Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA)
27 Aug 2004 to 14 Nov 2004
The pairing of Australian Jan Nelson and Dutch artist Liza May Post was part of an MCA curatorial initiative, to create dialogues between contemporary Australian artists and their international peers.
Nelson is an established Australian artist who works across photography, performance, painting, video, sculpture and installation. Nelson’s psychologically charged works explore the gaps between speech and act, youth and maturity, isolation and inclusion. Her highly detailed paintings present immaculately finished images of single figures. Nelson’s subjects are young – often children – but they contain none of the brash confidence of youth, instead they look away, shyly refusing to meet the gaze of the viewer.
Similar to Nelson, Post’s practice incorporates photography, film and video installation. Post explores issues of alienation and vulnerability, imaging introversion. Much like Nelson, Post’s figures have turned away from the world around them.
Included in this exhibition were a number of paintings from Nelson’s series Walking in Tall Grass (1999-2004), as well as major photographic works and life-size sculptures. Post presented a suite of film and photographic works including Trying (1998), which was created for the 2001 Venice Biennale in which she represented The Netherlands. In this work a young woman attempts the impossible as she tries, unsuccessfully, to scale the side of an elephant. Absurd in the extreme, the work is both frustrating and comic in intent.
This exhibition was made possible through the generous support of MCA Ambassadors.