See what's on at the

Browse What's On

– Highlights

highlight
Talk

For Artists

Today, 2.00pm, Level 2: Seminar Room

highlight
Mca Collection

MCA Collection

29 Mar - 31 Dec

highlight
Biennale Of Sydney

20th Biennale of Sydney

18 Mar - 05 Jun

Create and Learn at the

All Learning Programs

– Learning Events

highlight
Talk

For Artists

Today, 2.00pm, Level 2: Seminar Room

highlight
Special Event

MCA Zine Fair 2016

11 Jun, 10.00am, MCA

Find out more about the

About the MCA

– News from inside the MCA

ARTBAR and Vivid meet again

Dipped in colour and drenched in light, we hand the paintbrush over to Huseyin Sami to curate this month’s MCA ARTBAR as it collides with Vivid Sydney. more

Go-go Dance: from 60s Twist to Sydney

Let’s twist! Artist Bridie Connell talks history of 60s Go-go dance & where it’s at in Sydney today more

Visual arts sector United over funding cuts

Australia Council’s recent announcement that 65 organisations will no longer receive funding under its Four-Year Funding program (previously Key Organisations), delivering a major blow to our contemporary visual arts sector. more

View the Collection

Browse Collection

– Spotlights from the collection online

highlight
Volume One: MCA Collection

Works from the MCA Collection

highlight
Collection Artist Interviews

Watch our latest interviews in the MCA Video Portal

highlight
Joint acquisitions by MCA and Tate

The Program promotes Australian art globally, helping Australian artists reach new audiences.

TABOO

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA)

Duration

19 Dec 2012 to 24 Feb 2013

Artists

Jompet, Elaine Campaner, Bindi Cole, Juan Davila, Jimmy Durham, Leah Gordon, Alicia Henry, Ricardo Idagi, Alfredo Jaar, Anton Kannemeyer, Maria Kozic, Glenn Ligon, Ana Mendieta, Tracey Moffatt, Gary Hillberg, Ken Reinhard, Yal Ton (Eric Bridgeman)

Curator: Brook Andrew

about the exhibition

TABOO was an exhibition and program of talks, performances and film screenings by guest curator Brook Andrew. Brook is an artist and cultural commentator of Wiradjuri and Scottish descent, who has a keen interest in hidden histories and ethnography.

TABOO built upon the ground-breaking blakatak series of talks and performances that Brook curated for the MCA in 2005. The concept of blakatak was to give space within the Museum for lively debate surrounding issues of concern to Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists, thinkers and activists. It touched on sometimes controversial topics, providing a forum for these ideas to be expressed and accommodated often highly divergent points of view.

TABOO brought together Australian and international artists who respond to ideas around race, ethnicity, politics and religion. Newly commissioned and existing works sat alongside personal archives, postcards, press photography and works from the MCA Collection. TABOO attempted to represent fragments of history, narrative and memory through art works and contextual materials that, when juxtaposed, can create a powerful and emotional effect.

TABOO took on issues that may be hidden or distorted in the mainstream media; ideas that transgress what is considered to be ‘correct behaviour’; and the question of who can represent whom. Brook Andrew said, ‘Taboos are similar to social and religious rules of engagement, but their principal task is to separate one space from another. They mark off a person, place or thing as sacred and untouchable: as distinct from the ordinary, mundane, and by implication, the polluted, unclean, or infidel. One of the intentions of the exhibition [was] that artists should feel free to relate their own versions of taboos, or play with a taboo and trigger the possibility of a different story. This story might reveal new ways of seeing a history or subject that would otherwise be shut down as too upsetting or controversial.’

The exhibition included images dealing with deceased people, nudity, religious beliefs and historical material that reflected different social times when issues like racism were not so widely debated. The aim of TABOO was to create a space to try out new ways of seeing our world through different juxtapositions.

Featuring Works from the MCA Collection

Gary Hillberg
  • Lip
Maria Kozic
  • Bitch

In the Shop