May 23, 2016 - Public Art Melbourne Biennial Lab - Artists announced
May 23, 2016

Public Art Melbourne Biennial Lab

Will Foster, Matthias Einhoff, Lars Hayer and Alex Head (with Lena Obergfell & Saubin Yap), Wasteland Twinning (Wasteland Twinning Ceremony Sydney and Kuala Lumpur), 2012. Courtesy of Wasteland Twinning Network e.V.
Photo: Robin Taylor.

Artists announced

The City of Melbourne announces participating artists in the inaugural Public Art Melbourne Biennial Lab: What happens now? The title is derived from an anonymous paste-up program throughout New York City in 1979 by American artist Jenny Holzer. Like a manifesto, Holzer's slogans are part of her acerbic "Inflammatory Essays." While anchoring the curatorial framework, this proposition offers an open-ended inquiry and the prospect of imagining new possibilities.

Chief Curator Natalie King, with an international curatorium, selected artists working across different modalities and materials. From sculptural interventions and spontaneous gestures, to exchange and bartering projects, artists will further develop their concepts in a laboratory environment at Queen Victoria Market (QVM) resulting in new temporary public art commissions coinciding with the Melbourne Festival in October.

Claire Doherty MBE (Situations UK) will convene the lab summit alongside Professor David Cross (Deakin University and co-director of One Day Sculpture) for a two-week intensive in June 2016. Foregrounding the possibilities of a lab, Claire Doherty states: “It is rare when working towards a major multi-site public project such as the Melbourne Biennial Lab that artists have the opportunity to come together in the research process to share, test out and explore ideas in formation.” As a renowned international commissioner, curator and thinker, Doherty brings a layered experience in working with artists to re-imagine and inflect new understanding of the public sphere and how we come to experience it.

Ten proposals have been accepted from more than 150 applications by early mid-career artists from across Australia. Artists participating in the lab include: Hiromi Tango, whose experiments in materials frequently involve community engagement; Will Foster from A Centre for Everything, which explores ideas via participatory gestures; Willurai Kirkbright, whose lab research will focus on a site-responsive installation to the complex history of Queen Victoria Market; and Timothy Moore of SIBLING, a multidisciplinary design group working at the intersection of architecture, urbanism, cultural analysis and graphic communication to produce unexpected spatial outcomes.

The Lab will include guided walks and conversations about the area by Aboriginal representatives; an in situ performance workshop by a choreographer; work with an acoustic ecologist; language and expressions across different media that might consider literary references to Queen Victoria Market. These research activities complement a range of core modalities that resonate within the market context, such as time/duration, exchange/trade, materialities, narrative and relationships/dialogues.

Full list of selected artists: Hiromi Tango, Jessie Bullivant, Kiron Robinson, Steven Rhall, Willurai Kirkbright, Sanné Mestrom and Jamie Hall from The Mechanic’s Institute, Isobel Knowles and Van Sowerwine, Jason Maling and Martyn Coutts from Field Theory, Will Foster from A Centre for Everything and Timothy Moore from SIBLING

Curatorium: Natalie King (Chief Curator), David Cross (artist, curator, Head of Art and Performance, Deakin University), Jefa Greenaway (architect, Director, Greenaway Architects and Indigenous Architecture and Design Victoria), Veronica Kent (artist, The Telepathy Project), Djon Mundine OAM (curator, activist and writer), Fiona Whitworth (QVM), Lynda Roberts (City of Melbourne)

International Affiliates: Claire Doherty MBE (Director, Situations UK), Khairuddin Hori (artist and former Deputy Director of Artistic Programming, Palais de Tokyo, Paris), Hou Hanru (Director, MAXXI, Rome)

As part of her visit to Australia for the Public Art Melbourne Biennial Lab 2016, Claire Doherty will present a keynote lecture at The Wheeler Centre for Books, Writing & Ideas. Doherty will share insights on commissioning public artworks, working with artists and the major projects in her career to date.

Claire Doherty's involvement in Public Art Melbourne Biennial Lab is supported by the Australian Government through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

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