All programs & events
Past program

Open Studio

NGV International

The artist’s studio; where ideas flourish.

Set within the heart of the exhibition, conversation topics inspired by the artists are explored, with discussions guided by a range of guest hosts.

Share ideas, join the conversation.

Sun 20 Dec, 2pm (Past)

As iconic artists of the twentieth and twenty-first century, Andy Warhol and Ai Weiwei have achieved global celebrity status. Both Warhol and Ai have been central in redefining the role of ‘the artist’ – as impresario, cultural producer, activist and brand – and each has become famous for developing their persona and celebrity in order to communicate their art and ideas into socialcontexts beyond the province of art.

Warhol’s fascination with celebrity and the cult of personality is demonstrated in his colourful silkscreens of famous figures. Ai has become an international celebrity for his outspoken dissidence, using various social media platforms to elevate not only himself but other activists to the world stage.

Warhol and Ai’s engagement with celebrity culture is also a reflection of the ongoing public fascination with famous figures.

This Open Studio discussion, hosted by Associate Professor Lawrie Zion, will explore the cult of celebrity, posing the following questions:

  • What is it that attracts us to celebrity?
  • Are we interested in celebrities as individuals, or simply the notion of fame?
  • How has the cultural production of celebrity changed post-Warhol?

Speaker Assoc Prof Lawrie Zion, Head of Department, Communication and Media, La Trobe University

Sun 31 Jan, 2pm (Past)

Artists are often the first to experiment with new media and technologies.

Andy Warhol embraced new media such as magazines, film and TV. The internet and social media have been an integral part of Ai Weiwei’s practice for over ten years.

This Open Studio discussion, hosted by Associate Professor Daniel Palmer, will explore the relationship between art and new media, posing the following questions:

  • What role do new forms of media and communication play in the artistic practices of Warhol and Ai?
  • Was Warhol’s use of mass media and communication a pre-cursor to social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram?
  • How does surveillance relate to both Warhol and Ai’s artistic practice and public life?

Speaker Assoc Prof Daniel Palmer, Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture, Monash University

Sun 28 Feb, 2pm (Past)

The artist studios of Andy Warhol and Ai Weiwei (Factory and FAKE) are instrumental to their artistic identity and practice. Warhol’s Factory in the 1960s and Ai Weiwei’s purpose built studio-house FAKE are not only work spaces but hubs of creative and social exchange.

While Warhol’s studio practice captures the essence of the mid twentieth century art scene in New York, Ai’s reflects the twenty-first century and contemporary China.

This Open Studio discussion will explore how the process of making in a studio environment creates a unique, collaborative and social atmosphere. The following questions will be posed:

  • What are the characteristics of studio practice?
  • How do you bring together people with different ideas, expertise and training to make something meaningful?
  • What are the benefits and limitations of this mode of art making?
  • What is the role of leadership and ownership?

Speakers Jane Caught and Qianyi Lim, SIBLING Architecture & Design Studio

Sun 20 Mar, 2pm (Past)

With the increased use and influence of social media, the requirement to craft and present an identity is a pressure many of us experience.

Andy Warhol and Ai Weiwei are prominent examples of people who are highly skilled at projecting a persona. As well as crafting strong identity “brands”, they also use peoples’ interest in their identities to provoke reflection on identity, its uses, limits and its association with intimacy and “real life.”

This Open Studio session, hosted by Dr Anna Poletti, will explore how Warhol and Ai’s public presentations—through interviews, attending events, social media—resonate with our own experience of needing to manage our identities online and off, posing the following questions:

  • How do we balance the use of social media as a tool for personal expression and experimentation with our knowledge of who is looking at our posts?
  • Can we use social media to resist or reframe our relationship to social, professional or personal identity categories such as “teacher”, “artist”, “mother”?
  • What is the relationship between what we see on social media and “real life” (whatever that may be)?

Facilitator Dr Anna Poletti, Lecturer in Literary Studies and Director, Centre for the Book, School of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics, Faculty of Arts, Monash University

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