19 Dec 2020 – 18 Apr 2021

NGV Triennial 2020

NGV International

Ground Level

19 Dec 20 – 18 Apr 21

The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia is open today 10am–5pm | NGV International is closed to the public today

The NGV Triennial brings contemporary art, design and architecture into dialogue, offering a visually arresting and thought-provoking view of the world at this time. Featuring major new commissions and recent works that span geography, perspective and genre, the exhibition celebrates the work of some of the world’s most accomplished artists and designers, while also giving voice to emerging practitioners.

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Crossing cultures, disciplines and traditional divides, the NGV Triennial seeks to question the status quo of the art and design world through the generation of collaborative projects with positive impacts and long-term legacies. A range of new commissions and initiatives demonstrate that we can use the creative process to create outcomes that are intellectually, socially and aesthetically compelling.

As creative disciplines become increasingly porous and interconnected, new systems, materials and technologies are rapidly changing the ways in which artists and designers can imagine and speculate on the future. Through a series of compelling presentations globally significant practitioners working at the nexus of art, design, science and technology, the NGV Triennial offers an inspirational platform to experience and consider how digital and emerging technologies are transforming the landscape of cultural production and industry. These projects reveal a new cultural paradigm where traditional silos have dissolved into an ever changing and accelerating landscape of creative practice.

Unique across the world, the NGV Triennial presents globally significant projects which demonstrate the extraordinary intersection between contemporary art, design and architecture. The adoption of this model rapidly established the NGV Triennial, occurring every three years, as an important contributor to international discourse and collaboration while reinforcing a connection between Melbourne and the broader global community.

“The success of the first edition this ground-breaking exhibition in 2017 endorsed the National Gallery of Victoria’s commitment to contemporary art and design. Our plans for the NGV Triennial in 2020 are equally as bold and ambitious. The exhibition will navigate important issues that are affecting the world today. It will illuminate and enlighten. It will find exciting ways of engaging people from all walks of life and it will intersect with our historic collections to provide a new perspective.

NGV Triennial 2020 features over 100 artists and designers across creative disciplines. We are delighted to have the opportunity to work with many acclaimed and emerging Australian and international artists and designers.”

– DIRECTOR’S MESSAGE


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Adam Nathaniel Furman and Sibling

ADAM NATHANIEL FURMAN
ENGLAND, BORN 1982
LIVES AND WORKS IN LONDON

SIBLING ARCHITECTURE
AUSTRALIA, ESTABLISHED 2012
BASED IN MELBOURNE

PROJECT
Boudoir Babylon is a sensual celebration – in full technicolour made out of delicious and almost edible forms – of people mixing in and meeting in space, coming as singles, leaving as pairs, coming as pairs, finding their throuple, plus everything beyond and in between.

This project transforms NGV’s Gallery Kitchen by drawing inspiration from three spatial typologies – the boudoir, the salon and the club. Historically these special typologies provided locations where the identities of women, queer people and those who are gender-diverse – or having certain political or religious beliefs – could be expressed, exist and thrive. This new space creates an area of comfort and delight for every individual, including those that may not feel comfortable or entirely safe in the public realm.

The space is transformed with ludicrously vibrant scenography that embodies an exuberance and pride. Here spatial dividers, including screens, baffles, catwalks, and oculi, play with appearances of how people gather and socialise. By combining the spatial strategies of the boudoir, the salon and the club, a new type emerges: the Boudoir Babylon. Inspired by the themes of the installation, ANF and Sibling will create an accompanying range of products available at the NGV design store, drawing on the flamboyant scenography and décor of Boudoir Babylon and channelling the pop-fuelled spirit of the underground.

ABOUT
Adam Nathaniel Furman is a London based artist & designer of Japanese & Argentine heritage. Work includes colourful and considered wayfinding and sculpture, products, homeware and furniture. Immersive and provocative interior concepts all reveal Adam’s commitment to evoke joy and prompt critical consideration of the way colour and objects are perceived. Adam’s work has been exhibited and published widely, taking inspiration from a life-long exploration of the themes of colour, form and ornamentation as a political-aesthetic project.

Sibling Architecture holds at its core research and exploration as crucial to improving lived experience through form. Their cultural and civic projects including designs for Gertrude Glasshouse, Darebin Arts Centre and Bega Valley Regional Gallery. Exhibitions are a site of research for the practice, which has presented at the International Architecture Biennale of São Paulo, Istanbul Design Biennial and Gyeonggi MoMA. Sibling Architecture was awarded a Victorian Architecture Awards Commendation (2019) for the exhibition New Agency.

Adrian Piper

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, BORN 1948
LIVES AND WORKS IN BERLIN

PROJECT
Adrian Piper’s participatory work, The Humming Room 2012, is made up of an empty room guarded by a security officer and a joyous but perplexing instruction for creative interaction: ‘IN ORDER TO ENTER THE ROOM, YOU MUST HUM A TUNE. ANY TUNE WILL DO.’ Visitors are faced with the security guard enforcing Piper’s directions, through which she playfully explores the notion of authority and simultaneously offers participants complete freedom of expression within these parameters.

ABOUT
Adrian Piper is a first-generation conceptual artist who started exhibiting her work internationally at the age of twenty. She graduated from the School of Visual Arts, received a B.A. in Philosophy from CCNY in 1974, and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Harvard in 1981. She studied Kant and Hegel with Dieter Henrich at the University of Heidelberg in 1977–1978 and taught philosophy fulltime for 30 years. Piper was the first tenured African American woman professor in the field of philosophy. She introduced issues of race and gender into the vocabulary of conceptual art and explicit political content into minimalism. In 2000 Piper further expanded the vocabulary of conceptual art to include Vedic philosophical imagery and concepts. She is the recipient of many fellowships and awards in art and philosophy. Piper’s seventh travelling retrospective opened at the Museum of Modern Art, New York in 2018. She won the Golden Lion for Best Artist at the 56th Venice Biennale. Piper has studied and practiced yoga since 1965, and lives and works in Berlin, where she runs the APRA Foundation Berlin.

Aïda Muluneh

ETHIOPIA, BORN 1974
LIVES AND WORKS IN ADDIS ABABA

PROJECT
The three photographs in Aïda Muluneh’s series Memory of Hope 2017 draw inspiration from traditional Ethiopian body ornamentation and tattoos. The bold colours and graphic patterns that feature on the body painting and clothing of her models are rich with cultural history and meaning. Muluneh uses these traditional elements of Ethiopian art to create a body of work that addresses the post-colonial experience in Africa and the ongoing ramifications for its local communities and the African diaspora globally. Discussing her work Muluneh wrote: ‘The international media are always consuming images not only about Ethiopia but across all of Africa related to stereotypes. But this place has so much complexity, and I’m witness to that complexity. There are so many subcultures, there are so many contemporary things happening here, there are so many cities with interesting people who are trying to change the continent.’

ABOUT
Aïda Muluneh was born in Ethiopia in 1974. She studied at Howard University, Washington D.C. and in 2000 began working as a photojournalist for the Washington Post. Three years later she began to exhibit her work and was included in the exhibition Ethiopian Passages: Dialogues in the Diaspora at the National Museum of African Art at the Smithsonian Museum, Washington. Since then she has held several solo exhibitions and participated in numerous group exhibitions in North America, Europe, and Africa. In 2018 Muluneh was included in Being: New Photography at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Her work is held in the collections of the Smithsonian Museum, Washington, and the Hood Museum in Hanover, New Hampshire.

The NGV warmly thanks Triennial Major Supporter Bowness Family Foundation for their support.

Alice Potts

ENGLAND, BORN 1992
LIVES AND WORKS IN LONDON

PROJECT
For NGV Triennial Alice Potts will create a set of speculative bioplastic personal protection equipment (PPE) facemasks made from food waste and dyed using flowers she has collected in London’s parks during the COVID–19 lockdown. The work, Dance Biodegradable Personal Protective Equipment (DBPPE) post COVID facemasks 2020, is a result of Pott’s personal experiences as a designer during London’s first weeks of the pandemic. At the beginning of the lockdown, Potts was contacted by her brother – a paramedic working in London’s outskirts – distressed that he had no PPE to protect himself, instead wearing bin liners for masks. In response Potts paused her design practice to commence reusable cotton mask production. To date she has created over 3,000 of these masks in a not-for-profit initiative. Drawing from this experience, and her ongoing investigation into biodesign, Potts seeks to highlight the dramatic acceleration of single-use plastic usage for COVID–19-related PPE. She asked herself ‘how can I create a new sustainable infrastructure that can protect people but also create a positive impact on our environment?’ These critical design objects aim to provide a glimpse of an alternate sustainable future that rebalances our relationships to nature.

ABOUT
Intent on revolutionising the textile industry, Alice Potts aims to perfect sustainable bioplastics and fibres made from sweat crystals, algae and other sustainable materials, including food waste. She graduated with an MA from the Royal College of Art in London and has spent the last 6 years as a bio-fabricator, independently developing a combination of sustainable and biology based materials. The designer is perhaps best recognised for her ‘Sweat Crystallisation’ works that turn human sweat into a biocrystal for use in art and design projects. Potts has also undertaken extensive research into biodegradable bioplastics made and coloured from local food waste and environmental components. She has adapted the material from a solid to a silicon quality with endless possibilities for weaving, joining, interlocking, and moulding. Potts received a 2018 Fellowship with the Onassis Foundation in Athens and was named one of London’s most influential people in the category of Business: Fashion and Beauty at the 2019 Progress 1000 Gala.

This project is proudly supported by MIMCO.

SUPPORTER

The NGV warmly thanks Triennial Supporters Chris & Dawn Fleischner for their support.

Alicja Kwade

GERMANY, BORN 1979
LIVES AND WORKS IN BERLIN

PROJECT
In Alicja Kwade’s large-scale installation WeltenLinie 2020, commissioned by the NGV, nothing is quite what it seems. Using double-sided mirrors and carefully placed, paired objects, Alicja Kwade achieves the illusion of sudden and surprising material transformations. Mirrored panels reflect part of an object, yet at the same time, a mirror image of the same object is revealed. In this way a new, illusionary object is created through the overlaying of reality and appearance.

As viewers move around and through Kwade’s steel-framed hexagonal structure, the way one reads and understands the objects within it shifts dramatically, depending on perspective. WeltenLinie is more of an experience than a static installation, which comes to life through the viewers movement within the structure.

In her cross-media work, Alicja Kwade deals with perceptual structures and basic physical laws. Optical experiences and their deceptions characterise her creations, which regularly transgress and question habitual ways of perception.

ABOUT
Alicja Kwade’s work investigates concepts of space, time, science and philosophy, and takes shape in sculptural objects, public installations, video and photography.

In 2019, Kwade was selected for the Roof Garden Commission at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and in 2017 she participated in the 57th Venice Biennale Viva Arte Viva. Recent exhibitions include solo shows at MIT List Visual Arts Centre, Boston (2019); Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen (2018); Haus Konstruktiv, Zürich (2018); and YUZ Museum, Shanghai (2018).

The NGV warmly thanks Triennial Champion NGVWA for their support.

Angela Tiatia

NEW ZEALAND, BORN 1973
LIVES AND WORKS IN SYDNEY

PROJECT
Narcissus 2019 reimagines the ancient Greco-Roman myth of Narcissus, in which a beautiful young man falls in love with his own image reflected in a pool of water. Tiatia references sources such as the 1597–99 canvas by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio and Mat Collishaw’s Narcissus 1990, a self-portrait. Narcissus 2019 carries this enduring narrative into contemporary times, reflecting on global selfie culture fuelled through social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook etc, which are saturated with images of the self. The cast of 40 Narcissi occupy a single platform in various acts of self-worship, ritual, joy, love, lust, complacency, despair and disregard in a single moment of shared time. Here, vulnerabilities, frustrations, flaws and strengths are shown as a collective effect, where various acts and emotions highlight and amplify uncertain and challenging times ahead.

ABOUT
Angela Tiatia is an artist who explores contemporary culture, drawing attention to its relationship to representation, gender, neo-colonialism and the commodification of the body and place, often through the lenses of history and popular culture. Tiatia has exhibited both nationally and internationally, including USA, Germany, South America and New Zealand. In 2012 Tiatia was awarded a commission for an installation as part of the Home AKL exhibition at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki. In 2017, Tiatia was awarded the Paramor Art Prize at Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, Sydney and was an artist in residence at the National Museum of Singapore, Singapore. In 2018, the artist was the winner of the Ravenswood Australian Women’s Art Award, Australia.

The NGV warmly thanks Triennial Major Supporter Trawalla Foundation for their support.

Asinnajaq

CANADA, BORN 1991
LIVES AND WORKS IN TIOHTIÀ:KE (MONTREAL)

PROJECT
Three thousand 2017 is an art film and documentary directed by Inuk visual artist, writer, filmmaker and curator Asinnajaq aka Isabella Rose Weetaluktuk. Mixing animation with archival footage, the film explores cinematic representation of Inuit culture. The 14-minute documentary dives into the past, present, and future of Inuit people presenting these images in a new light.

This is the first work by an Inuit artist to be included in the NGV Triennial.

ABOUT
Asinnajaq, the daughter of university professor Carol Rowan and filmmaker Jobie Weetaluktuk, is from Inukjuak, Nunavik (Quebec). Her practice includes filmmaking, writing and curating. She co-created Tilliraniit, a three-day festival celebrating Inuit art and artists, as well as Isuma’s show for the ‘Canadian’ pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale. Asinnajaq’s performance video Rock Piece (Ahuriri Edition) 2018 is currently touring in art galleries and film festivals around the world.

