March 4, 2008 - Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) - Fiona Hall
March 4, 2008

Fiona Hall

Holdfast (Macrocystis angustifolia / giant kelp)
2007, tin, aluminium
Courtesy of the artist and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney, Australia
Image courtesy of the artist and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery,
Sydney, Australia Copyright: the artist

Fiona Hall
Force Field

6 March – 1 June 2008

140 George Street
PO Box R1286
Sydney 1223 Australia

MCA presents major solo exhibition by Fiona Hall

The Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney presents an in-depth survey of the work of prominent Australian artist Fiona Hall, featuring photography, sculpture, installation and video works from the 1970s to the
present day.

Fiona Hall: Force Field continues the MCA’s series of solo projects that explore the work of Australia’s leading, innovative contemporary practitioners. The exhibition is presented by the MCA in partnership with the City Gallery Wellington, New Zealand and is co-curated by Vivienne Webb (MCA), Gregory O’Brien and Paula Savage (City Gallery Wellington).

Born in Sydney (1953), and based in Adelaide, Hall began her career in photography and later extended into sculpture, installation, garden design and video. Her work is characterised by its use of ordinary objects and materials, which are transformed into complex and allusive art works, often through highly
labour-intensive processes.

The artist has shown a sustained fascination with the wonders of nature and in recent years her work has reflected an increasing concern at the impact of humans upon it. Her work draws upon sources as disparate as literature, politics, finance, science, media, sexuality and gardening.

Hall is well-known for her series of delicate sculptures created out of aluminium sardine tins, first made in 1989. The series Paradisus terrestris features erotically charged bodily vignettes juxtaposed against precisely sculpted flowers and foliage.

Other works in the exhibition address issues of colonisation, systems of knowledge and the ethics of consumption. In Tender (2003-05) Hall presents a number of birds’ nests in glass display cases reminiscent of an aviary. Each nest is an exact replica of one belonging to a specific bird species, but rather than construct them of straw and twigs Hall has woven the nests out of shredded US one dollar bills, featuring the words “this note is legal tender”.

The exhibition is divided into a number of chapters or zones in which works from different phases of the artist’s career are brought together. This arrangement allows the earlier works to be seen in the context of Hall’s more recent conceptual work. There are six rooms in total, titled ‘consumption’, ‘symbiosis, ‘body’, ‘paradise’, ‘territory’ and ‘trade’.

The exhibition is accompanied by a fully-illustrated, contextual catalogue including essays by Vivienne Webb (MCA) and Gregory O’Brien (City Gallery Wellington) and an interview with the artist by Paula Savage.

Fiona Hall: Force Field is on view at the MCA, Sydney from 6 March until 1 June 2008, before touring to New Zealand to the City Gallery Wellington (12 July until 1 October 2008) and to the Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu (4 December 2008 until 1 March 2009).

Museum of Contemporary Art Sydney

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA)
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