Archive: Australia
One of the most fun ways to experience a museum

One of the most fun ways to experience a museum

Carsten Höller - Test Site, 2007, New Museum, New York - Exhibition Experience, 2011
Carsten HöllerTest Site, 2007, New Museum, New York – Exhibition: Experience, 2011

Carsten Höller is well known for playfully including his slide installations in major museums across the world. Höller, who is formerly a scientist with a degree in agronomy, is famous for repurposing components of the real world, such as slides, for art spaces. The majority of his works feature aesthetics that are relational, meaning that the projects created are inspired by the relationship that people have with their social contexts. The end result of Höller’s incredible work is an experience that resembles part playground and part lab, which is a crowd pleaser.

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Properties torched in the name of art

Properties torched in the name of art


Ian Strange – Film still from Suburban

Suburban is a complex film and photography installation that was created by New York-based Australian artist Ian Strange. Suburban was created by Strange as a result of a collaboration with a film crew and volunteers from different parts of America including Alabama, Detroit, New Hampshire, Ohio and New York. Over the course of three months Strange and the film crew photographed and filmed 8 different sites that featured singular suburban homes from different states.

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This was intended to be Andy Warhol’s retirement from painting

This was intended to be Andy Warhol’s retirement from painting

Andy Warhol blowing up Silver Cloud Pillow, Los Angeles, 1966

Andy Warhol blowing up Silver Cloud Pillow, Los Angeles, 1966
Andy Warhol blowing up Silver Clouds, Los Angeles, 1966

Andy Warhol is no stranger to critical acclaim; his various works introduced thousands of audiences to contemporary art which helped to put American artists on the map, and it waged a war against abstract expressionism. Warhol effectively managed, time and time again, to shatter distinctions in art and he helped to reshape the aesthetic criteria that many people used to categorize art. In true fashion, Warhol inspired an artistic revolution of epic proportions that was felt not just in America, but in other parts of the world as well.

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20 tons of incense ash to create 5m statue

20 tons of incense ash to create 5m statue

Zhang Huan - Sydney Buddha, 2015, aluminum, 5m height, Carriageworks, Sydney, Australia

Zhang Huan - Sydney Buddha, 2015, aluminum, 5m height, Carriageworks, Sydney, Australia 1
Zhang HuanSydney Buddha, left: Aluminium Buddha, 370x290x260cm, right: Ash Buddha, 350x480x290cm, Carriageworks, Sydney, Australia, 2015

Zhang Huan, born in 1965, started out his career as a painter and then moved to performance art and then resorted back to painting. He is also a sculptor and photographer, but his main focus is being a performance artist. Throughout his career, he has made extensive use of ash, and even built a few sculptures with it. Zhang says that he considers ash to be symbolic as it represents the hopes and the prayers of those who usually burn the incense. To him, the ash sculptures represent collective blessing, memory, and soul of the Chinese people. The ash is collected from various temples in Shanghai, a time-consuming process that involves many hands.

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1000 real trees fills world’s most famous opera house

1000 real trees fills world’s most famous opera house

Pierre Huyghe, A Forest of Lines, 2008. Concert Hall at Sydney Opera House, 16th Biennale of Sydney
Pierre HuygheA Forest of Lines, 2008. Concert Hall at Sydney Opera House, 16th Biennale of Sydney

A Forest of Lines by Pierre Huyghe is a space that brings together the sacred and the profane. The space blurs boundaries, eliminating the separation between the audience and the art where they can become the performance as they explore the constructed forest in the theatre made of a thousand real trees, inside the concert hall at the Sydney Opera House. Thus turning one of the most urban places in the world into a wilderness, converting a space in a way, which seems exceptionally impossible and altogether remarkable.

Paths meander through the trees, mist brings a sense of mystic as you wonder the magical and listen to the story that brings the enchantment to life. This is a space of representation, in which an environment has been transplanted, and becomes a liminal place that is somewhere between nature and urban, a place that lays somewhere in between fiction and fact. Forests are often the sites of fairy tales and legends; they are places of amazement and sometimes fear.

