Esber

A Light Show blog series to find out how light is used in professional creative practices. This week we hear from Australian Fashion Designer Christopher Esber. more

Reflecting on the Blacktown Native Institution Artist Camps

'History is never static: it lives on through the people and communities that it has shaped, and it is shaped in turn by the telling of it.’ more

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Volume One: MCA Collection

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Remain in Light: Photography from the MCA Collections

On tour until October 2015

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ARTIST INTERVIEW

Watch our latest artist interview with Khaled Sabsabi

avoiding myth & message: Australian artists and the literary world

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA)

Duration

07 Apr 2009 to 12 Jul 2009

Artists

Vernon Ah Kee, Micky Allan, Gordon Bennett, Vanessa Berry, Maureen Burns, Tim Burns, Destiny Deacon, Christopher Dean, Rosalie Gascoigne, Shaun Gladwell, Patrick Hartigan, Tim Johnson, Ruark Lewis, Colin Little, Robert Macpherson, Noel McKenna, Rose Nolan, Mike Parr, Sweeney Reed, Sandra Selig, Noel Sheridan, Imants Tillers, John Tranter, Richard Tipping, Peter Tyndall (solo work and collaboration with Phillip Tyndall and Gerald Murnane), Phillip Tyndall, Jenny Watson, William Yang

Curator: Glenn Barkley

avoiding myth & message: Australian artists and the literary world
Installation view, MCA, 2009
Image courtesy and © the artists
Photograph: Jenni Carter

Sandra Selig
surface of change 2007
Installation view, avoiding myth & message: Australian artists and the literary world, MCA, 2009
Image courtesy and © the artist
Photograph: Jenni Carter

Patrick Hartigan
My Neighbour is a Painter 2006-07
Installation view, avoiding myth & message: Australian artists and the literary world, MCA, 2009
Image courtesy and © the artist
Photograph: Jenni Carter

avoiding myth & message: Australian artists and the literary world
Installation view, MCA, 2009
Image courtesy and © the artists
Photograph: Jenni Carter

Michael Dransfield
SOUNDGraphs—For Tim Johnson 1977
Installation view, avoiding myth & message: Australian artists and the literary world, MCA, 2009
Image courtesy and © the artist
Photograph: Jenni Carter

Jenny Watson
Dream Palette 1981
Museum of Contemporary Art, JW Power Bequest, purchased 1986
Installation view, avoiding myth & message: Australian artists and the literary world, MCA, 2009,
Image courtesy and © the artists, photograph: Jenni Carter

Robert Macpherson, EATING, SLEEPING, LYING, SITTING, STANDING, WALKING, RUNNING, LAUGHING, WEEPING, BREATHING, PROCREATING 1981, Museum of Contemporary Art, gift of John Nixon, 1991, nstallation view, avoiding myth & message: Australian artists and the literary world, MCA, 2009, image courtesy and © the artist, photograph: Jenni Carter

Richard Tipping
The Sydney Morning volumes I-IV 1989-94
Museum of Contemporary Art, gift of the artist, 1998
Installation view, avoiding myth & message: Australian artists and the literary world_, MCA, 2009
Image courtesy and © the artist
Photograph: Jenni Carter

Vernon Ah Kee
many lies 2004
Installation view, avoiding myth & message: Australian artists and the literary world_, MCA, 2009
Image courtesy and © the artist
Photograph: Jenni Carter

avoiding myth & message: Australian artists and the literary world
Installation view, MCA, 2009
Image courtesy and © the artist
Photograph: Jenni Carter

Ruark Lewis
False Narratives 2001
Museum of Contemporary Art, purchased 2005
Installation view, avoiding myth & message: Australian artists and the literary world_, MCA, 2009
Image courtesy and © the artist
Photograph: Jenni Carter

avoiding myth & message: Australian artists and the literary world
Installation view, MCA, 2009
Image courtesy and © the artist
Photograph: Jenni Carter

Mike Parr
Black Box of Word Situations, variation 3 1971-91
Museum of Contemporary Art, gift of the artist, 1991
Installation view, avoiding myth & message: Australian artists and the literary world_, MCA, 2009
Image courtesy and © the artist
Photograph: Jenni Carter

avoiding myth & message: Australian artists and the literary world
Installation view, MCA, 2009
Image courtesy and © the artists
Photograph: Jenni Carter

avoiding myth & message: Australian artists and the literary world
Installation view, MCA, 2009
Image courtesy and © the artists
Photograph: Jenni Carter

Noel McKenna
Bicycle 1992
Installation view, avoiding myth & message: Australian artists and the literary world_, MCA, 2009
Image courtesy and © the artist
Photograph: Jenni Carter

about the exhibition

avoiding myth & message: Australian artists and the literary world explored the rich and varied links between Australian visual artists and the Australian literary world, with a particular emphasis on poetry. The works were drawn primarily from the MCA collection, with a selection of additional works from artists and local collections. The exhibition looked at some of the major themes within the Australian literary and visual traditions and considered some areas where the two forms overlap: the landscape and the interior, text and image, urban life, politics and the personal.

avoiding myth & message featured works by artists working within an illustrative mode; artists who use words and texts within their practice or are influenced by concrete poetry (a fusion of text and image, treating words and form as the medium itself) and practitioners who adopt a more poetic, narrative-based approach.

The exhibition included ephemera, artist books, self-published and media-based works, along with individual writer and artists’ texts, performance footage and works that traced the emergence of feminist, multicultural and gay voices within the literary and artistic scenes. The exhibition also included important historical works by key figures within the Australian literary and artistic worlds and more recent works by a younger generation of artists inspired by literature’s ability to create a visual world based on language.

Featuring Works from the MCA Collection

Various Artists Ltd
  • A package deal assembly book
Vernon Ah Kee
  • Whitefellanormal/blackfellame
Gordon Bennett
Maureen Burns
  • Self portrait 1999
Destiny Deacon
  • Adoption
  • Axed
  • Meloncholy
  • Whitey's Watching
Rosalie Gascoigne
Shaun Gladwell
  • Portrait of Michael Dransfield
Patrick Hartigan
Tim Johnson
  • Alienation
  • Poem
  • Spare parts
Ruark Lewis
  • FALSE NARRATIVES
Colin Little
  • Preliminary for cover for a package deal assembly book [A book of sixty poets and artists co-edited by Nigel Roberts, Tim Burns and Amanda Stewart with publisher Dave Morrissey] (green trees on blue)
Robert MacPherson
  • All English Literature - unwritten [Art Projects]
  • EATING, SLEEPING, LYING, SITTING, STANDING, WALKING, RUNNING, LAUGHING, WEEPING, BREATHING, PROCREATING
  • I see a can of paint as a painting unpainted
  • Little Pictures for the Poor
Rose Nolan
  • Homework
  • Homework
Mike Parr
  • Black Box of Word situations, variation 3
  • Box containing Possibilities (3) 1971, Poem event 1971, and Manuscript 1993
  • Various Ideas
Imants Tillers
  • Rendezvous with configuration p
Richard Kelly Tipping
  • The Sydney Morning volumes 1-4
Peter Tyndall
  • detail A Person Looks At A Work Of Art someone looks at something
  • The literature club
William Yang

In the Shop