Atong Atem

ETHIOPIA, BORN 1994
LIVES AND WORKS IN MELBOURNE

PROJECT
Atong Atem uses photography and video to explore migrant stories and post-colonial practices in the African diaspora. She has an ongoing interest in photography and portraiture as a vehicle to express culture and identity. The photographs featured in NGV Triennial are from an early series of portraits created by the artist. These works not only explore the various experiences and identity of Atem and her friends but also draw on the history of studio photography in Africa, most notably the practice of renowned photographers Malick Sidibé and Seydou Keïta, who were active in Mali in the 1960s. Atem’s photographs are all staged studio portraits. In each of the images her subjects are photographed against brilliantly coloured backdrops, and her sets are further decorated with intricately patterned fabric, furniture and abundant bunches of flowers, resulting in a riot of colour and pattern.

ABOUT
Atong Atem was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in 1994 and migrated to Australia with her family as a small child. She moved to Melbourne in 2014 and is currently enrolled in a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Honours, at RMIT, Melbourne. Atem began to exhibit her photography in 2016 when she was included in a group exhibition at Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne. The same year she was awarded the Melt Portrait Prize at the Brisbane Powerhouse. Since that time, she has participated in several group exhibitions, held five solo shows, and been awarded the NGV + MECCA Cosmetica M-power Grant in 2017, and the Light Work New York artist residency in 2018.

Ayana V. Jackson

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, BORN 1977
BASED BETWEEN NEW YORK, JOHANNESBURG AND PARIS

PROJECT
Ayana V. Jackson’s photographs use self-portraits and performance to create images that have an overtly political purpose to discuss issues of race, colonisation and gender. She explores the complex relationship between black American women and photography as it originated in the nineteenth century, and the intertwining with colonial histories that saw the imposition of an ethnographic, racial and sexual gaze upon their bodies. Describing her work, Jackson said: ‘The history of photography is complicit in racial stereotypes, it has asserted strange and wrong views of black women. I’m interested in colonial black female stereotyping, and how photography has leveraged these tropes.’ In three works from the Intimate Justice in the Stolen Moment series 2017, the artist is photographed mid-flight with her body twisting and turning in air as the fabrics of her clothes flow around her seemingly suspended in space. These images act as a physical and metaphorical freeing of the body from what Jackson sees as the ‘weight of gravity’ of history.

ABOUT
Ayana V. Jackson was born in America in 1977. After studying sociology at Spelman College, Atlanta between 1995 and 1999, she graduated from The Universität der Künste, Berlin in 2005. She has been exhibiting photography in both solo and group exhibitions within America and internationally since 2004. In 2014 she was awarded the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) Fellowship for Photography; in 2017 the National Black Arts Festival’s (NBAF) Visual Arts Award; and the Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship in 2018. Jackson is currently based between New York, Johannesburg and Paris.

The NGV warmly thanks Triennial Major Supporters Wendy & Paul Bonnici & Family and Trawalla Foundation, as well as Triennial Circle donors Nadia Breuer Sopher & Ed Breuer, Douglas Baxter & Brian Hastings and the NGV American Friends for their support.

Bosco Sodi

MEXICO, BORN 1970
LIVES AND WORKS IN NEW YORK, BARCELONA AND MEXICO

PROJECT
These three untitled works on paper are part of an important project Bosco Sodi began in 2007 when he discovered some 19th century botanical publications in an old warehouse in Barcelona. The engraved plates were affected by foxing, mould and dust that had accumulated over time in a natural process of decomposition. After a gentle clean, the artist drew over the engraved botanical images with silicon, accentuating the plant forms and the cockling of the paper. In keeping with Sodi’s broader practice, these works speak to the deformation of natural substances and highlight humanity’s continuous struggle to find a balance with nature. Accumulated dust and mould started decomposing the original nineteenth-century engravings and Sodi’s reworkings signalled a new beginning for the sheets. The artist’s hand intertwines with organic matter to create these new imaginary plants that are part plastic (silicone), part paper and part nature.

ABOUT
Bosco Sodi is a contemporary artist who works across painting, sculpture and paper. Discovering an emotive power in the essential crudeness of his materials, Sodi focusses on material exploration and the creative gesture. He is best-known for his large-scale paintings which often appear to have a ‘geological’ appearance, replete with cracks and chasms that recall primordial landscapes and elements of the natural world. Sodi also makes large clay cube sculptures from hand-fired terracotta bricks built from local clay in Oaxaca, Mexico. Such bricks were used in his first public installation in New York’s Washington Square Park on 7 September 2017 and entailed the erection and tearing down of a brick wall over the course of a day to protest against Donald Trump’s anti- Mexico campaign. Exhibiting widely over the past thirty years in Mexico, the USA, Europe and Japan, Sodi’s work is held in public collections including the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan; Museum der Bildenden Künste, Leipzig, Germany; the Phillips Collection, Washington D. C; and the Walker Art Center, Minnesota.

Bruce Gilden

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, BORN 1946
LIVES AND WORKS IN BEACON, NEW YORK

PROJECT
Bruce Gilden’s project, Faces 2012–14, is an extended series of confronting and compelling photographic portraits. Photographed in extreme close-up and printed on a large scale, Gilden’s portraits show every line and blemish on his subject’s faces, drawing attention to the lack of facial symmetry and perceived imperfections that mark us all as individuals. It is a body of work that is championed by those who see the photographs as determinedly showing people as they are, but Gilden is not without critics who view the photographs as potentially exploiting his subjects. The artist describes the series as an autobiographical reflection on his childhood in Brooklyn and the result of a lifelong fascination with ‘characters’ he encounters in pursuit of his subjects. Discussing his work, Gilden says: ‘I always photographed what’s interesting to me, and it has always been people who are underdogs because I see myself as an underdog.’

ABOUT
Bruce Gilden initially enrolled to study sociology at Penn State University before he began taking classes in photography around 1967. Shortly after this time, he abandoned his formal studies and commenced a career in photography, which has spanned more than 50 years. He is renowned for his direct style of street photography, often working quite close to his subjects, resulting in dynamic – if sometimes uncomfortable – images of people going about their lives. Gilden has held numerous exhibitions of his photography and published eighteen monographs of his work. Since 1998 he has been a member of the Magnum Photo Agency.

BTVV

ALESSANDRO BOSSHARD, LI TAVOR, MATTHEW VAN DER PLOEG, ANI VIHERVAARA

SWITZERLAND / FINLAND / UNITED STATES
OF AMERICA, ESTABLISHED 2015
BASED IN ZURICH

PROJECT
Delving into the mysterious and hyper-competitive world of real estate advertising and sales, BTVV will present Walls 4 Sale: near new and supersized 2020, a newly commissioned exhibition inviting audiences to reflect upon the visual properties of the walls, floors, windows and doors that make up the contemporary apartment dwelling. Visitors will step inside this visually arresting, quirky and – at times – hilarious speculative interior, which at first appears as a generic, mass-produced apartment development in inner-urban Melbourne. It is in fact an architectural collage of the ‘worst practices’ of real estate photography featuring manipulated interior perspectives and ‘coveted’ appliances and material finishes. A satirical work of architecture that pokes serious fun at ubiquitous, low-quality property development, while also teasing our peculiar cultural penchant for homogeneous, white on white interiors.

ABOUT
Alessandro Bosshard, Li Tavor, and Matthew van der Ploeg formed Bosshard & Tavor & van der Ploeg in 2015 to collaborate on building projects as well as architectural exhibitions, teaching and research. In collaboration with Ani Vihervaara, they presented Svizzera 240: House Tour at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice (pictured), for which they were awarded the Golden Lion. Following the Biennale, Bosshard, Tavor and van der Ploeg exhibited at the 2019 Swiss Art Awards in Basel. Along with Vihervaara, they also were invited to contribute to Drawing Matter’s Alternative Histories exhibitions in London and Belgium. They recently participated in the inaugural Sharjah Architecture Triennale in the UAE and they are currently working on a residential conversion of the former Swisscom tower in Bern, Switzerland. Bosshard, Tavor and van der Ploeg taught together for five years in the Department of Architecture at ETH Zürich and are currently teaching a visiting design studio at RMIT University. Vihervaara leads an eponymous architectural practice from a remote location in southern Finland.

The NGV warmly thanks Triennial Lead Supporters Michael & Emily Tong for their support.

This project is proudly supported by NGV Design Partner RMIT University.

DESIGN PARTNER

Carnovsky

ITALY, ESTABLISHED 2010
BASED IN MILAN

PROJECT
Carnovsky will transform a section of the NGV’s British and European galleries with an immersive wallpaper installation titled Extinctions 2020. Referencing the International Union of Conservation of Nature Red List – a categorisation of seven risk levels from Extinct to Least Concern – a selection of insects and animals will be rendered on the wallpaper in either red, green or blue ink based on their threat level. At first glance the wallpaper appears as a technicolour graphic experience, referencing the 18th and 19th century Western specimen illustrations. When red, green, blue and white light is projected on the wallpaper the installation comes to ‘life’. Playing with the way the human eye perceives the Red Green Blue (RGB) colour spectrum, different coloured species are concealed and revealed depending on the colour of the light shining on the wall. When white light shines, all species are visible – intertwined and overlapping as a colourful jumble. Through this manipulation of sight, the designers remind us of the interconnection between all life on the planet and the precarity of existence in a world being made increasingly inhospitable by human behaviour.

ABOUT
Carnovsky is a design/artist duo comprised of Francesco Rugi and Silvia Quintanilla, who began collaborating in 2007. Their RGB (2010) wallpapers explore the notion of ‘surface deepness’, creating wall treatments that mutate and interact with different coloured stimulus. RGB was first presented at Milan Design Week in 2010 and has become an ongoing project for Carnovsky. By experimenting with interaction between printed layers and coloured light projections, the duo explore the idea of surface as medium and play with our perception of depth, both visually and conceptually, in two-dimensions. The interaction of light and colour spectrum create surfaces that mutate and interact with different chromatic stimulus. Carnovsky have exhibited widely at Yoyogi National Stadium, Tokyo; Nuvango Gallery, Toronto and Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, New York.

The NGV warmly thanks Triennial Major Supporter Anne Ross for her support.

Cecilie Bendixen

DENMARK, BORN 1975
LIVES AND WORKS IN ASKOV, SOUTH JUTLAND

PROJECT
Displayed as part of a range of projects relating to ideas of illumination and set among the NGV’s 19th and 20th century international collection, Cecilie Bendixen’s work will feature a skyscape of four large illuminated voluminous textile clouds. Cloud formations 2020 is both an investigation and an expression of the fluid, fleeting beauty found in the roiling confluence of heat, light, moisture, particles and airflow that come together momentarily to make a cloud.

Bendixen’s painstaking creative process involves a team of makers hand-forming each textile with needle and thread over several months. The material qualities of each piece – texture, stiffness and translucency – are deftly worked, folded and stitched to create forms that invite us to consider how we perceive transience and the space between the material and the immaterial, so perfectly reflected in a cloud. Here the textile changes as the viewer moves about the work and the forces of gravity gradually tug and pull at the form. Cloud formations draws our attention to the beauty and joy that can be found in these passing moments, encouraging us to look more closely and listen more intensely to the countless wonders occurring in the world all around us, all the time.

ABOUT
Cecilie Bendixen’s practice blends architecture, craft, art, and science to explore and experiment with natural phenomena. Often made from textile and constructed by hand, Bendixen’s work takes the form of spatial installations that capture and express intangible dynamics, such as space, sound, light and wind. The interplay between materials, process, form and environment guides her poetic approach to design and making.

Bendixen has exhibited widely including presentations at the World Biennial of Contemporary Textile Art, Madrid; Crafted Matter, Korea; Design Miami Basel; and Charlottenborg Spring Exhibition, Copenhagen. She was nominated for the Nordic Textile Awards in 2017 and that same year received the Bindesboell Medal. Bendixen’s works are also held in private and public collections, including the Danish Art Foundation and the Galila Barzilaï-Hollander Collection, Brussels.

The NGV warmly thanks Triennial Lead Supporter Neilson Foundation for their support.

Cerith Wyn Evans

WALES, BORN 1958
LIVES AND WORKS IN LONDON

PROJECT
Cerith Wyn Evans’s C=O=D=A 2019–20 unfolds as a drawing in light, suspended in space. The work is regarded by the artist as a culmination of his suite of large neon ‘drawings’ that have explored the legacy of Noh Theatre. Comprising multiple elements, some busy and scribble-like, others diagrammatic – including references to the structural formulae for chemical compounds – the light sculpture will invite visitors to consider the relationships of each form to the next, as they move around the work and alter their perspectives. The work punctuates the visitor’s field of vision with rapid vectors, loops, straight lines, curves and complex geometric forms lit up in white neon.

It is possible to follow the intersections of the work with the eye, but the way is so intricate that it becomes impossible to take it in at a glance. The viewer finds themselves caught inside an endless loop or continuous circuit. Each section appears to continue along its trajectory and prolong its end, as if the neon gas imprisoned inside the rods of transparent glass were set free and released from the forms that constrain it. This may be a restriction but it also a necessary device that allows the viewer to see the work. With a footprint of 10.6 x 5.3m, C=O=D=A will utilise the full 6m height of the NGV’s exhibition space devoted to 18th century art.

ABOUT
Cerith Wyn Evans’ conceptual practice incorporates a wide range of media, often exploring the relation between light, text, thought and meaning – often constructing situations that are conscious of a viewer’s presence. His early works employed film and video, often creating ‘expanded cinema’ environments frequently collaborating with performers. Since the 1990s Wyn Evans’ work has explored the relationship between language, space, temporality and the interrogation of perception, characterised by formal precision and clarity often developed in relation to a particular exhibition site.

