– Highlights



Today, 4.00pm, Level 3: National Centre for Creative Learning

Mca Collection

MCA Collection: Today Tomorrow Yesterday

01 Sep - 31 Aug


Pipilotti Rist: Sip my ocean

01 Nov - 18 Feb

– Learning Events



Today, 4.00pm, Level 3: National Centre for Creative Learning


Art Safari

24 Nov, 1.00pm, Level 3: National Centre for Creative Learning


Artbar November 2017

24 Nov, 7.00pm, MCA

– News from inside the MCA

The Importance of Laughter

We sat down with laughter connoisseur Shari Coventry from Sydney Laughter to discover the truth about laughter and why we need it ahead of this month’s Laughter Sessions. more

Coming up in 2018…

Next year is one of the most exciting and diverse seasons yet. Find out what’s on. more

Six Films that Changed My Life (for better or worse): Antenna's Rich Welch

To pave the way for the soon-to-come cinema binge at Antenna Film Festival,Co-Director Rich Welch shared a few of his life changing films. more

– Spotlights from the collection online

MCA Collection

Works from the MCA Collection

Collection Artist Interviews

Watch our latest interviews in the MCA Video Portal

Joint acquisitions by MCA and Tate

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

Real Fictions

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA)


01 Sep 1996 to 01 Dec 1996


Stan Douglas, Robert Houle, Ken Lum, Liz Magor


Linda Michael

about the exhibition

Real Fictions featured work by four artists from Canada that examined contemporary experiences of identity. In different ways, they explored the shifting relationships between personal and public identity, subjective and mass-mediated experience.

Works by Stan Douglas, Robert Houle, Ken Lum and Liz Magor did not so much depict the world, as articulate the complex social and historical forces that shaped contemporary life. While their works were fictional constructions, they were always documenting something real. This oscillation between fact and fiction characterised a contemporary version of realism, a socially engaged art which explored the contradictions of lived experience.

Using techniques of staging, doubling and juxtaposition, identity was presented as a changing set of roles, projections and masks, and the uncertain relationship between fiction and reality in a media-saturated society was explored. Many of the works used photography to highlight this seeming paradox.

The exhibition did not present a singularly ‘Canadian’ perspective, but the parallels between Australian and Canadian society were evident in issues such as the relationship between indigenous and colonising cultures, the relatively recent colonisation and independence of each country, and the colouring of local experience by a dominant mass-media – a particularly relevant issue in a diverse, multi-cultural Australia with a strong indigenous culture, where media was still dominated by white European authors, actors and personalities.

Featuring Works from the MCA Collection

Robert Houle
  • Parfleches for Sydney