Shapes of Knowledge

Shapes of Knowledge

Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA)

View of Shapes of Knowledge, Monash University Museum of Art, 2019. Kym Maxwell, Objects of Longing, 2018–19. Photo: Christian Capurro.

March 28, 2019
Shapes of Knowledge
February 9–April 13, 2019
Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA)
900 Dandenong Road
Ground Floor, Building F
Caulfield East Victoria 3145
Hours: Monday–Friday 10am–5pm,
Saturday 12–5pm

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Shapes of Knowledge at Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA) brings together projects from artists, collectives and organisations across the globe to reflect on the different platforms, spaces and timeframes in which knowledge is produced and shared.

The first exhibition of its kind in Australia, Shapes of Knowledge foregrounds artists’ relationship to knowledge, taking up notions of research, the laboratory, learning, and teaching as its central concerns. Curated by Hannah Mathews and accompanied by a significant publication and events, the project comprises eight core projects:

A Centre for Everything (ACE) presents Maps of Gratitude, Cones of Silence and Lumps of Coal, a reflection on how the fossil fuels industry ingratiates itself to the Australian public through cultural institutions. The project adopts ACE’s signature triadic formation, bringing together data mapping, an edible public artwork and a video lecture performance.

Asia Art Archive (AAA) asks: how do the activities of art schools influence the history of art? An exhibition display and lecture series draw on AAA’s recent research into the pedagogical models used by specific art schools in Asia in the post-war period, including Bigakkō in Japan, Baroda in India, and Zhejian in China.

Chimurenga present the Pan African Space Station (PASS), a live radio studio and platform for free ideas and political reflection. In collaboration with artists, activists, and cultural workers in Melbourne, PASS will study, among other histories, Australia’s participation in The Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC), which took place in Lagos, Nigeria in 1977. PASS will broadcast live from MUMA from April 11–13, 2019.

Baking Earth: Soil and the Carbon Economy by Lucas Ihlein focuses on a recent invention designed by Allan Yeomans to measure carbon content in soil. In the exhibition, a working model of the Yeomans Carbon Still tests soil samples gathered from farms. Alongside these material investigations, discussions involving engineers, climate scientists and carbon farming advocates consider the viability of an agricultural approach to carbon sequestration.

Site for Unlearning (Art Organisation) is a collaborative research project that identifies the art organisation as a concrete site for research and a subject for change—where unlearning exercises are strategies used for learning something new. Developed by artist Annette Krauss and Casco Art Institute, this iteration involved intensive workshops with MUMA staff and outcomes presented in the exhibition.  

Alex Martinis Roe’s film Our Future Network is part of the artist’s recent series tracing the genealogies of international feminist communities and their political practices. The film engages the network of people involved in the long-term research project in the creation and definition of new political practices. Alongside the film, Martinis Roe, together with local feminists including Virginia Fraser, Ann Genovese and Susan Yengi, present new propositions in a public salon.

Conceived by artist-educator Kym Maxwell, Objects of Longing is a multi-disciplinary project that engages students at Dandenong Primary School in an extended investigation into the relationships between play (personal collecting) and cultural production (institutional collections). The resulting work includes the live theatre piece Objects Are a Limbic System Embrace Their Logic, performed by the students at MUMA on February 23, 2019.

The Mulka Project is a digital library and production centre located in Yirrkala. Part of the community’s art centre Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Centre, it facilitates the production of audio-visual material and new media artwork, while also repatriating valuable artworks, texts, images, sounds, and videos of Yolngu culture that are stored in museums, art galleries, libraries, and universities in Australia and around the world.

Shapes of Knowledge public programs

Shapes of Knowledge publication AUD 49
Writers: Andy Butler, Michelle Antoinette, Natasha Ginwala, Joshua Harrison, Syafiatudina, Barbara Casavecchia, Georgina Criddle, Wukun Wanambi, Hannah Mathews, Charlotte Day, Wes Hill and more
Editors: Hannah Mathews and Shelley McSpedden
Design: Stuart Geddes and Žiga Testen
296 pages, colour images
Published 2019 by Monash University Museum of Art and Perimeter Editions

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March 28, 2019

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