Wyn Evans participated in Documenta 11 in 2002 and was the first artist to represent Wales at the Venice Biennale in 2003. In 2018 he was awarded the Hepworth Prize for Sculpture, in recognition of his significant contribution to the contemporary development of this artform.

The NGV warmly thanks Triennial Champion The Felton Bequest for generously commissioning and gifting this significant sculpture.

Clare Milledge

AUSTRALIA, BORN 1977
LIVES AND WORKS BETWEEN THE LANDS OF
THE ARAKWAL, BUNDJALUNG COUNTRY (BROKEN HEAD)
AND BIDJIGAL AND GADIGAL (SYDNEY) PEOPLES

PROJECT
NGV Triennial features a number of works from Clare Milledge’s 2018 series, Sacks of Wind: a Rock Harder than Rock, made with the hinterglasmalerei technique – or reverse glass painting – a once-popular folk artform, which is a recurring feature in the artist’s practice. These works continue Milledge’s tradition of dealing directly with shamanic traditions, nature-magic, environment and an invented pre-history.

The series takes The Song of Amergin, from the Irish Mythological Cycle, as its starting point. The figure of Amergin, a druid and bard of the Milesian people, sang an incantation to defeat a magical storm whipped up mid-battle by his rivals. The title of each work includes a line of incantation drawn from The White Goddess, a 1948 translation by Robert Graves of The Song of Amergin. The shapes in the paintings translate the song, and show a woman’s legs, hands or the fallopian tubes and fimbriae, as well as an architectural form in the light of the moon. The glass paintings are fixed to the wall by bronze clasps that the artist calls ‘close-readers’. These clasps take forms reminiscent of animals – snakes, insects, hoofs or horns – and have an ancient and ceremonial quality to their roughly hewn shapes.

ABOUT
Clare Milledge completed a Doctor of Philosophy titled The Artist – Shaman and the Gift of Sight at Sydney College of the Arts in 2013. Part of her candidacy was spent at the Universität der Künste, Berlin in 2008. She is actively engaged with Norwegian contemporary art and studied at the Statens Kunst Akademi in Oslo in 2006. The artist has curated several exhibitions including the experimental laboratory Psychomagic Dead Matters at 55 Sydenham Rd in Sydney (2014). She has been a three-time finalist in the Helen Lempriere Travelling Art Scholarship in 2007, 2008 and 2010. Milledge was also awarded the Fauvette Loureiro Memorial Artists Exchange Scholarship in 2006 and 2008, which enabled her to study in Oslo and Berlin respectively

Cristina de Middel and Bruno Morais

CRISTINA DE MIDDEL
SPAIN, BORN 1975
LIVES AND WORKS IN MEXICO AND BRAZIL

BRUNO MORAIS
BRAZIL, BORN 1979
LIVES AND WORKS IN MEXICO AND BRAZIL

PROJECT
Cristina de Middel and Bruno Morais’s recent series, Midnight at the Crossroads 2018, explores the evolution of traditional West African religions, popularly referred to as ‘voodoo’, as they have been practiced over centuries by the African diaspora in South America and the Caribbean region. The photograph included in NGV Triennial, Confusion of the pipes, is an uncanny image that straddles both the narrative and documentary aspects of the duo’s practice. It is an unusual portrait with placement of smoking pipes in the subjects’ ears suggesting a baffling and unnerving ceremonial event.

Throughout their career Middel and Morais have created images that challenge clichés. Discussing this series, de Middel says: ‘I think Western understanding of African-rooted religions [were] reduced to a couple of clichés that came from Hollywood and were presented by missionaries in the beginning. On one side, African-rooted religions are profoundly linked to nature and environment and understand the forces of nature as deities, which makes them much more respectful compared to Semitic religion, where humans seem to operate at a superior level than [other] living creatures. It is also an intangible cultural patrimony that is slowly disappearing as a consequence of the advance of Protestantism in South America, the Caribbean and Africa.’

ABOUT
Cristina de Middel and Bruno Morais are collaborative artists who have been working together since 2014.

De Middel studied photography at the University of Oklahoma and the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia. She has worked as a photojournalist since 2002 and began to exhibit her work in 2009, holding solo exhibitions in Europe, Africa and South America. In 2017 she joined the Magnum photo agency and the following year was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for photography.

Morais studied photography at the Escola de Fotógrafos Populares in Rio de Janeiro and in 2009 was a founding member of the photography collective, Coletivo Pandilla.

The NGV warmly thanks Triennial Supporters Janet Whiting AM & Phil Lukies & Family for their support.

Dale Hardiman and Stephen Royce

DALE HARDIMAN
AUSTRALIA, BORN 1990
LIVES AND WORKS IN MELBOURNE

STEPHEN ROYCE
AUSTRALIA, BORN 1976
LIVES AND WORKS IN MELBOURNE

PROJECT
Open Garden: Digital Mirror 2020 is an interactive lighting design that reflects multiple images of its viewer in the repurposed screens of smart phones. Alluding to the concept of the ‘selfie’, the design transcends the basic functionality of both a light and a mirror, and speaks to the ever-expanding role of technology in shaping the way individuals view themselves.

Engineered from 32 LCD screens sourced from discarded smart phones, the work displays the viewer’s reflection in realtime across all of its individual panels. Programmed with facial recognition, the work functions like the camera in a smart phone to track human faces.

Featured as part of Hardiman and Royce’s larger work Open Garden 2020, the design references the term ‘walled garden’ and speaks to the closed system that prevents a digital device’s owner from adapting, reconditioning and recycling its parts and technology for their own purposes – a strategy which is considered a significant impediment to the recycling of electronic devices. Open Garden: Digital Mirror belongs to a collection of contemporary art and design works for the NGV Triennial centred around the theme of illumination.

ABOUT
Dale Hardiman is a Melbourne-based contemporary designer, the co-founder of furniture and object design studio Dowel Jones and co-founder of Melbourne based design collective Friends & Associates. Exhibiting nationally and internationally, his works have been presented at London Design Week in 2014; Salon del Mobile (Milan) in 2019; and Melbourne Design Week 2020. Hardiman’s work is held in the collections of the National Gallery of Victoria and Art Gallery of South Australia.

Stephen Royce is a Melbourne-based industrial designer who has specialised in product and systems design for the past 15 years, overseeing the design and development of consumer digital products and technology. Collaborating with Australian designer Dale Hardiman since 2018, Royce developed experimental lighting and interactive works for exhibition at Melbourne Design Week 2020.

Generously supported by NGV Supporters of Contemporary Design and Architecture.

Daniel Arsham

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, BORN 1980
LIVES AND WORKS IN NEW YORK

PROJECT
Daniel Arsham’s newly commissioned work, Hidden figures 2020, comprises four human-scale figures drawn from two famed paintings in the NGV Collection: Giambattista Tiepolo’s The Banquet of Cleopatra 1743–44 and Nicolas Régnier’s Hero and Leander c. 1625–26. The artist will create one male and one female figure from each painting – respectively Cleopatra and one of the serving boys, plus Hero and Leander. The figures are holding the same poses found in the original paintings, but appear draped in a white cloth. On closer inspection the ‘cloth’ is hollow, merely appearing to drape over a figure that’s no longer contained within. Like Arsham’s previous bodies of work, they use the form of draped fabric to articulate anonymous figures. In this instance the artist is subtly turning the audience’s attention to issues of race and representation in the history of European painting. The sculptures will be displayed alongside their original source paintings in the NGV’s historical collection galleries.

A second work by Arsham is also be featured in NGV Triennial. Falling clock 2020 is a new commission of one of the artist’s sculptures that incorporates a large scale clock, which can be used to tell the time and appears to fall into the white drapery on an otherwise featureless wall.

ABOUT
Daniel Arsham was raised in Miami, Florida and relocated to New York to attend the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. He was a recipient of the Gelman Trust Fellowship, completing his degree in the School of Art in 2003. Arsham’s numerous collaborations include projects with James Franco, Merce Cunningham, Heidi Slimane and Pharrell Williams. In addition to his art practice, he established the collaborative design studio Snarkitecture with architect Alex Mustonen in 2008. Arsham’s work has been shown at PS1 in New York; The Museum of Contemporary Art in Miami; The Athens Bienniale in Greece; The New Museum In New York; Contemporary Arts Center Cincinnati; SCAD Museum of Art in Savannah Georgia; and Carré d’Art de Nîmes in France, among others. He is represented in institutional collections including the Pérez Art Museum Miami, the Walker Art Center, and the Centre Pompidou.

The NGV warmly thanks Triennial Champions Barry Janes & Paul Cross and Loti & Victor Smorgon Fund for their support.

Danielle Brustman

AUSTRALIA, BORN 1975
LIVES AND WORKS IN MELBOURNE

PROJECT
In dialogue with the NGV Collection exhibition Spectrum: An exploration of colour, this project uses interior design strategies to explore colour’s ability to affect our perception and experience of space. Brustman’s adept use of hue and chroma will be realised in bands of coloured carpet applied to floors, balustrades and interior fixtures under the rainbow canopy of Leonard French’s cut-glass ceiling in the NGV’s Great Hall.

Brustman is taking inspiration from the Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier’s colour theory espoused in his essay ‘Architectural Polychromy’ from 1930 and accompanying colour tool Clavier de Couleurs (Colour keyboard). Composing with harmonic and discordant colour combinations, she will deploy a colourful schema across interior surfaces, making connections with the complexion of the building and artworks on display. Incorporating Brustman’s eight-metre long modular Chromatic fantastic cabinet 2020 and Chromatic fantastic wall light 2020, the installation Coloured in 2020 explores the functional and affective qualities of colour to shine light on its omnipresent role in shaping human experience.

ABOUT
Danielle Brustman is a designer working with a rich syntax of colour to conceive interiors and furniture that challenge our perception of private and public space. Prior to establishing her interior design studio in 2012, Brustman worked as a theatre designer collaborating with Australia’s most celebrated companies including Arena, Flying Fruit Flies, Red Stitch and Malthouse Theatre. Her installations and work have been presented at Melbourne International Arts Festival (2012); Dark Mofo Festival, Hobart (2015); National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (2018); Salon del Mobile, Milan (2019); and, Melbourne Design Week (2020). Brustman’s installation Inner-Terior was also a finalist in the Rigg Design Prize 2018 at NGV Australia.

David Bielander

SWITZERLAND, BORN 1968
LIVES AND WORKS IN MUNICH

PROJECT
Pick Your Nose: Pinocchio’s Reality 2020 is a set of seven neckpieces each hand-carved in different species of timber. Worn as an appendage on the nose or around the neck, each one of the seven neckpieces references the fictional character created by the Italian author Carlo Collodi in the Adventures of Pinocchio 1883, a children’s morality tale. A wooden puppet that comes to life, Pinocchio’s nose grows when he lies. Bielander draws an analogy between the lying of Pinocchio to segments of contemporary society, who chose to deny the existence of climate change, species extinction, social inequality and racial prejudice. A jewellery work conceived in seven parts, the phallic form of the lightest neckpiece is carved from a piece of European maple sourced from a catholic confessional. The darkest neckpiece is carved from Kurrajong – also known as a Flame Tree – and is torched in recognition of the 2019–2020 bushfires that raged across Australia. Channeling the story of Pinocchio, the neckpieces bring into focus tales of power, politics and perception.

ABOUT
David Bielander is known for his intriguing limited editions and one-off jewellery works. He challenges our cultural awareness of issues and values through the artisanal reconstruction of objects. Bielander’s jewellery triggers a gradual unfolding of wonder, resulting in curiosity, surprise and delight. Exhibiting widely since 2002 in Europe, North America and Asia, Bielander’s work has appeared at the Museum of Modern Art Arnhem, the Netherlands, (2013); and Musée de design et d’arts appliqués contemporains, Lausanne (2017); and, Museum of Art and Design in New York (2019). His work is held in both public and private collections, including Die Neue Sammlung, Munich; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris; Schmuckmuseum Reuchlinhaus, Pforzheim; and National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.

Des Lawrence

ENGLAND, BORN 1970
LIVES AND WORKS IN LONDON

PROJECT
Des Lawrence makes paintings and drawings inspired by newspaper obituaries. He creates portraits of recently deceased noted individuals through a likeness, an image of their accomplishments, or something associated with them. Rendered in enamel paint or fine silverpoint lines, his works – like most images chosen to memorialise the dead – present their subjects in idealised form. Three works on paper – Janet Leigh 2010, Deborah Kerr 2011, and Farrah Fawcett 2012 – each feature a portrait of their namesake. With Lawrence particularly interested in replicating the different visual aspects of colour photography that defined the publicity material for Hollywood actors in the late 1950s, these works also mark the first introduction of colour into Lawrence’s work.

A fourth work, the large-scale painting Henry Worsley 2019 will depict an ice-breaker ship in the arctic representing the late British explorer. Worsley died in 2016 while attempting to complete the first solo and unaided crossing of the Antarctic. ‘The [painting is] both a tribute to the deceased and a meditative process in depicting the detail of an image,’ says Lawrence. While the use of obituaries as the source for Lawrence’s subject matter frees the artist from the burden of decision-making, they pose complex questions around portraiture, the role of history and mortality itself.

ABOUT
Des Lawrence studied at Glasgow School of Art and Goldsmiths College, London. His practice includes painting, drawing, text and installation. Lawrence’s work was exhibited in The Real: Three Propositions at White Cube, London; The London Open at Whitechapel Gallery, London; and To Hope, to Tremble, to Live at Hepworth Wakefield. In 2005, Lawrence was awarded the Abbey Scholarship at the British School in Rome. His work is held in the collections of The Wordsworth Trust, Grasmere; The Donaukurier, Munich; and private collections.

