– Highlights


Primavera 2017

23 Aug - 19 Nov


Hilarie Mais

23 Aug - 19 Nov

Mca Collection

MCA Collection: Today Tomorrow Yesterday

01 Sep - 31 Aug

– Learning Events


Art Safari

27 Oct, 1.00pm, Level 3: National Centre for Creative Learning

Special Event

ARTBAR October 2017

27 Oct, 7.00pm, MCA


Keynote lecture by Pipilotti Rist

05 Nov, 1.00pm, Level 6: Harbourside Room

– News from inside the MCA

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

Six Films that Changed My Life (for better or worse): Laura Hindmarsh

Primavera 2017 artist Laura Hindmarsh shares six films ahead of her specially curated edition of Art + Film on Saturday 16 September. more

The Many Guises of Jenny Watson

We’ll take you through some of Watson’s many alter egos that are currently housed in our Level 3 Galleries. 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