– Highlights

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Mca Collection

MCA Collection

29 Mar - 31 Jul

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Exhibition

Telling Tales

02 Jun - 09 Oct

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Exhibition

New Romance

30 Jun - 04 Sep

– Learning Events

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Workshop

Art Safari

09 Aug, 10.30am, Level 3: National Centre for Creative Learning

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Conference

THE FOREVER NOW

01 Sep, 6.00pm, MCA

– News from inside the MCA

Dear Giselle

New Romance artist Giselle Stanborough answers your questions about the modern dating world. more

What we've been reading: June

In the spirit of our current exhibition, Telling Tales, MCA Staffers share what they’ve been reading over the past month. more

Where do artists get their ideas from?

Artist Educators Stephanie & Athena are interviewed by kids about their art practice more

– Spotlights from the collection online

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Volume One: MCA Collection

Works from the MCA Collection

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Collection Artist Interviews

Watch our latest interviews in the MCA Video Portal

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Joint acquisitions by MCA and Tate

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

Fiona Foley, Troy Melville

Bliss 2006

Museum of Contemporary Art, purchased with funds provided by the Coe and Mordant families, 2009

single-channel digital video, colour, sound, 11min 20s

11 min 20s

About the Artwork

The work Bliss, by Brisbane-based Indigenous artist Fiona Foley, is a work concerned with the hidden history of settler and Indigenous relations in Queensland, and in particular, the 1897 Aboriginals Protection and Restriction of the Sale of Opium Act. This Act, and the part it played in the subjugation of Indigenous people in Queensland, through creating a dependency on narcotics, as well as the role that it played in the troubled relations between White, Asian and Indigenous peoples, has resulted in a major body of work by the artist.

A sense of opium’s hypnotic effects is elaborated upon by the rustling sounds and movement of poppy heads revolving on their stems, interspersed with short quotes from Rosalind Kidd’s book The Way We Civilise. This forensic archival study examines the disastrous consequences of benevolently intentioned projects that sought to reform Indigenous Australians from 1897 to 19881. Bliss’s vivid and dynamic footage of poppies grown on a Tasmanian plantation for medical purposes provokes contemplation on the nature of the ‘fix’ that addictive substances offer to individual and social conflicts.

Artist Statement

For me, what I like to do is work with this material and put it out in the public arena and say, “Look at this. How are you engaging with this aspect of our history?” For a lot of people it is a huge eye-opener. I see my role really as an educator. Every time I insert into the public realm a work that involves a historical context or underpinning, it really is about educating Queenslanders about their own history.

I see my role really as an educator. Every time I insert into the public realm a work that involves a historical context or underpinning, it really is about educating Queenslanders about their own history.

Fiona Foley, 2010

Fiona Foley

– About the artist

b.1964

Born 1964, Maryborough, Queensland. Badtjala people. Lives and works New Farm, Queensland.

Learn more
– Other works by the artist

Troy Melville

– About the artist
Learn more

– View also

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