Producing realist drawings and paintings inspired by current newspaper obituaries, Lawrence’s artworks are memorials to the lately departed. As such the artist considers his work a kind of history painting – a genre rarely explored in contemporary art.

The NGV warmly thanks Triennial Major Supporters Christopher Thomas AM & Cheryl Thomas, Triennial Supporter Jennifer Lempriere, Triennial Lead Supporters Michael & Emily Tong, Triennial Supporters John & Cecily Adams and 2019 NGV Curatorial Tour donors for their support of the works on paper.

The NGV warmly thanks Triennial Supporters Neil Young QC, Jahn Buhrman, Suzanne Kirkham, as well as E. & D. Rogowski Foundation and donors to the 2020 NGV Annual Appeal for their support of the painting.

Dhambit Mununggurr

AUSTRALIA, BORN 1968
LIVES AND WORKS IN YIRRKALA

PROJECT
Dhambit Munuŋgurr’s immersive installation Can we all have a happy life 2019–2020 is made up of 15 bark paintings and nine larrakitj (hollow poles). The work was created at Buku- Larrŋgay Mulka Centre, a Yolŋu-owned art centre located in the small Aboriginal community of Yirrkala in Northeast Arnhem Land. It is customary for artists from this region, who paint Country and its stories, to paint with ochres collected from the natural environment. Ochres and other pigments are ground against a flat stone, mixed with water and glue, then applied with a marwat (human hairbrush) to single sheets of stringybark. In 2005 Munuŋgurr was given special permission to use acrylic paint, following a car accident that left her using a wheelchair and made it more challenging for her to manipulate natural pigments around a bark canvas. This significant concession has enabled Munuŋgurr to become the first artist at Buku to use the colour blue in Yolŋu art.

ABOUT
Dhambit Munuŋgurr is an artist and the daughter of two winners of the First Prize in the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award: Mutitjpuy Munuŋgurr and Gulumbu Yunupiŋu. Following a car accident in 2005, which left her with life threatening injuries, Munuŋgurr has become prolific with her art making. For many years, she worked as an independent artist constantly painting and selling, or giving away, her work. In these works Munuŋgurr used acrylics in ochre colours to overcome her inability to grind the ochres by hand. In 2018 working at Buku-Larrŋgay Mulka Centre, Munuŋgurr produced a large bark for inclusion in The Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Awards (NATSIAA). Following the success of that work, she fell in love with the colour blue, which she has now settled on as the dominant palette for her large works.

The NGV warmly thanks Triennial Lead Supporter Orloff Family Charitable Trust for their support.

Diamond Stingily

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, BORN 1990
LIVES AND WORKS IN NEW YORK

PROJECT
Diamond Stingily’s large scale installation In the middle but in the corner of 176th place 2019 consists of over 700 athletic trophies and occupies an entire gallery space. Most of the trophies are standardised cups awarded to the participants of conventional competitions; some are larger and recall official awards ceremonies. Their gilded labels, which normally attest to the respective sport and position achieved, are replaced by short text passages such as THROUGH ALL THE MADNESS THIS IS ALL YOU GONE GET, I DID THE BEST I COULD WITH WHAT I HAD, or I DID IT FOR THE GLORY. These trophies do not explore what winning looks or feels like. Instead, they tell a story about our society’s collective obsession with triumph, competition and failure.

The inscriptions are fragments of conversations Stingily had with her grandmother and her older brother, who is a retired NFL player, in addition to her own quotes and those of other artists and poets. Stingily herself grew up playing many sports and has compared her experience as an artist with that of an athlete. 

ABOUT
Diamond Stingily addresses the materiality and mythology of identity and social class. Her artistic practice encompasses video, sculpture, and writing, and draws relations between the intimacy of one’s own biography and perceptions of history. Instead of working on representation of black communities in general, she examines childhood memories, which, fragmentarily, speak of the systemic racism and violence inscribed into US-American culture.

Stingily has presented solo exhibitions at institutions including CCA Wattis, San Francisco; ICA Miami; and Kunstverein München, Munich. She also participated in the 2018 New Museum Triennial. Stingily’s work is represented in private and public collections including the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Museum Ludwig, Cologne; ICA Miami; and the Rubell Family Collection, Miami.

The NGV warmly thanks Triennial Lead Supporter Neilson Foundation for their support.

Elliot Bastianon

AUSTRALIA, BORN 1986
LIVES AND WORKS IN CANBERRA

PROJECT
Designing and making uncommon furniture and objects from ordinary chemicals and materials, Elliot Bastianon’s crystal encrusted works contribute to a display of speculative design projects that look to systems and processes found in nature to communicate ideas of order, disorder and entropy. Comprising new works Cylinder bench seat 2020, Column 2020 and Chair from the Growth Site series 2018, Bastianon submerges his steel and concrete designs in a copper sulphate bath to encourage the propagation of dazzling blue crystals. Taking hold, the crystallization process is directed by the designer with the use of extraneous apparatus and tools. The crystal growth appears to render the furniture and objects dysfunctional, while introducing striking aesthetic features that remind us intellectually of nature’s own inherent and recurrent ability to create, adapt and colonise. The works open the proverbial door to rethinking this intersection between human-centric design and the natural systems of our planet that enable people and societies to exist.

ABOUT
Designer Elliot Bastianon applies a conceptual approach to the production of experimental furniture and objects. Referencing ubiquitous furniture types, he draws on a diverse and unconventional material palette to explore relationships between everyday contexts, science and nature. Exhibiting since 2010 Bastianon has presented his work at Melbourne Design Week (2018 and 2020); Salone del Mobile, Milan (2018); Denfair, Melbourne (2017–18); and Craft ACT (2017).

Erez Nevi Pana

ISRAEL, BORN 1983
LIVES AND WORKS IN TEL AVIV

PROJECT
Crystalline 2020 will be one of the world’s first commissioned works of salt-based architecture. In this work Erez Nevi Pana examines a metamorphosis of basic raw material into a deliberate refined composition that interprets crystal growth and natural processes as an architectural practice. Crystalline, an imaginary chunk of a larger structure, consists of four distinct structural elements – a ladder, boulder, steps and walkway, assembled into one exploratory architectural work that aims to represent a journey from water to land. Each element is encrusted or grown with salt, demonstrating a repertoire of techniques developed by the designer including subaqueous crystal growth, melting, and merging salt with clay. When combined, the components reference concepts of motion and flow, of evolution and growth. Nevi Pana’s journey starts with the ladder as a metaphor for ascension from the Dead Sea – the lowest point on the earth’s surface – and concludes with the walkway, which demonstrates a symbolic transition to a new physical reality. The work speaks directly to the need for restoration of the surrounding Dead Sea area and postulates that salt-based architecture could introduce new and more sustainable paradigms for housing, tourism, and public works.

ABOUT
Erez Nevi Pana earned his BA in Design from the Holon Institute of Technology in 2011 and a MA from the Design Academy Eindhoven in 2014, where his thesis focused on the recrystallisation of salt. A vegan and animal rights activist, his practice is based on veganism and conscientious, sustainable design. For the past eight years, working with salt in the Dead Sea has been fundamental to Nevi Pana’s research question: ‘What can be done with 20 million tons of salt, a byproduct accumulated every year in the fifth pond of the Dead Sea?’ This aggregation resulting from the over-industrialisation of the Dead Sea causes a hazardous domino effect including flooding, unstable water levels, and an overall disruption of natural equilibrium. To meet this man-made environmental challenge, the designer began envisioning solutions to make this undesirable material desirable again, which led to the conception of salt-based architecture.

The NGV warmly thanks Triennial Major Supporters The Andrew and Geraldine Buxton Foundation, The Michael and Janet Buxton Foundation and MAB Corporation Pty Ltd for their joint support.

Fallen Fruit

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, ESTABLISHED 2004
BASED IN LOS ANGELES

PROJECT
For Natural History 2020, David Allen Burns and Austin Young / Fallen Fruit created an immersive installation artwork that utilises photographs of Australian flora and selected artworks from the NGV permanent collection to respond to history and the environment. The artwork is a triptych composed of asynchronous repeat patterns printed onto fabric wall coverings. Wrapping the NGV’s 16th and 17th Century Gallery, the wall coverings incorporate photographs of plants, fruits and flowers made by the artists during a research trip to Melbourne in early 2020. The trip included visits to Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens, Cranbourne Gardens, the Collingwood Children’s Farm and surrounding neighbourhoods. The wall coverings are presented alongside NGV Collection works portraying issues of colonialism, the natural world, and narrative depictions of religion and the supernatural, with the artists selecting and re-organising the works to form contemporary perspectives on race, class and gender. A joint statement by Fallen Fruit notes: ‘As artists, we are interested in how people, plants, and animals are represented in various natural settings, landscapes, and gardens. By drawing from the NGV Collection, the immersive artwork also becomes a story about the formation of colonial Australia itself, and how people and plants from other places have naturalised within the Indigenous landscape.’

ABOUT
Fallen Fruit, an art project consisting of artists David Allen Burns and Austin Young, began by creating maps of public fruit: the fruit trees growing on or over public property. The duo’s work includes photographic portraits, experimental documentary videos and site-specific installation artworks. Using fruit – plus public spaces and public archives – as materials for interrogating the familiar, Fallen Fruit investigates interstitial urban spaces, bodies of knowledge and new forms of citizenship. From protests to proposals for utopian shared spaces, Fallen Fruit’s work aims to reconfigure the relationship of sharing and explore understandings of what is considered both public and private. Fallen Fruit was originally conceived by David Burns, Matias Viegener and Austin Young. Since 2013, Burns and Young have continued the collaboration.

Faye Toogood

ENGLAND, BORN 1977
LIVES AND WORKS IN LONDON

PROJECT
Designs for furniture, lighting, scenography, sculpture and large scale tapestries are presented alongside 17th century artworks from the NGV Collection in a series of crafted spaces. Exploring the themes of daylight, candlelight and moonlight, Toogood plunges us deep into a period sensibility – which witnessed the birth of capitalism and the emergence of the ‘enlightenment’ – using her own innovative designs as a connecting device to the past. Toogood sees her work as Gesamtkunstwerk; a total work of art, whereby the interior – all works of art and design, and their display – synthesise to deliver with full effect the experience and meaning of her presentation.

ABOUT
Faye Toogood is a designer working across interior, furniture, sculpture, fashion, textile and object design. Her interdisciplinary practice is characterised by personal narrative, material experimentation and the reclamation of the interior and functional design as enduring contexts for creative exploration.

Establishing Studio Toogood in London in 2008 and her eponymous label Faye Toogood in 2010, the designer also held the role of interiors editor at U.K magazine The World of Interiors. Over the past 12 years, Toogood has exhibited widely in Europe and North America with her work appearing at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London (2015); Milan Design Week (2018); and D Museum in Seoul (2019). Toogood’s works is held in both public and private collections, including Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania; Dallas Museum of Art, Texas; High Museum of Art, Georgia; The Corning Museum of Glass, New York; Denver Museum of Art, Colorado; Fabergé Museum, St Petersburg; and National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.

The NGV warmly thanks Triennial Lead Supporter Gordon Moffatt AM, Triennial Supporters Cameron Oxley & Bronwyn Ross, Dr Brett Archer, Nicholas Perkins & Paul Banks and Triennial Circle donor Scanlon Foundation for their support of the furniture.

The NGV warmly thanks Triennial Supporters Betsy Polasek, Susan Jones & James McGrath, Suzanne Kirkham and donors to the 2020 NGV Annual Appeal for their support of the tapestries.

Fecal Matter

CANADA, ESTABLISHED 2016
BASED IN MONTREAL

PROJECT
Commissioned for NGV Triennial, Skin heel boots 2020 is an outcome of Fecal Matter’s interest in non-surgical forms of body modification to imagine a post-human identity. Fabricated through a moulding and painting process in collaboration with artist Sarah Sitkin, the boots comprise a hyper-realistic silicone ‘skin’ grafted onto an elevated Perspex platform. Only here the realism of toes, ankles, knees and leg muscles is counterbalanced by physical mutation: short sprouting horns and fleshy towering heel extensions. In this sense, Skin heel boots can be understood as a means of translating the freedom of the digital realm, where the self can be manipulated and edited easily and endlessly, into the offline. For Fecal Matter, fashion is a way of challenging normative social and gender roles and speculating on what it means to be human. It underscores their daily message ‘be whoever you want to be and live freely’. Be transformative.

ABOUT
Multi-disciplinary Canadian brand Fecal Matter was established by designers Steven Raj Bhaskaran (b.1993 in Canada) and Hannah Rose Dalton (b.1995 in New Zealand). The pair bonded over a passion for uncensored ideas and critical design thinking; the name of their label is a direct comment on fashion’s cycle of consumption and the emptiness of materialism. Key to their practice is the rejection of restrictive beauty standards and gender binaries. Using social media as a platform, Bhaskaran and Dalton construct a unique otherworldly aesthetic that questions what it means to be human via the use of photography, hair, make-up, clothing and prosthetics. Their work is featured on their Instagram account: @matiersfecal.

Generously supported by NGV Fashion and Textiles Supporters.

Fred Wilson

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, BORN 1954
LIVES AND WORKS IN NEW YORK

PROJECT
To die upon a kiss 2011 is the second of a trilogy of Murano glass chandeliers created by Fred Wilson to examine the history and presence of Africans in Venice. Into the ornate forms of 17th century Venetian chandeliers, the artist introduced unexpected emotions and narratives. Through its title, this work evokes a transformative process, which is drawn from Shakespeare’s Othello. In its gradation of colour, with the deep black at the bottom transitioning to an ethereal clear at the top, the artist references a dissolution of the body in death.

