How many teenagers in their lifetime get a masterclass in performance art from the internationally acclaimed Marina Abramovic?
Well, I know of eight. And they’re all from Dubbo.
On Saturday 3 July, the Kaldor Public Art regional engagement project reached its halfway point. The pilot, in the context of our recent project with Abramovic, has proven to be a unique and hugely rewarding opportunity to engage with ideas around performance art using the very immediate experiences of our teenage participants.
Through a series of workshops, discussions, exercises and activities (led by myself, theatre director Imara Savage and artist Lottie Consalvo) we’ve been exploring the role of the body as a gesture or action in art making. We’ve also been looking at ideas of presence and energy and the role of the audience, and asking our intrepid participants to mine their own ideas and experiences, challenging them to consider how they might explore some of these emotions and responses as a work of art.
Earlier this month the participants joined us in Sydney for two days at Pier 2/3. It was a chance to experience Project 30 – Marina Abramovic: In Residence and to be part of our dedicated public program event with Western Plains Cultural Centre aptly titled, The Western Plains Respond. It was also an opportunity for them to see their learning and works-in-progress in the context of the 12 emerging Australian artists living in residence at the Pier (of which Lottie was one) and to meet the rest of the Kaldor Public Art Projects team.
The Marina masterclass wasn’t on the agenda. It was an impromptu event, proposed by Marina herself no less, after she met everyone on Friday and was told about what they’ve been up to for the last couple of months. Marina challenged them to explain their ideas, asked critical questions, gave thoughtful feedback and told them in no uncertain terms to commit to their ideas, especially the ones that frightened them, because they usually proved to be the most important ones.
All of which will be on display during the special one-day exhibition at Dubbo Regional Gallery at the Western Plains Cultural Centre on Sunday 26 July.
This huge and exciting culmination to the project is a chance for the participants to present their work as serious young artists, and to learn what’s involved in curating an exhibition. Which is why Kent Buchanan, Curator of the WPCC and Andrew Glassop, WPCC General Manager, along with the rest of the Dubbo team are taking the unprecedented step of giving them their own exhibition space in the main gallery.
Their final performance pieces, which will be curated by Kent, deftly explores their teenage experiences of disconnection, feminism, mental health, love, worry and expectation.
Presented from 11am as part of a special day-long, free public program that includes the official launch of the Public Art of Dubbo website by Deputy Premier and NSW Arts Minister, the Hon. Troy Grant, and an afternoon panel discussion on the changing nature of public art. Chaired by Kent Buchanan, panellists include Kaldor Public Art Projects Director John Kaldor, artist Alex Wisser and Regional Arts Development Officer for Orana Arts, Alecia Leggett. And probably a participant or seven.
The day gets underway at 10.30am and concludes at 3pm with refreshments and informal reflections. No bookings are required and the events and exhibition are free to attend.
It’s an important moment for us in our pilot project but beyond that, it’s a very special opportunity to experience the work of some exciting young artists who have absolutely earned an audience for their work. Just ask Marina.
