Dec 18, 2014 - Feb 22, 2015

Taking it all away

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia

What might happen if you took away time, so a 24-hour day was condensed into 18 hours? What are you left with after 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 collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia.

Ideas and process
Ideas and process are paramount for conceptual artists, as they are today for Christian Capurro and Stuart Ringholt. Exploring concepts of labour, expenditure and the body in an image-laden world, Capurro’s erased magazine passed through the hands of 250 people over five years. Ringholt’s 18-hour clock is not only about the potential impact of time being taken away but also the cosmology of the world and our place within a vast universe.

The work is activated by site-specific programs that use the core project pieces as the basis of an exploration into understandings of value, exchange, expenditure, picturing & effacement.

Exploring concepts of labour, expenditure and the body in an image-laden world, Capurro’s erased magazine passed through the hands of 250 people over five years.

Curator Natasha Bullock talks about Christian Capurro's work.
Origins of minimalism
The origins of minimalism can be traced to the early twentieth-century revolutionary art movement constructivism, which demanded that art reflect a rapidly industrialising society; and to suprematism, which proposed art’s capacity for transcendence through a radical geometric abstraction. Gordon Bennett’s etchings featuring black squares directly reference these origins of abstraction, while Rose Nolan’s banners recall the radical aesthetics of constructivism’s political slogans. 
Although the work is timeless – ever extending, all encompassing, encyclopaedic, the whole (hence general) – it is given scale by 'this moment’ (a particular). If one of the couplets is missing, the work hasn’t scale. Scale is an object thing. A situation thing. A person thing. We, ourselves, are a particular amongst the general. If we lose sight of either, we lose sight of ourselves.
 Gail Hastings, 1996

Gordon Bennett’s etchings featuring black squares directly reference these origins of abstraction.

We all live in the world and that means we should acknowledge the fact that we are interconnected and that people and ideas are important to all of us. Also, this fact allows me to connect myself to a historical moment but draw that idea into the present. Artists often feel that they have to single themselves out (take the floor) even though we live in a community of artists, curators and colleagues
Peter Cripps, 2014
Museum of Contemporary Art Australia
Credits: Story

In gallery photography by Christopher Snee.

All work is copyright the artists.

Visit the MCA site for more information

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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