In Wilson’s words: ‘When looking at To die upon a kiss as a completed artwork, I saw my father’s life force in the blackness of the chandelier, draining down from the body as his spirit rose out. My father’s peaceful death occurred around the time of the artwork’s creation. Equally about Othello and my father, it is also about beauty and its uplifting, rejuvenating ability in times of sadness and remembrance. As a makeshift morgue sits outside the hospital near my home, this current pandemic is leaving a long solemn shadow. I believe intelligent thought, words, and images (and light!) matter in helping us make it through the gloom.’

ABOUT
Fred Wilson’s installation Speak of Me as I Am 2003, an exhibition on the history of Africans in Venice presented at the 50th Biennale di Venezia, featured the artist’s first works in Murano glass. Since this time, he has continued to work with glass as vehicles for his meditations on blackness, beauty, and death.

Wilson’s work is held in major public collections including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Tate, London; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and Long Museum, Shanghai, among numerous others. The artist’s many accolades include the prestigious John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s Genius Grant (1999); the Skowhegan Medal for Sculpture (2006); the Alain Locke Award from The Friends of African and African American Art at the Detroit Institute of Arts (2013); and a Lifetime Achievement Award, Howard University, Washington D.C. (2017). Wilson was honoured by The Black Alumni of Pratt Institute during their 2017 Celebration of the Creative Spirit.

Generously supported by the Professor AGL Shaw AO Bequest.

Frieda Toranzo Jaeger

MEXICO, BORN 1988
LIVES AND WORKS IN GERMANY

PROJECT
Frieda Toranzo Jaeger’s autofelatio 2018 is a multi-part painting that fans out from a central canvas, referring to art-historical precedents of polyptychs and folding paintings primarily seen in Medieval and Byzantine altarpieces, but simultaneously evoking a mechanical crank.

The imagery – almost a disintegration of the parts of a vehicle – evokes automotive mechanism, as well as organic and bodily forms. Through depictions of engine parts, exhaust pipes, a shell, a male driver caught by a traffic camera on his phone, and decorative patterns and flourishes, the painting draws associations between automation, gender and sexuality.

Toranzo Jaeger leads our attention to the sensuality of the surface in automotive and art objects, creating tension between the realms of the interior and exterior, the public and private. In this work, the loop of autoeroticism and the potential of infinite mechanisation is at play. The exaggerated size of the artist’s signature, emblazoned boldly on one of the canvases, parodies painting’s traditionally male authorship and reclaims that space for a queer female voice.

ABOUT
Solo exhibitions include Fantasies of Autonomy, Arcadia Missa, London, United Kingdom (2019); Deep Adaptation, Galerie Barbara Weiss, Berlin (2019); Autofelatio, High Art, Paris, France (2018); Choque Cultural, Lulu, Mexico City, Mexico (2018); Die Windschutzcheibe, Reena Spaulings, New York, USA (2017).

Recent group exhibitions include The Making of Husbands: Christina Ramberg in Dialogue, Kunstwerke, Berlin, Germany (2019) and Frac Lorraine, Metz, France (2020); Paint, also known as blood, MoMA, Warsaw, Poland (2019); and City Prince/sses, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France (2019).

Girma Berta

ETHIOPIA, BORN 1990
LIVES AND WORKS IN ADDIS ABABA

PROJECT
Girma Berta has been photographing people on the streets of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, since around 2014. His earlier photographs were documentary in style, but over time his work has become more refined and stylised.

The five photographs from his Moving Shadows series 2017 included in NGV Triennial are from an ongoing body of work in which all background detail has been removed. These photographs show isolated figures, and their shadows, on immersive, coloured backgrounds. The works feature individuals photographed on the streets of Addis Ababa going about the daily lives. Using the camera in his phone, Berta is able to work discretely and capture his subjects without them being aware of his presence.

In all his street-based work, Berta is interested in presenting a ‘portrait’ of the people of Addis Ababa. Working in his studio, he has developed a method to extract aspects of the scenes he photographs from the city’s busy streetscapes. Berta explains further: ‘Through my work on Instagram, I wish the world (would) stare into the eyes of a face of Addis Ababa; the city where I was born and where I grew up. The beautiful, the ugly and all that is in between.’

ABOUT
Girma Berta is a self-taught photographer and graphic designer. In 2016, aged twenty-six, he was awarded the Getty Images Instagram Award and since that time has been included in a number of photography festivals. Berta’s work is shown on Instagram where he has 34,000 followers. Since 2015 he has been exhibiting his photographs in exhibitions and photography festivals.

The NGV warmly thanks Triennial Major Supporter Bowness Family Foundation for their support.

Glenda Nicholls

AUSTRALIA, BORN 1954
LIVES AND WORKS IN THE SWAN HILL REGION

PROJECT
In Miwi Milloo (Good spirit of the Murray River) 2020 Glenda Nicholls has woven her largest and most ambitious net to date. Comprising thousands of hand-woven finger knots, this impressive net is adorned with hundreds of hand-made feather flowers, crafted in collaboration with her daughter, Melinda Andrew.

Through this work, Nicholls continues her narrative connecting women and fishing, emphasising the importance of Aboriginal women in maintaining cultural practices and highlighting the plight of the Murray River system.

ABOUT
Glenda Nicholls is a Waddi Waddi, Ngarrindjeri and Yorta Yorta artist. Her cultural name is Jule Yarra Minj (‘little river girl’) and her maternal Ngarrindjeri totem is the Writcharuki (willy-willy wagtail). Nicholls is a master weaver, constructing elaborate sculptural works that connect the present with her ancestral past. She applies cultural weaving techniques acquired from her ancestors alongside intimate knowledge of the waterways, plants and grasses on her Country. Nicholls is determined to share her cultural knowledge with younger First Nations generations, seeing this exchange as crucial to ensuring cultural practices survive into the future.

The NGV warmly thanks Triennial Major Supporter Lisa Fox for her support.

Guido Casaretto

TURKEY, BORN 1981
LIVES AND WORKS ISTANBUL

PROJECT
Working in figurative sculpture, Guido Casaretto uses traditional techniques to challenge and subvert contemporary sculpting tendencies which rely on automation, computer-controlled machinery and digital manipulation. As far as I recall / I–II and As far as I recall / III–IV, created in 2016, comprise four resin busts of a man, each depicting the same subject with slightly different head angles, mounted in a line on the wall for display. The subject, David, was sourced from the digital realm, a character drawn in 3D to purchase for use in digital animation in industries such as cinema, television, gaming or pornography. Treating the David like a ‘real’ subject, Casaretto produced life-drawings, using these as the basis to sculpt the busts in clay before casting them. The shadowing and details of the David’s features and clothing are hand rendered in charcoal on the busts, with the colour palette – black, grey and white – determined by the materials.

Casaretto’s experimentation, with materials (such as concrete, skin, soil, and epoxy), scale and source material, is the spine for his body of works. Bringing to mind computer programs that attempt to simulate reality, his works blur the lines between the original and its copy, real and virtual, inviting viewers to question their sensory perceptions.

ABOUT
Guido Casaretto is one of the founders of Sanatorium Art Initiative, an Istanbul-based gallery showcasing artists against government oppression. His solo shows have included The Ghosts of Matter at MOCAK, Krakow, Poland (2019); The Pope and Galileo Had a Minor Disagreement at Zilberman Gallery, Istanbul, Turkey (2017); Synesthesia at Zilberman Gallery, Istanbul, Turkey (2015); Extrasystemic Correlations at Zilberman Gallery, Istanbul, Turkey (2012); and Default at Sanatorium, Istanbul, Turkey (2011). Casaretto has been featured in group shows including Restless Monuments at Zilberman Gallery, Istanbul, Turkey (2018); Urban Justice at CerModern, Ankara, Turkey (2015); the Venice Biennial Italian Pavilion (2011); and Teatro Comunale (Italy, 2000). Casaretto’s work is included in MOCAK– Museum of Contemporary Art Kraków and many important private collections in Europe and the Middle East.

The NGV warmly thanks Triennial Supporters Sarah Morgan and Andrew Cook for their support

Hannah Brontë

AUSTRALIA, BORN 1991
LIVES AND WORKS IN BRISBANE

PROJECT
Hannah Brontë’s immersive video installation EYE HEAR U MAGIK 2020 explores how ancestral intuition has been passed down through Aboriginal people in the wake of colonisation. She uses music and film to unblock intuitive beliefs and tune into a deep sense of knowing, which she refers to by many names including ‘the knowing’, ‘the cunning’ and ‘illpunja’. Offering a foreboding sense of the future, the work explores the ways in which Brontë’s culture and spirituality have been and continue to be appropriated. It is Brontë’s most ambitious video to date and her first commission by the NGV.

ABOUT
Hannah Brontë is a practising visual artist whose music videos, banners and large-scale installations explore the role of Indigenous/Blak women through recurring themes of resilience, matriarchy, and power. Influenced by her work as a DJ and her fascination with the spoken word, she is conscious of intertwining the knowledge of all her ancestors in each work she creates. Brontë has recently drawn on holistic, spiritual and physical healers as consultants for her work, which led her to becoming a doula. She has also been unpacking intergenerational spiritual knowledge, which she feels is the beginning of a new direction within her practice. Two of her works are held in the NGV collection: Umma’s Tongue–molten at 6000° 2017 and Heala 2018.

The NGV warmly thanks Triennial Major Supporters Vicki Vidor OAM & Peter Avery for their support.

Ilan El

ISRAEL, BORN 1971
LIVES AND WORKS IN MELBOURNE

PROJECT
A contemporary luminaire emitting coloured light, Ora light: interactive eclipse 2008 (designed) 2020 (manufactured) is displayed as part of a broad range of projects relating to ideas of illumination. Presented in the company of NGV’s Collection of early twentieth century design, the work draws associations with the development of psychological inquiry and the growing awareness of environmental factors on human emotions and behaviour. A large black disc, the automated light work moves through the visible light spectrum – which appears in a halo effect – emitting coloured ambient light in a durational display over three minutes. An enduring topic of research and study, the effect of light spectra and its potential to evoke positive psychological, autonomic responses in people is a preoccupation for designer Ilan El.

ABOUT
Architect and industrial designer Ilan El was born in Tel Aviv, Israel and moved to Australia in 2005. He specialises in the design and bespoke production of lighting products and installations. Interested in the experiential quality of light and its potential for delivering positive psychological and emotional effects, El explores the colours in the visible light spectrum to develop works with playful, interactive and automated elements.

El established his atelier ILANEL in 2010. His installations and work have been presented at Melbourne Design Week (2020 and 2018); Globelight, Melbourne (2016 – 2013); and Vivid, Sydney (2012). El’s large-scale commissions include 39 Steps for the Justin House Museum, Melbourne (2019). His work is held in the collection of the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.

Jeff Koons

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, BORN 1955
LIVES AND WORKS IN NEW YORK

PROJECT
With a stated intention to ‘communicate with the masses’, Jeff Koons is one of the most influential and popular artists of his generation. Venus 2016–20 is part of Koons’ ongoing Porcelain series which juxtaposes classical ideals of beauty with sophisticated contemporary production technologies. The over life-size, mirror-polished stainless steel sculpture is based on an 18th century porcelain figurine of the same name by Wilhelm Christian Meyer. Mirrors and reflection have long been a hallmark of Koons’s work and he has cited his love for the intoxicating quality of the reflection and its resulting distortion, as well as its ability to implicate the viewer within the work. ‘One of the most used words in philosophy is to “reflect”. To reflect is an inward process, but also an outward process,’ says Koons. ‘The use of reflective surfaces was to connect the work to philosophy and the experience of becoming. And that we not only have our internal life, but we also have the external world – this interaction is what gives us a future. Reflections tell the viewer that nothing is ever happening without them. Art happens inside them.’

ABOUT
Jeff Koons is widely regarded for his diverse practice which holds a mirror up to contemporary culture. Using the photorealistic and commercial aesthetic familiar from an earlier generation of Pop artists, Koons has generated his own universally recognisable style that frequently comprises smooth, highly reflective surfaces and bright, saturated colours. Koons typically works in series, tapping into subject matter from popular culture and art history that is frequently reminiscent of childhood in order to, as he notes, empower the viewer towards achieving a state of personal transcendence. The figure of Venus, goddess of love and fertility, has long influenced his work, appearing directly since the late 1970s.

Born in York, Pennsylvania, Koons studied at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He received his B.F.A. from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 1976.

The NGV warmly thanks Triennial Champions Loti & Victor Smorgon Fund, Leigh Clifford AO & Sue Clifford, John Higgins AO & Jodie Maunder and Paula Fox AO & Fox Family Foundation for their support.

Jim Shaw

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, BORN 1952
LIVES AND WORKS IN LOS ANGELES

PROJECT
Since the 1970s, Jim Shaw has mined the detritus of American culture, finding inspiration for his artworks in comic books, pulp novels, rock albums, protest posters, thrift store paintings and advertisements. The artist began creating a series of mural works around 2004, using found theatrical backdrops on which he painted over the surfaces. Consumed by the build-up to the 2004 presidential elections, he created a body of work later grouped together as a solo exhibition entitled Left Behind (CAPC Musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux, 2010). These vast paintings featured multilayered references to esoterica, conspiracy theory, trash culture, and his own fictional religion: Oism. These works expressed his unease with the social and ideological dominance of neo-conservativism, consumerism, and the Christian right in America.

