December 27, 2014

Taking it all away: MCA Collection, Sydney

Taking it all away: MCA Collection 
Museum of Contemporary Art , Sydney, Australia
Through 22 February 2015

Stuart Ringholt
Stuart Ringholt
Untitled (Clock), 2014, clockwork, tubular bells, world globe, steel, glass, electronics 
Museum of Contemporary Art, purchased with funds provided by the MCA Foundation, 2014
Installation view Stuart Ringholt: Kraft, Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne, 2014
Image courtesy the artist and Milani Gallery, Brisbane © the artist, photograph: Andrew Curtis

What might happen if you took away time, so a 24-hour day passed in just 18 hours? What are you left with once 260 volunteers have spent five years erasing a magazine by hand – page by page? These questions about our relationship to time, and how it might be spent and measured, represent one line of enquiry within Taking it all away, an exhibition of works drawn from the Museum of Contemporary Art Collection that is on display this summer.

Taking it all away: MCA Collection presents works that speculate upon the continued importance of Minimalism and conceptual art, the processes of erasure and abstraction, and the social impact of art.

The exhibition includes work by Gordon Bennett, Christian Capurro et. al. (featuring Chris Bond), Peter Cripps, Gail Hastings, Robert Hunter, Rose Nolan and Stuart Ringholt. It presents recent works acquired by the MCA Foundation, along with artworks drawn from the MCA Collection.

Exhibition highlights include Christian Capurro’s erased magazine, which passed through the hands of 250 people over five years and Stuart Ringholt’s 18-hour clock, which explores not only the potential impact of time being taken away but also cosmology and our place within a vast universe. 

In different ways Peter Cripps, Gail Hastings and Robert Hunter explore how art activates our senses of spatiality and temporality, requiring not only our occupation of space but also our input of time and contemplation. Through mirrored surfaces, subtle painted grids or objects to walk around, these works map out the interaction between gallery and spectator.

Gordon Bennett’s soft ground etchings featuring black squares directly reference the origins of abstraction, while Rose Nolan’s banners recall the radical aesthetics of Constructivism’s political slogans. Yet hers are a call to arms of a more individualistic nature, in which party ideology is pared down to personal anxiety.

Natasha Bullock, MCA Senior Curator said ‘If there is a link between the diverse works by the artists featured in Taking it all away it is in their exploration of the dynamics of space and time, set against the complexities of modern life.’

The museum dedicates this exhibition to the memory of artists Gordon Bennett and Robert Hunter, who both sadly passed away during its development.

Gordon Bennett was born 1955, Monto, Queensland. Lived and worked Brisbane. Died Brisbane 2014.
Christian Capurro was born 1968, Dampier, Western Australia. Lives and works Melbourne.
Peter Cripps was born 1948, Melbourne. Lives and works Melbourne.
Gail Hastings was born 1965, Perth. Lives and works Sydney.
Robert Hunter was born 1947, Melbourne. Lived and worked Melbourne. Died Melbourne 2014.
Rose Nolan was born 1959, Melbourne. Lives and works Melbourne.
Stuart Ringholt was born 1971, Perth. Lives and works Melbourne.

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia