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Local Positioning Systems

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA)


29 Mar 2012 to 03 Jun 2012


Jason Maling, Lara Thoms, Latai Taumoepeau, Julie-Anne Long, Stuart Ringholt, Zöe Walker and Neil Bromwich, Bennett Miller.

CURATORS: Jeff Khan & Bec Dean (Performance Space, Sydney)

about the exhibition

For the MCA reopening season, Performance Space was invited to present a season of performative and socially engaged artworks around the new MCA building. Local Positioning Systems drew on Performance Space’s 25-year history of presenting interdisciplinary performance works in site-specific contexts. This was the first partnership between the two institutions, and the first time the MCA had presented a dedicated program of performance art.

Local Positioning Systems sought to engage visitors in unexpected encounters, as well as the surrounding population of tourists, passers-by, business people, commuters and the various communities of The Rocks.

In Physician, Jason Maling undertook private consultations with gallery visitors, offering poetic treatments for contemporary anxieties associated with visiting galleries and museums.

Over the course of a year, Lara Thoms met with ‘everyday’ experts and learned about their skills, talents and obsessions, presenting her findings in a three hour lesson at the MCA.

Latai Taumoepeau‘s i-Land X-isle was a large scale, performance installation work that engaged with the ambivalent attitudes and excessive consumption of resources by first-world countries and the direct impact of climate change to vulnerable, Island communities.

In her ongoing Invisibility Project, Julie-Anne Long explored the invisibility of middle-aged women in contemporary society by inhabiting the persona of a cleaner and infiltrating the MCA galleries and building.

Stuart Ringholt presented naked tours of the MCA’s first exhibition in its new permanent Collection gallery, Volume One: MCA Collection, referencing both his own and his audience’s physical presence and, by association, their lived experience as well as dealing with themes of fear and embarrassment.

Zöe Walker and Neil Bromwich’s Celestial Radio was a seductive and functional sculptural object, a radio station housed on a sailing boat whose surface is covered by 60,0000 inch-square mirror tiles; the work splintered daylight as if transmitting Morse code messages.

Bennett Miller’s Dachshund U.N. was both a large-scale architectural installation and a performance work that examined the role of the United Nations as a risk management organisation. The MCA presentation included 47 dachshunds conducting vigorous debate during two sessions on 2 and 3 June, 2012.

Local Positioning Systems was supported by the Keir Foundation .