Capitol viscera appliances mural 2011 is an oneiric vision depicting the obliteration of Capitol Hill, the seat of the US Government, by an eruption of molten lava overlaid with a floating matrix of domestic appliances, seemingly from the 1950s. The renderings of these appliances epitomise a golden age of American domesticity and consumerism. The tendrils and trunk of the ‘mushroom cloud’ resemble a sinewy Banyan tree, a frequent motif within Shaw’s work as the Oist ‘tree of life’.

ABOUT
Jim Shaw received his BFA from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in 1974, before studying at the California Institute of the Arts, where he graduated with an MFA in 1978. He is considered one of the key protagonists in an influential generation of the USA’s West Coast artists. Shaw has been the subject of a major retrospective, Jim Shaw: The End is Near, at the New Museum in New York (2015), as well as participating in The Encyclopedic Palace, Venice Biennale, 2013. He is well known as a purveyor of the mythical narratives of 20th century America, especially the visual culture produced on its fringes, via religions, cults, conspiracy theorists, non-professional hobbyist artists, protest movements and ‘lower’ forms of pop culture. In the late 1990s Shaw created a fictive 19th century religion called Oism, with a mythological framework he continues to elaborate in his works today.

Generously supported by NGV Foundation Patrons.

Joi T. Arcand

TREATY 6 TERRITORY, BORN 1982
LIVES AND WORKS IN OTTAWA

PROJECT
Joi T. Arcand’s new media installation pimiciwan pimatisowin 2020 marks the first time a Cree contemporary artist has had their work enter the NGV Collection. Featuring a blue neon sign set back into a wall cavity, the work draws attention to the loss of Indigenous languages in Canada by creating a hyper visible sign using Cree syllabics. Arcand uses this approach to declare that the language wasn’t ‘lost’, but was instead taken, and Cree people are now here to reclaim it. The work will resonate powerfully in Australia where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people share a similar history with regard to loss of language and culture by way of colonisation. Sometimes Arcand intentionally does not provide translations for her work so as not to give audiences the immediate satisfaction of understanding the word. Instead, she forces them to take the time to look up the word and learn some Cree language on the way. For NGV Triennial, Arcand has decided to provide a translation of the Cree language used – her neon sign translates roughly to ‘the flow of life’.

ABOUT
Joi T. Arcand is an artist originally from Muskeg Lake Cree Nation, Saskatchewan. Her practice includes photography, digital collage and graphic design, and is characterised by a visionary and subversive reclamation and indigenisation of public spaces through the use of Cree language and syllabics.

In 2018, Arcand was shortlisted for the prestigious Sobey Art Award. Her work has been shown in group exhibitions such as Àbadakone at the National Gallery of Canada and INSURGENCE/ RESURGENCE at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. She has recently held solo exhibitions at Ottawa’s Central Art Garage and Saskatoon’s College Art Galleries. Arcand was artist-in-residence at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre and she has curated various exhibitions including the Ottawa-based presentations Language of Puncture at Gallery 101 and nakateyimisowin, an outdoor mural exhibition.

The NGV warmly thanks Triennial Supporters Dr Michael Schwarz & Dr David Clouston for their support.

Jonathan Ben-Tovim

ZIMBABWE, BORN 1983
LIVES AND WORKS IN MELBOURNE

PROJECT
An ode to the airbag 2019 is a kinetic standing lamp composed of automotive air bags. A pulsating tower of air and light, the work moves through a slow endless cycle of airbags inflating and de-compressing. Through this work Ben-Tovim brings attention to the Takata airbag recall of 2016. Affecting more than 100 million vehicles worldwide, the fatalities and injuries sustained from the defective devices brought to light a systemic failure in the global supply chain model, which has become central to the mass manufacture of goods in the late industrial period. An ode to the airbag is Ben-Tovim’s response to the complex network of resources, financing, production and purchasing, in which goods and the sum of their parts are en-large invisible to the consumer. By drawing attention to the airbag – an object now embroiled in one of the world’s most serious worldwide product recalls – the designer reminds us of how interconnected the world has become, and in it, the trust we place. This is the third work in a series of one-off design objects in which Ben-Tovim explores the process of transplanting reclaimed materials and objects into new contexts to uncover foreboding narratives. The work belongs to a collection of contemporary art and design works assembled for NGV Triennial around the theme of illumination.

ABOUT
Industrial designer Jonathan Ben-Tovim adopted a new Australian identity after moving to the country in 1984. He produces experimental lighting and furniture designs, which explore the intricacies of the global industrial economy. His designs seek to question materials, processes and supply chains implicated in the delivery of commercially mass-produced goods to uncover counter narratives. Ben-Tovim established his studio in Melbourne in 2011. Exhibiting nationally and internationally his works have been presented at Dutch Design Week (2006); Dubai Design Week (2015); Salon del Mobile, Milan (2019); and Melbourne Design Week (2015-2020). Ben-Tovim’s work is held in the Collection of the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.

JR

FRANCE, BORN 1983
LIVES AND WORKS IN PARIS AND NEW YORK

PROJECT
Homily to Country 2020 is an ambitious multi-part artwork that draws global attention to the ecological decline of the Darling River system caused by intensive water extraction due to irrigation, climate change and drought. Stimulated by an interest in the plight of farmers globally and the tensions that often exist between Indigenous peoples, ‘family farms’ and multinational agribusinesses, JR’s artwork focuses on both the ecological and human impact of the river’s decline. The work will comprise three key elements: a film combining portrait photography and documentary footage, plus footage of JR undertaking field research; and an architectural installation, envisaged as an open-air chapel in the NGV Grollo Equiset Garden, featuring a series of large-scale stained glass windows depicting super-sized portraits and environmental elements such as the Darling River’s dying river red gums. JR’s film and stained-glass windows will be acquired for the NGV Collection.

ABOUT
JR exhibits freely on the streets of the world, where he pastes huge portraits of anonymous people. Concealing his own identity and that of his subjects, JR leaves the space empty for an encounter between the artwork and the passer-by.

In 2011 JR received the TED Prize, after which he created Inside Out, an international participatory art project that invites people worldwide to paste their own picture – as of June 2020, over 420,000 people from more than 140 countries have participated in this project. His recent work includes a large-scale pasting in a maximum security prison in California, an Oscar®-nominated feature documentary co-directed with French New Wave legend Agnès Varda, giant scaffolding installations at the 2016 Rio Olympics, and an enormous installation at the US-Mexico border fence. JR was also named one of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in 2018.

The NGV warmly thanks Triennial Champions Loti & Victor Smorgon Fund for their support.

Julian Opie

ENGLAND, BORN 1958
LIVES AND WORKS IN LONDON

PROJECT
Julian Opie’s work for NGV Triennial connects the clean visual language of modern life with the fundamentals of art history. It is a work influenced by classical portraiture, Egyptian hieroglyphs and Japanese woodblock prints, as well as public signage, information boards and traffic signs. Commissioned by the City of Melbourne and the NGV to create a new permanent installation in the public sphere out front of the gallery, Opie is adorning more than 20 LED screens with a variety of animated birds – depicted one per screen in the artist’s unique style. The birds, unperturbed by the passing traffic, appear to be grazing on the nature strips that separate the lanes of St Kilda Road. In addition to this work being an extension of Opie’s own NGV Garden project of 2018, the installation is also connected to the NGV’s Collection of ancient Egyptian art. Julian Opie says: ‘By turning their surrounding nature of people and animals into a readable and common language, the Egyptians created a vocabulary out of life, a way of reading the world and of recognising both our engagement in the world but also our distance from it; the interpretive nature of being.’

ABOUT
Julian Opie is a sculptor, painter, printmaker and installation artist. Between 1972 and 1982 he attended Goldsmiths College where he studied under Michael Craig-Martin. During the early 1980s Opie became associated with a generation of sculptors known as New British Sculpture, a group that included artists Anish Kapoor, Rachel Whiteread, Richard Wentworth and Tony Cragg. In recent years he has received major commissions for murals for public spaces and buildings, including Lindo Wing, St Mary’s Hospital, London (2012) and Central Station, Milan (2003). In 1995 Opie was awarded the Sargent Fellowship at the British School in Rome and the Spanish Art Critics Association (AECA) Award, ARCOmadrid, in 2015. Opie was part of the 1998 Sydney Biennale and the subject of a solo retrospective exhibition at NGV International in 2018.

Kengo Kuma and Geoff Nees

KENGO KUMA & ASSOCIATES
JAPAN, ESTABLISHED 1990
BASED IN TOKYO AND PARIS

GEOFFREY NEES
AUSTRALIA, BORN 1970
LIVES AND WORKS IN MELBOURNE

PROJECT
World-renowned architect Kengo Kuma collaborates with local artist Geoff Nees to respond to the philosophical nature of Korean artist Lee Ufan’s painting Dialogue 2017. Through the creation of a new architectural installation, a gallery-scale circular pavilion acts as a sensorial walkway through which to approach and contemplate Ufan’s painting. Made in the Japanese tradition of wooden architecture, where pieces interlock, held by tension and gravity, the Botanical pavilion 2020 features a sublime tessellated interior lined with timber collected from trees felled or removed over several years at Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens. Some of the trees used within the architecture pre-date European settlement, whilst others signal the development over decades of the Gardens marking their role as a site of scientific research and botanical classification. Prioritising natural phenomena over scientific order, the botanical species used are colour coded, rather than following any taxonomic order. This approach offers a statement by the designers against the reductive nature of science during the colonial era – a mindset at odds with many Indigenous cultural beliefs and knowledge systems. Botanical pavilion offers a site for contemplation, reminding us of our relationships to nature and one another.

ABOUT
Kengo Kuma is one of the most significant Japanese figures in contemporary architecture today. His practice, Kengo Kuma Associates, has built a global reputation for their ongoing reinterpretation of traditional Japanese architectural traditions. Drawing on both historical precedents in architecture and craft, Kuma’s projects often integrate traditional elements reinvigorated for the 21st century. This design approach elevates the role and meaning of natural light and materials in contemporary architecture and the ways in which context, in particular natural phenomena, can inform the creation and experience of architecture. His collaborator Geoffrey Nees is an artist that has collaborated with many leading Australian and international architects and designers to deliver large-scale facade designs for architectural projects, including the façade for the Australia Pavilion at the Japan World Expo 2005.

The NGV warmly thanks Triennial Major Supporters Connie Kimberley & Craig Kimberley OAM for their support.

Kim Sihyun

KOREA, BORN 1998
LIVES AND WORKS IN SEOUL

PROJECT
Kim Sihyun’s photographic project, featuring more than 100 photographs from Identification (ID) Photo Project 2017, is an exploration of identity and contemporary culture. All of her portraits are in the ubiquitous front-facing, head and shoulders format of identity photographs with her subjects photographed against coloured backdrops. Kim is interested in the way that this standardised approach can create a snapshot of current fashions and trends. To find her subjects she advertises on social media with her photo sessions typically booked out within seconds.

Describing the creation of her work, Kim says: ‘The whole process takes 30 minutes. When the customer comes in, we talk about the background colour, then we discuss which angle and lighting would best suit them … After the photo shoot, rather than photoshopping on my own, the client stays and works on the process together with me. We go over quick fixes such as the tone of the background colour and make-up touch-ups. I think as a woman I can sympathise more with what [my customer] desires in the picture. It also helps that I drew a lot of portraits of people and became aware that a small change could make a big difference.’

ABOUT
Kim Sihyun is a young artist with a huge social media following who has achieved something of a cult status in South Korea. While studying photography at Chung-Ang University in Seoul, she has established her own studio where she invites people to come and have ID photographs taken. First exhibiting her work in 2017, Sihyun was awarded the Dior Photography Award for Young Talent for the Identification (ID) Photo Project at the prestigious Arles Photography Festival in 2018.

Kiran Subbaiah

INDIA, BORN 1971
LIVES AND WORKS IN BANGALORE

PROJECT
Created sporadically over five years, Narcissicon 2012 is a whimsical single channel video work that features the likeness of Kiran Subbaiah playing multiple versions of himself, presented through doppelgangers and mirror reflections. The artist’s studio provides the setting for exploration and wonder as the piece plays out in a space of magical realism. The act of artistic speculation and intellectual derive – the process that fosters an artist’s imagination and making – inspires the liminal state (half-awake, half-asleep) depicted by the work. Mimicking a daydream, the 43 minute video runs on a continuous loop without a definitive beginning or end. The video’s earliest shot dates back to five years ago with selected robotic moves conceived nine years ago, but completed much later, and some of the text was written fourteen years ago. The entire artwork can be viewed as a reflection of the Subbaiah’s artistic process inside his studio. As such, the artwork itself is a view ‘behind’ the scenes.

ABOUT
It is often through the act of humour and irony that Kiran Subbaiah draws out his observations of the world, using his artworks to question the relationship between function and value. He works in many genres including photography, video, sculpture and installation. Born in Sidapur, Subbaiah was trained as a sculptor at the Royal College of Art in London and the Maharaja Sayajirao University in Baroda. He has exhibited his works at Chatterjee & Lal, Mumbai; Indian Highway, Serpentine Gallery, London, Paris, Delhi, and Bombay; and the Pompidou Centre, Paris. Subbaiah has also participated in residencies all over the world including Flaggfabrikken, Bergen, Norway; Khoj, New Delhi; Stiftung Kuenstlerdorf Schoeppingen, Germany; and Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam.

Generously supported by NGV Foundation Patrons.