There is something profoundly sensational about the opera, it is the epitome of culture, and furthermore, the Sydney Opera House is internationally known for its architecture and aesthetics. Thus by constructing a forest in a place that represents culture, humanism, and progress, the Cartesian dualism of nature versus culture is completely overridden.

This revolutionary piece demonstrates the mediation of binaries while taking the audience into a different world of the wilderness inside. The melody is written by Laura Marling especially for Pierre Huyghes’ performance, the lyrics literally indicate how to get outside the Opera House and go somewhere else. Visitors to this installation wandered through the glorious forest, and some even set up picnics in the installation, using the space as they would a park. This space was open for 24 hours, and within that short time, audience members were given the opportunity to explore a world that can be described as only a dream.

Pierre Huyghe, A Forest of Lines, 2008. Concert Hall at Sydney Opera House, 16th Biennale of Sydney
Pierre HuygheA Forest of Lines, 2008. Concert Hall at Sydney Opera House, 16th Biennale of Sydney

Pierre Huyghe, A Forest of Lines, 2008. Concert Hall at Sydney Opera House, 16th Biennale of Sydney - 3
Pierre HuygheA Forest of Lines, 2008. Concert Hall at Sydney Opera House, 16th Biennale of Sydney

Pierre Huyghe, A Forest of Lines, 2008. Concert Hall at Sydney Opera House, 16th Biennale of Sydney - 4
Pierre HuygheA Forest of Lines, 2008. Concert Hall at Sydney Opera House, 16th Biennale of Sydney

Pierre Huyghe, A Forest of Lines, 2008. Concert Hall at Sydney Opera House, 16th Biennale of Sydney
Pierre HuygheA Forest of Lines, 2008. Concert Hall at Sydney Opera House, 16th Biennale of Sydney


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99 life-sized replicas of animals in large installation

99 life-sized replicas of animals in large installation

Cai Guo-Qiang - Wateringhole, 99 life-sized replicas of various animals, water, sand, 2013, Brisbane Gallery of Modern Art - 1
Cai Guo-Qiang, Wateringhole, 99 life-sized replicas of various animals, water, sand, Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia, 2013

THE EXHIBITION

Cai Guo-Qiang’s first solo exhibition in Australia will be staged at Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) from November, 2013 to April, 2014. Spanning the ground floor galleries of GOMA, this exhibition presents major, large scale installations by the Chinese artist. A centrepiece of the exhibition is a dramatic new commission, Heritage, 2013, which features 99 life-sized animals from around the world gathered together at a watering hole. Also featured is Head On, 2006, with its stream of 99 life-sized wolves leaping through the air and crashing into a glass wall. Other new work in the exhibition is inspired by the artist’s experiences in Australia, drawing upon local landscape, history and culture. There will also be a special project devised by the artist for children.

ABOUT CAI GUO-QIANG

Born in China and based in New York, Cai Guo-Qiang draws from Buddhist philosophy, Chinese history and mythology, and contemporary social issues to create spectacular installations and events of astonishing scale and beauty. His works reflect upon the globalised nature of our world, and appeal to broad audiences: he is best known for his awe-inspiring firework displays (featured at the 2008 Beijing Olympics opening and closing ceremonies). His recent solo exhibitions and projects have included the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2006, his record-attendance retrospective at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York and the National Art Museum of China in Beijing in 2008 and the Guggenheim Bilbao in 2009; Odyssey, a permanent gunpowder drawing installation for the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston in 2010; and his first exhibition in the Middle East at Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art in Doha, Qatar, in 2011.

Cai Guo-Qiang, Heritage, 2013. 99 life-sized replicas of animals, water, sand, drip mechanism; installed dimensions variable (detail)
Cai Guo-Qiang, Wateringhole (detail), 99 life-sized replicas of various animals, water, sand, Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia, 2013

Cai Guo-Qiang - Heritage, Wateringhole, 99 life-sized replicas of various animals, water, sand, 2013, Brisbane Gallery of Modern Art
Cai Guo-Qiang, Wateringhole (detail), 99 life-sized replicas of various animals, water, sand, Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia, 2013

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