– Highlights


Primavera 2017

23 Aug - 19 Nov


Hilarie Mais

23 Aug - 19 Nov

Mca Collection

MCA Collection: Today Tomorrow Yesterday

01 Sep - 31 Dec

– Learning Events


Art Safari

25 Aug, 1.00pm, Level 3: National Centre for Creative Learning

Special Event

ARTBAR August 2017

25 Aug, 7.00pm, MCA



23 Sep, 2.00pm, Level 2: Veolia Lecture Theatre

– News from inside the MCA

Claudia Nicholson's ARTBAR of love and devotion

July’s ARTBAR will see the MCA turned into an elaborate quinceañera by this month’s curator, Claudia Nicholson. more

#ConversationStarters: Have you ever made a decision based on fear?

We held a new program of art and ideas, Conversation Starters, in June to promote an open conversation with questions that define our global situation. more

#ConversationStarters: What are you afraid of for the future?

We held a new program of art and ideas, Conversation Starters, in June to promote an open conversation with questions that define our global situation. 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.

Discover Primavera 2016 : Pia van Gelder

Pia van Gelder

Nervous System

Pia van Gelder’s Recumbent Circuit (2015/16) is activated and controlled by the body’s energy transmitted through contact. Embedded within the skin, the nervous system is electric, and in turn has an innate capacity to conduct electricity. Called electrodermal activity (EDA), it is this that van Gelder uses to generate an electrical charge. The conductivity of the skin works in tandem with the nervous system, each informing and influencing the other. If, for example, the largely unconscious autonomic nervous system is activated, it affects the skin’s conductivity. So just as the nervous system informs us about our physical environment, so too does the body’s EDA become a measure of our emotional or physiological well-being.

Artist bio

Born 1982, Sydney. Lives and works Sydney

Pia van Gelder is an artist, academic and curator based in Sydney. Van Gelder is currently a PhD Candidate at UNSW Art & Design and holds a Master of Fine Art (Research) from Sydney College of the Arts (2012) and a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours, First Class) from the College of Fine Arts (now UNSW Art & Design), Sydney (2005). She is an academic who has taught at Sydney’s College of Fine Arts and the Sydney Conservatorium of Music as well as the Powerhouse Museum.
Van Gelder was a co-director of Serial Space, Sydney and is a Curator/ Coordinator of Dorkbot, a monthly event for lovers of machines. Van Gelder has built a substantial performance and exhibition history including the following solo exhibitions: Relaxation Circuit, West Space Melbourne, 2015; Psychic Synth, Performance Space, Sydney, 2014; Audio Visionaries, SCA Gallery, Sydney, 2012 and Sychnchresier, Tin Sheds, Sydney, 2011. Performances and group exhibitions include: Underbelly Arts Festival 2015, Sydney, 2015; Technologism, MUMA, Melbourne, 2015; Now Now Festival, Red Rattler, Sydney, 2014; Cementa 13 Festival, Kandos, NSW, 2013; SDLX 10th Anniversary, SuperDeluxe, Tokyo, 2012; Spectacle Obstacle, West Space, Melbourne, 2011; Electrofringe Festival, Artist Presentation, Newcastle, 2010 as well as presenting at numerous conferences.

people put their hands up to the wall

Pia van Gelder Recumbent Circuit 2016, installation view, Primavera 2016: Young Australian Artists, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney, 2016, electronics, speakers, wood, image courtesy and © the artist, photograph: Jacquie Manning