See what's on at the

Browse What's On

– Highlights

highlight
Exhibition

Grayson Perry

10 Dec - 01 May

highlight
Exhibition

Mikala Dwyer: MCA Collection

21 Dec - 21 Feb

highlight
Exhibition

Being TIWI

21 Dec - 21 Feb

Find out more about the

About the MCA

– News from inside the MCA

Sharing The Artist’s Voice

Celebrating the launch of a new video portal, Alex White reflects upon the MCA’s history of producing and sharing interviews with artists and the importance of these activities for the organisation. more

My Pretty Little Sydney: A guide inspired by Grayson Perry

Much like Grayson’s work, Sydney is full of interesting enclaves if you are willing to take a closer look. We teamed up with The Thousands to create a Grayson Perry-inspired guide to Sydney! more

Building Confidence

Artist Educator Sue Salier reflects upon the certainty of youth in relation to our secondary workshop program Unpacking Unseen Images. more

View the Collection

Browse Collection

– Spotlights from the collection online

highlight
Volume One: MCA Collection

Works from the MCA Collection on display

highlight
Remain in Light: Photography from the MCA Collections

On tour until October 2015

highlight
ARTIST INTERVIEW

Watch our latest artist interview with Khaled Sabsabi

Hayden Fowler

White Australia 2006

Museum of Contemporary Art, donated through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program by Henry Ergas, 2009

single-channel digital video, colour, sound, 23min 52s

23 min 52s

About the Artwork

For Hayden Fowler, one motivation for his interdisciplinary practice is a critique of contemporary Western society. Fowler investigates our interactions with the natural world and how we define ourselves with regard to nature. He is interested in the nexus between civilisation and the domestication of animals, focusing on aspects such as interdependency and adaptation.

The two video works, Goat Odyssey and White Australia both feature white animals in carefully constructed austere tableaux. In White Australia, white rats scuttle through two holes in a similarly tiled interior space. Talking about the work, Fowler describes it as his response to what he saw as the dangerously apathetic nature of dominant Australian culture during ‘the height of the Howard years’. Inspired by the unthinking mass movements of 9-5 commuters at a busy train station, the artist presents his rats as creatures caught in a system of power they have little control over. (1)

Highlighting the disquieting possibilities of our own increasingly narcissistic preoccupations, Fowler’s work suggests the need for a necessary empathetic relationship between humankind and animals.

1. The description of this work and the artist’s quote taken from Anna Davis’ introduction, MCA Collection: New Acquisitions in Context 2010, (exhibition catalogue), Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, October 2010

References

Quotation: Hayden Fowler, artist talk, MCA Collection: New Acquisitions in Context 2010

You get this picture of humanity – prehistoric right through to futuristic – which is how I approach understanding where we are as a civilisation or as a species.

Hayden Fowler

Hayden Fowler

– About the artist

b.1973

Hayden Fowler completed a Bachelor of Science (Biology), majoring in animal behaviour, and later completed a Master of Fine Arts from the College of Fine Arts, University of NSW (CoFA). He is currently a PhD candidate at CoFA, where he also lectures in the Sculpture, Performance and Installation Studio.

Learn more
– Other works by the artist

– View also

All
Works

Related Exhibitions

In the Shop