Lakin Ogunbanwo

NIGERIA, BORN 1987
LIVES AND WORKS IN LAGOS

PROJECT
Nigerian photographer Lakin Ogunbanwo is known for his elegantly styled, subtly erotic portraits. Included in NGV Triennial are a suite of ten portraits (2015–17) of a young man wearing various traditional Nigerian hats. Photographed from behind, Ogunbanwo’s model is shown against a plain white backdrop, the uniformity of his approach deliberately placing emphasis on the striking individuality of each of the headdresses and the beauty of his model. Discussing these works Ogunbanwo wrote: ‘I began shooting traditional men’s headwear as a way to preserve my culture and to observe how it has trickled down to my generation in the way we mix them up with contemporary fashion. There are so many different hats and each one is associated with a certain Nigerian tribe. This series is also a way of realising a silent message about patriarchy in Nigerian society. Who are the men who wear these hats and how do they see themselves? What hat you wear [and] the way you wear it says a lot about your age and position in life. A hat is a silent badge of grandeur in a way.’ Central to Ogunbanwo’s work is a celebration of being Nigerian and striving to counteract the West’s monolithic view of Africa. The artist goes beyond a homogenised ‘African experience’ to speak of a specifically Nigerian one.

ABOUT
Lakin Ogunbanwo was born in Lagos, Nigeria in 1987. He works in portraiture and fashion photography and has had his work published in magazines including ID, British GQ, and Riposte Magazine. Ogunbanwo studied law at Babcock University, Nigeria and Buckingham University, England, before taking up photography in 2012. He began exhibiting his portraits in 2013 and in 2015 he was recognised by the British Journal of Photography as one of the top 25 emerging photographers globally. Since then his work has been included in the 2016 Lagos Photo Festival and Africa Now. His most recent solo exhibition was E wá wo mi, shown in Cape Town in 2019.

The NGV warmly thanks Triennial Major Supporter Bowness Family Foundation for their support.

Lara Schnitger

THE NETHERLANDS, BORN 1969
LIVES AND WORKS IN LOS ANGELES AND AMSTERDAM

PROJECT
Lara Schnitger has created the new immersive installation House of heroines for the 2020 NGV Triennial. The large-scale sculptural installation will comprise a textile frieze and a series of sculptural columns entitled The squad. Quilted sequinned fabric panels will wrap around the walls of the gallery space in the manner of an ancient Grecian frieze, with Schnitger’s drawings and text etched into the two-tone fabric. The four columns will recall the caryatids of ancient temple architecture which use the female body as a structural form. Hanging from the ceiling these forms – made from a timber skeleton underlying a fabric skin – are abstract yet suggestive of sensual and active bodily shapes.

This work will extend the themes of feminist representation that underpin Schnitger’s practice. The artist often uses materials traditionally associated with female labour to explore the boundaries of socially accepted femininity and the aspects of this regarded as obscene or taboo. Drawing on the representation of women in ancient architecture, this new work reflects contemporary expressions of women’s voice, sexuality and agency.

ABOUT
Lara Schnitger is a Dutch-American artist who studied at C.C.A., Kitakyushu, Japan; Ateliers 63, Amsterdam; Academie Vyvarni Umeni, Prague; and the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague. Her work has been shown internationally at museums including Kunsthaus Dresden; FRAC Champagne-Ardenne, Rheims; Museum Het Domein, Sittard; Kunstwerke, Berlin; the UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, New York; the Power Plant, Toronto; and the Royal Academy in London, among others. Schnitger participated in the Liverpool Biennial in 1999 and the Shanghai Biennial in 2002. In 2019 she was commissioned to make public artworks for The Chelsea Highline and Hudson Yards, and Sydney Laneway Projects in 2018. Schnitger’s work is held in numerous public and private collections throughout Europe and the United States.

Lee Ufan

SOUTH KOREA, BORN 1936
LIVES AND WORKS IN PARIS AND KAMAKURA

PROJECT
Lee Ufan emerged as one of the leading figures of the Japanese avant-garde group Mono-ha, in the late 1960s. Emphasising the relationships between space, perception, and object, his works develop from an appreciation of nature and the inherent qualities of his materials. Here, the action of repetitive minimal marks denotes an association between the body and temporality. Combining artistic practice with philosophical writing, Lee’s oeuvre is characterised by thoughtful and direct iterations of gestures, engaging the viewer in contemplation of abstract forms and vivid restraint. The work in the NGV Triennial is emblematic of this approach, part of a body of paintings created between 2016 and 2018, each entitled Dialogue. The work comprises minimal marks on a white canvas, combining to form the image of a single multi-coloured brushstroke. For the artist the work is not the object itself but the space it creates.

ABOUT
Lee Ufan has been the subject of over 140 one-artist exhibitions, including Resonance at the 52nd Venice Biennale (2007) and Marking Infinity, his major retrospective at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2011). In 2014, the Palace of Versailles presented 10 of Lee’s monumental sculptural works throughout its historic grounds. Other solo exhibitions include The Cane of Titan, State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg (2016); Les Fragments et la Fenêtre, Galerie de Sèvres, Citè de la céramique, Paris (2016); The Ha Jung-Woong Museum of Art’s Inaugural Exhibition, Gwangju Museum of Art, Korea (2017); Inhabiting Time, Centre Pompidou-Metz, France (2019); and Lee Ufan, Dia: Beacon (2019). In 2019, the Hirshorn Museum and Sculpture Garden debuted the largest site-specific installation in the United States dedicated to Lee’s Relatum series, which coincided with an exhibition of his paintings in the museum. This was the first time in the Hirshorn’s forty-four-year history that the garden had been dedicated to a single artist.

The NGV warmly thanks Triennial Major Supporters Andrew & Judy Rogers and Professor AGL Shaw AO Bequest for their support.

Liam Young

AUSTRALIA, BORN 1979
LIVES AND WORKS IN LOS ANGELES

PROJECT
Planet City 2020 is a newly commissioned immersive film by Australian film director and speculative architect Liam Young. His most ambitious project to date, the 15-minute animated short film provides a window into an alternative urban future that has been created as an antidote to the climate crisis. Planet City is simultaneously an extraordinary image of tomorrow and a provocative examination of the pertinent questions that are facing us today. The work represents a speculation on what might happen if we radically reverse the sprawl of cities – a planned retreat from all existing countries into a microcosm of the planet. Planet City is the city for us all, housing the world’s population in one super dense (but workable) city. Based on extensive research, involving a global think-tank of advisors and collaborators, including costume design by Ane Crabtree (The Handmaid’s Tale), and choreography by Jacob Jonas, the film presents what it would mean to house all humans and their attendant infrastructure and resources in a city for seven billion, returning the rest of the globe to heal as a vast wilderness without us.

ABOUT
Liam Young is an Australian film director and speculative architect whose work spans architecture, urban futurism and critical design. His debut US solo exhibition, New Romance (2017), was held at the Columbia University Arthur Ross Architecture Gallery, and presented three short films exploring the relationship between love and future technologies. He is the co-author of the book series Unknown Fields: Tales from the Dark Side of the City (2016), consisting of six illustrated stories inspired by journeys through remote landscapes that impact the development of modern technology. Young is also the founder of the Urban Futures think tank Tomorrow’s Thoughts Today and was named by Blueprint Magazine as one of ‘25 people who will change architecture and design’.

Principal Partner, Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific, has committed to offering a carbon-neutral range of cars by 2039. CEO and Managing Director, Horst von Sanden, said Planet City raises thought-provoking perspectives on urban life in future years. ‘Our challenge today is to plan for a sustainable and vibrant future, and it’s vital to foster these conversations. Mercedes-Benz is proud to partner with Liam and his work for NGV Triennial 2020.’

PRINCIPAL PARTNER

The NGV warmly thanks Triennial Major Supporter Bagôt Gjergja Foundation for their support.

Liu Shiyuan

CHINA, BORN 1985
LIVES AND WORKS IN BEIJING AND COPENHAGEN

PROJECT
Liu Shiyuan works in photography, video and installation. In her work she is drawn to the everyday: snippets of overheard conversations; familiar, unremarkable objects and images; and the apparently endless stream of imagery on the internet. For her Almost Like Rebar series 2018, the three works included in NGV Triennial are constructed from a combination of images which have no apparent relationship, mimicking the random array of images that can be found through simple internet searches. In one work Liu has combined images of a croissant, a couple about to kiss, pottery fragments, a patchwork quilt, and a coloured grid. In another she has combined a gridded arrangement containing details of decorative ceramics, painted scenes, photographic images and a bonsai tree. In each work the seemingly randomly selected elements are unified by the gridded structure and her use of a limited palette. Describing her work Liu said, ‘In daily life I am attracted to simple things which everyone finds beautiful. In other words to the most basic concept of beauty – it’s not about how rich the colour is, or how modern or how minimal it feels, those are all about taste. Instead, I aim to show my understanding of things without changing their status.’ In the resulting works the artist has created aesthetically pleasing order from the fathomless chaos of the internet.

ABOUT
Liu Shiyuan studied at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing and in 2012 she was awarded a Master of Fine Arts degree from the School of Visual Arts, New York. Since 2007 she has participated in numerous group exhibitions in China, the USA and Europe. Her first solo show, The edge of vision or the edge of the earth, was held at White Space Gallery, Beijing in 2013. Liu Shiyuan has works included in two forthcoming exhibitions: Welcome to the jungle, Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, and An American City: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art in Cleveland

Lukas Wegwerth

GERMANY, BORN 1984
LIVES AND WORKS IN BERLIN

PROJECT
Lukas Wegwerth’s works Crystallization 152 2019 and Crystallization 146 2019 repurpose existing ceramic vessels by transforming them into hosts for the growth of salt crystals. Submerging the vessels in a chemical solution, cracks and chips are slowly colonised by crystal formations over time. Wegwerth monitors the crystal’s growth and intervenes to manipulate the path and size of the crystal structure. The process Wegwerth applies to his vessels references the 15th century Japanese art of fixing broken pottery called Kintsugi or ‘golden repair’. Here lacquer dusted with powdered gold, silver, or platinum is applied to the cracks of a ceramic vessel. Kintsugi is also related to the Japanese concept of mottainai, which encapsulates a sense of regret when something is wasted. This sense of regret broadly acknowledges that all objects, broken or not, have an intrinsic value — a sum of natural resources, energy and human capital. For Wegwerth, restoring the ceramic vessels using the crystallization process symbolises the interdependence of the human made environment with the natural. Recognising that we are a part of, and not separate from nature, is central to charting a sustainable future.

ABOUT
Contemporary designer Lukas Wegwerth employs novel and unconventional processes to produce one-off and limited-edition design works. Often commencing with found objects, he modifies and reshapes them to bring new associations to cultural forms and typologies characterised by distinct historical making practices. Wegwerth’s works have appeared in the Museum of Architecture and Design, Ljubljana (2020); Istanbul Design Biennial (2018); Milan Design Week (2017); and Design Miami, Basel (2015). His work is held in the Collection of the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.

The NGV warmly thanks Triennial Major Supporters Esther Frenkiel OAM & David Frenkiel for their support.

Makiko Ryujin and Michael Gittings

MAKIKO RYUJIN
JAPAN, BORN 1982
LIVES AND WORKS IN MELBOURNE

MICHAEL GITTINGS
AUSTRALIA, BORN 1989
LIVES AND WORKS IN MELBOURNE

PROJECT
Saṃsāra 2020 is a lighting installation designed by Makiko Ryujin and Michael Gittings. The two-part work takes the form of a large blossoming tree and separate hanging canopy to embody the cyclical nature of our existence. The tree rises floor-to-ceiling from a textured steel trunk and opens into a canopy of branches fabricated by Gittings, which embrace the walls and ceiling of the Mezzanine Gallery at NGV International. A series of charred timber light shades, hand turned and then burned by Ryujin, appear as a constellation of iridescent blooms. The shades are punctuated at the centre by soft, warm light from a hand-blown glass bulb and a rich blush of gold leaf.

Saṃsāra continues the designers’ exploration into themes of transience, brevity and perpetual change, which emerged in their 2019 collaboration Impermanence. Transitioning from bud to full bloom, then declining to its frail state before it drops, the blossom captures a lifetime in a year. In this time of global uncertainty, their latest collaboration is nature writ small, encouraging us to reflect upon the cycles of life within and around us.

ABOUT
Makiko Ryujin is a wood turner and photographer who completed a Bachelor of Photography at RMIT in Melbourne. In late 2014 she started studying woodwork part-time with her mentor Carl Lutz. By mid 2016 Ryujin was focusing on developing her craft as a commercial practice. Her wood turning work calls heavily upon her childhood in Japan. The sacredness and form of the bowls within Japanese culture inform the proportions and design of the objects Ryujin creates.

Michael Gittings is a trained roofer with refined skills in metalworking. He produced his first furniture designs, a series of copper chairs made from plumbing pipes, in 2016. The Caulfield Chair (2016) has since become a signature production piece selling through Michael Gittings Studio. Gittings has since dedicated more time to producing design works while still operating his roofing business. He has exhibited in design exhibitions around Australia and his work has been published nationally and internationally.

The NGV warmly thanks Triennial Major Supporters Karen McLeod Adair & Anthony Adair for their support.

Matt Copson

ENGLAND, BORN 1992
LIVES AND WORKS IN LONDON

PROJECT
Death, again 2019 is a laser animation which uses a mechanical projector – like those used in nightclubs and music concerts – refracting a highly-concentrated beam of a laser with mirrors. Copson reflects: ‘I became fascinated with the form after seeing videos of Pink Floyd concerts that used early versions of the form and saw its potential as a visceral and sculptural medium.’