This article was written for Museums and Galleries New South Wales in my capacity as Regional Engagement Coordinator for Kaldor Public Art Projects and originally published on 11 July 2015. http://mgnsw.org.au/articles/more-marina-magic/
- Oct 29, 2018 Announcement of Churchill Fellowship 2018 Oct 29, 2018
- Sep 30, 2018 Frida Kahlo at the Victoria & Albert Museum Sep 30, 2018
- Sep 7, 2018 Elizabeth Willing profile for Art Collector magazine Sep 7, 2018
- Aug 2, 2018 Beyond Community Engagement: Transforming Dialogues in Art, Education and the Cultural Sphere Aug 2, 2018
- Jul 26, 2017 Te Tuhi Talks Jul 26, 2017
- Apr 2, 2017 New role: Museum of Contemporary Art Australia Apr 2, 2017
- Jan 19, 2017 Louise Paramor profile for Art Collector magazine, issue 78 Jan 19, 2017
- Dec 1, 2016 Craft Council UK – Make:Shift conference, Manchester, 10-11 Nov, 2016 Dec 1, 2016
- Oct 30, 2016 Alison Croggon on the arts funding crisis and the importance of criticism Oct 30, 2016
- Apr 27, 2016 Lottie Consalvo: mid-fall, Alaska Projects Apr 27, 2016
- Mar 18, 2016 20th Biennale of Sydney: The future is here it's just not evenly distributed Mar 18, 2016
- Nov 22, 2015 Celeste Boursier-Mougenot at the NGV Nov 22, 2015
- Sep 22, 2015 Educating People Like Us Sep 22, 2015
- Aug 2, 2015 What It Means to be Me, Western Plains Cultural Centre, Dubbo, 26 July 2015 Aug 2, 2015
- Jul 12, 2015 More Marina Magic Jul 12, 2015
- Jul 12, 2015 Art Collector cover story Jul 12, 2015
- Jun 25, 2015 Lessons learnt: Kaldor regional progress report Jun 25, 2015
- May 5, 2015 Kaldor pilots regional engagement project May 5, 2015
- Aug 21, 2014 Melbourne Art Fair 2014 Aug 21, 2014
- Jun 24, 2014 Fresh Faces Symposium: Art Gallery of New South Wales Jun 24, 2014
- May 24, 2014 REVIEW: Sleepers Awake, MCA C3West Project, Bungaribee May 24, 2014
- Feb 20, 2014 Kevin Chin profile for Art Collector magazine Feb 20, 2014
- Feb 9, 2014 Artlink review: 21st Century Portraits Feb 9, 2014
- Jan 12, 2014 REVIEW: Christian Boltanski, Chance, Carriageworks Jan 12, 2014
- Sep 20, 2013 The problem with 'Australia' Sep 20, 2013
- Sep 4, 2013 Margate: An away day and a visit to Turner Contemporary Sep 4, 2013
- Jul 28, 2013 A round-up: Miles Aldridge, Somerset House; Katharina Fritsch, Fourth Plinth, Trafalgar Square; Michael Landy, ‘Saints Alive’, National Gallery Jul 28, 2013
- Jul 21, 2013 Peckham weekends Jul 21, 2013
- Jul 11, 2013 Harpa Concert Hall, Reykjavik Jul 11, 2013
- Jun 4, 2013 St Paul-de-Vence Jun 4, 2013
- May 30, 2013 A visit to Paul Cezanne's studio May 30, 2013
- Oct 30, 2012 REVIEW: dOCUMENTA 13, Kassel, Germany Oct 30, 2012
- Oct 28, 2012 Tino Sehgal, These Associations, Tate Modern, London Oct 28, 2012
- Aug 4, 2012 Jeremy Deller, Sacrilege, Burgess Park, London Aug 4, 2012
- Apr 14, 2012 REVIEW: Martin Creed, Sketch Nightclub, London Apr 14, 2012
- Jul 19, 2010 Christian Boltanski, Les archives du coeur, Serpentine Gallery, London Jul 19, 2010
- Jul 9, 2010 REVIEW: 1:1 Architects Build Small Spaces, Victoria & Albert Museum, London Jul 9, 2010
- Jul 5, 2010 REVIEW: EXPOSED: Voyeurism, Surveillance & the Camera, Tate Modern, London Jul 5, 2010
- Jun 21, 2010 REVIEW: Sean Scully New Work, Timothy Taylor Gallery, London Jun 21, 2010
- Jun 14, 2010 Yinka Shonibare MBE, “Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle”, Fourth Plinth, Trafalgar Square Jun 14, 2010
- May 20, 2010 REVIEW: Céleste Boursier-Mougenot, Barbican Centre, London May 20, 2010
- May 16, 2010 REVIEW: Decode: Digital Design Sensation, Victoria & Albert Museum, London May 16, 2010
- May 9, 2010 REVIEW: Olafur Eliasson: Take Your Time, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney May 9, 2010
- Sep 17, 2008 REVIEW: Suzanne Treister, ALCHEMY, Annely Juda Fine Art Sep 17, 2008