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MCA at the 2017 Venice Biennale

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TV Times: 35 years of watching television in Australia

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA)


12 Nov 1991 to 02 Feb 1992


David Watson

Guest Curators:

Denise Corrigan, Charles Garrad

about the exhibition

Part of the MCA’s opening season, TV Times looked at 35 years of Australian television from a historical and artistic perspective, providing an impression of what was seen on screens since 1956. This exhibition included iconic photographs of some of television’s most beloved characters and personalities, including Joan Collins and Morticia Addams.

This exhibition marked the MCA’s commitment to the moving image from the outset. Shown alongside thematic selections from the MCA Collection, TV Times declared the Museum’s intention to address aspects of visual culture that were generally considered outside the concerns of art museums. The exhibition looked at an aspect of visual culture which inhabits the everyday and is a strong socialising force.

In formulating the exhibition, the three curators asked viewers to write about their early experiences of television. The letters and photographs they sent provided the basis from which the exhibition grew, telling a personal story distinct from formal histories.

The exhibition was accompanied by a program of full-length screenings, providing an opportunity to look closely at some of the material Australian talents were producing at a time when our screens were dominated by content from the US and UK.

The majority of programs selected were created in the 1960s – a decade in which Australians developed a confidence in their use of the medium. Australian television began to come out of the shadow of radio and theatre, forming its own identity and proving the appeal of programs locally and internationally. Screenings in this program included My Brother Jack (1965), Mavis Bramston Show (1964-68), Seven Days (1966-68), and My Name’s McGooley, What’s Yours? (1967-68).