This piece was specifically inspired by Hans Holbein’s The Ambassadors at the National Gallery, London. ‘I was always enthralled by the painting as a child because of the hidden optical illusion of a distorted skull. In the painting it acts as a hidden, subversive symbol and I wanted to make the skull a protagonist, warping in and out of figuration and total abstraction, the anatomical to the monstrous,’ said Copson. The piece also makes reference to the 17th century Dutch mode of painting called ‘vanitas’– still life works often featuring the human skull, with the explicit symbolic purpose of reminding the viewer of their own mortality.

ABOUT
Matt Copson graduated in 2014 from London’s Slade School of Fine Art. A rising figure of the British art scene, he has presented his work in the context of both solo and collective exhibitions in England and internationally in locations including Paris, Milan, Dublin and the UAE. In 2017, Copson participated in the 89+ residency at the Paris Google Cultural Institute. He was the recipient of a New Contemporaries studio bursary at Space (London) in 2015. Copson was also recently awarded the Kaissering Stipendiat 2018 at the Monchehaus Museum, Goslar.

The NGV warmly thanks Triennial Major Supporters Christopher Thomas AM & Cheryl Thomas, Triennial Lead Supporters Michael & Emily Tong and 2019 NGV Curatorial Tour donors for their support.

Megan Cope

AUSTRALIA, BORN 1982
LIVES AND WORKS IN BRISBANE

PROJECT
Unprecedented 2020 is a new work by Qunadamooka woman and contemporary artist, Megan Cope. Her text-based work explores the use of the word ‘unprecedented’, which is written on a wooden board in old English script. The letters ‘precedent’ glow under a black light and are distinguished from the full word. Made from ochre, burnt Bundjalung country (charcoal) and glow mineral, the piece draws attention to a word that is used by colonisers to further reinforces the myth of Terra Nullius. Cope believes the use of the word ‘unprecedented’ is ‘completely irresponsible’ as it should only be used to describe something that has been ‘never known or done before’. By referring to the current global crisis as ‘unprecedented’, Australia’s Aboriginal history is ignored. This history includes the small-pox pandemic, which decimated Aboriginal populations in the 19th century, plus ongoing violence and systemic racism experienced by Aboriginal people.

ABOUT
Megan Cope is a Quandamooka woman from North Stradbroke Island in South East Queensland, who is also a member of the Aboriginal art collective proppaNOW. Her site-specific sculptural installations, video work and paintings investigate issues relating to identity, the environment and mapping practices. Cope’s work often resists prescribed notions of Aboriginality and challenge the grand narrative of ‘Australia’ as well as our sense of time and ownership in a settler colonial state. Her art has been exhibited locally and internationally at Queensland Art Gallery|/Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane; Gold Coast City Art Gallery; MONA FOMA, Hobart; ARC Biennial, Brisbane; Cairns Regional Art Gallery; Koorie Heritage Trust, Melbourne; City Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand; Para Site Contemporary Art Space, Hong Kong; Care of Art Space, Milan; the Australian Embassy, Washington; and Next Wave Festival, 2014. In 2015 Cope’s work was curated into an exhibition at Musées de la Civilisation in Québec, Canada, which also acquired her work for their permanent collection. She undertook a Time_Space_Place: Nomad Residency in 2014, awarded through Performance Space in Sydney.

Misaki Kawai

JAPAN, BORN 1978
LIVES AND WORKS IN LOS ANGELES

PROJECT
Artist Misaki Kawai presents Moja Moja Life: Misaki Kawai for Kids 2020, an indoor playground featuring a display of colourful furry sculptures of dogs and a puppet making studio. With a love of mimetic word pairings spoken in the Japanese language such as ‘moja moja’ or ‘hairy’ and an interest in children’s creative play and making, Kawai’s exhibition shares her spontaneous and playful approach to creating art with the NGV’s youngest visitors.

Central to the exhibit is Kawai’s larger-than-life hot pink faux fur sculpture of a dog named Arty (based on the briard breed), which is surrounded by a display of dogs, each sporting colourful coats made from different fluffy materials. Adjacent to the display, and inspired by a long history of puppet making, Kawai has designed a set of theatre booths and a puppet activity for children to make and record performances with a multimedia program. Children can then share these creations with friends and family via social media and email.

ABOUT
Misaki Kawai’s exhibitions immerse the viewer in environments made up of paintings on canvas, papier-mâché constructions, drawings on paper and soft faux-fur sculptures. Her bold, colourful paintings and drawings reflect an approach to art making that can be described as heta-uma – a Japanese term used to refer to a good idea combined with little attention given to technique.

Kawai has held exhibitions around the world, including the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston; Malmö Konsthall in Sweden; Children’s Museum of Arts in New York; and the Watari Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo. Her works have featured in group exhibitions at MoMA PS1 and Deitch Projects in New York. Kawai has had recent solo exhibitions in New York and Copenhagen, as well as a travelling exhibition in South Korea.

The NGV warmly thanks Triennial Champions Paula Fox AO & Fox Family Foundation, Major Partner Chadstone – The Fashion Capital and Triennial Lead Supporter Neilson Foundation for their support of Moja Moja Life: Misaki Kawai for Kids.

Major Partner Chadstone – The Fashion Capital are proud to support the NGV Triennial and Moja Moja Life: Misaki Kawai for Kids. Families will experience an immersive extension of the NGV Triennial, and enter the colourful and playful world of Misaki Kawai. Discover this unique experience during the January 2021 School Holidays at Chadstone – The Fashion Capital.

NGV TRIENNIAL CHAMPIONS

PAULA FOX AO &
FOX FAMILY FOUNDATION

MAJOR PARTNER

LEAD SUPPORTER

NEILSON FOUNDATION

Naama Bergman

ISRAEL, BORN 1982
LIVES AND WORKS IN MUNICH

PROJECT
In her 2016 series consisting of a brooch and three necklaces, Naama Bergman’s collection of salt jewellery is presented alongside a display of design projects that harness natural processes of emergence, growth, and decay to draw attention to the constant cycles of change that shape our lives. Inspired by her experiences relocating from Israel to Germany, Bergman began experimenting with materials and aesthetics of preservation to reflect the morphology of identity – particularly how identities are formed collectively and individually, and how migration and the passage of time can reshape the way people see themselves and others. To create each piece, Bergman delicately weaves strands of iron wire into a fine mesh which is formed over a mould to create voluminous, three-dimensional forms. The piece is then submerged in a concentrated salt solution which catalyses he process of simultaneous growth and decay that is central to her practice. As the salt crystallises along the surface of the mesh, the interaction of materials begins digesting the iron. When the piece is removed from the solution and exposed to air, the salt begins its own process of decay. In creating unstable jewellery pieces based on transient materiality, Bergman sets up a confrontation between preservation and decomposition, and questions the power, function, and mutability of medium and form.

ABOUT
Naama Bergman graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem in 2009. In 2013 she moved to Munich to pursue graduate studies in jewellery at the prestigious Academie der Bildenden Künste. Bergman is the recipient of several awards, including a 2015 and 2016 Study Scholarship for Foreign Graduates in the Fields of Fine Art, Film, and Design/Visual Communication and Film from DAAD, a German foundation, which supports emerging artists; a 2008 and 2009 scholarship for metal design from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation; and the Eithan Ron Prize for excellence in jewellery design. Bergman has been included in exhibitions worldwide including Israel, New York, the Netherlands, Tokyo, London, and Paris.

Nari Ward

JAMAICA, BORN 1963
LIVES AND WORKS IN NEW YORK

PROJECT
Nari Ward’s Last words of John Brown (red version) 2018 is from the artist’s series of text-based, shoelace installations that investigate how art-making and activism overlap. For each of the shoelace installations, installed directly into the wall, Ward questions and challenges cultural and societal power structures. For the artist, who ascribes a certain amount of animism to his materials, the shoelaces make general reference to an anonymous mass of people through their ubiquitous universal use. The work is composed entirely of sneaker shoelaces that spell out the phrase ‘This is a beautiful country’, cited as the last words of John Brown, an abolitionist who was put to death in 1859 for his use of violence in fighting for the freedom of black slaves. The work calls attention to American history as well as to contemporary issues surrounding race, identity, and politics.

ABOUT
Nari Ward is renowned for his ability to combine politics and historical references with personal identity, creating work that is unifying and humanistic at a time of extreme division worldwide. He is known for his sculptural installations composed of discarded material found and collected in his neighbourhood. Ward has repurposed objects such as baby strollers, shopping carts, bottles, doors, television sets, cash registers and shoelaces, among other materials. He re-contextualises these found objects in thought-provoking juxtapositions that create complex, metaphorical meanings to confront social and political issues surrounding race, poverty, and consumer culture. Ward intentionally leaves the meaning of his work open, allowing the viewer to provide his or her own interpretation.

Ward received a BA from City University of New York, Hunter College in 1989. He also received an MFA from City University of New York, Brooklyn College in 1992.

The NGV warmly thanks Triennial Champions Barry Janes & Paul Cross for their support

Natasha Matila-Smith

NEW ZEALAND, BORN 1984
LIVES AND WORKS IN TAMAKI MAKAURAU

PROJECT
Working with the language and aesthetics of internet-based confessional text, Natasha Matila-Smith considers disembodied displays of emotion in the online world, often through the tropes of romance.

If I die, please delete my Soundcloud 2019 is a single channel video work that explores the internet’s lure as both an embodiment of and escape from loneliness. Exploring intimacy at a time when curated online identities are not only commonplace but also expected, the artist sees the possibility of reinventing and selfcensoring as both endless and imminent. Matila-Smith examines how online personalities intersect with real-world ones and what this means for modern identities and society at large.

Originally commissioned by CIRCUIT Artist Film and Video Aotearoa New Zealand, curated by Serena Bentley as part of Personal Space 2019.

ABOUT
Over a number of works that encompass online aesthetics and confessional text, installation artist Natasha Matila-Smith explores the language of social interactions and the systems and complexities of intimacy. Through themes of longing and desire, and both intersectional and universal perspectives, she extends these concerns by considering our metaphysical relationship with digital space. Matila-Smith has exhibited across New Zealand and internationally. She has held solo shows in Artspace Aotearoa’s Mezzanine Space, Auckland; Te Tuhi, Auckland; and Blue Oyster Art Project Space, Dunedin.

Matila-Smith has been in group shows at The Dowse Museum, Wellington; FirstDraft Gallery, Sydney; Waikato Museum, Hamilton; Verge Gallery, Sydney; Bus Projects, Melbourne; Rotterdam International Film Festival, Rotterdam; and Te Uru, Auckland. In 2018, she was selected for the Feminism and Pop Culture Networking Tour to Berlin with Goethe-Institut.

Patricia Urquiola

SPAIN, BORN 1961
LIVES AND WORKS IN MILAN

PROJECT
Recycled woollen island 2020 is the first major installation by the designer in Australia; a large-scale, floor-based installation commissioned by the NGV. The installation is an interactive resting place that encourages audiences to pause and reflect on the intricate details and colour arrays of the NGV Great Hall ceiling by artist Leonard French. The project consists of numerous super-sized ‘socks’ resting on a carpet ‘island’. Drawing on Urquiola’s ongoing investigation into environmental production, recycled textile, and artisanal crafts, the work turns recycled wool felt and upcycled PET textile into sophisticated furnishings – hand fabricated by Valencia-based furniture and textile manufacturer GAN with associated artisans. Continuing Urquiola’s passion for the capacity of objects to have an embedded narrative, message or meaning, this project draws upon the universal language of humour. Giant socks create a quirky and evocative landscape within which to rest and play. Urquiola’s intention is for these ‘soft giants’ to create a utopian space where socks are larger than humans, and where the colours of the ceiling plus the colours of the installation will ‘melt together with each sun ray’.

ABOUT
Patricia Urquiola studied architecture and design at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid and completed her studies at the Politecnico di Milano. In Spain, she has been awarded the Golden Medal for Merits in Art and received the Cross of the Order of Isabella the Catholic. In 2001 Urquiola founded her own studio where she specialised in industrial product design, architecture, art direction and strategy consulting. She has been the Creative Director of Italian designer furniture group Cassina since 2015. Urquiola’s work is exhibited in many art and design museums across the world, including MOMA in New York, the Decorative Arts Museum in Paris, the Triennale Museum in Milan, the Vitra Design Museum in Basel, and the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. She has been named Designer of the Year by Wallpaper, Elle Decor International, AD España and Architecktur und Wohnen among other magazines.

The NGV warmly thanks Triennial Lead Supporter Joe White Bequest for their support.

Phumzile Khanyile

SOUTH AFRICA, BORN 1991
LIVES AND WORKS IN JOHANNESBURG

PROJECT
Photographer Phumzile Khanyile’s work considers the expression and exploration of female identity and sexuality. The four works included in NGV Triennial are from her most well-known body of work to date: the 2016 series Plastic Crowns. The photographs are self-portraits in which the artist broadly examines ideas about identity, sexuality, beauty and social expectations. Khanyile reflects on this series: ‘I explore beyond the tragic boundaries of what my grandmother would consider a ‘good woman’, probing stereotypical ideas of gender, sexual preference and related stigmas and their relevance in contemporary society. I am interested in how having multiple partners can be an expression of choice as opposed to it being an indicator of low morality, based on social conventions. This body of work is a journey of self-discovery.’

ABOUT
Phumzile Khanyile studied photography at the Market Photo Workshop in Johannesburg and in 2015 was awarded the Gisèle Wulfsohn Mentorship Prize. In this capacity she worked with American photographer Ayana V. Jackson and, under her mentorship, Khanyile created the 2016 series Plastic Crowns. Since this time, she has participated in several group exhibitions and held her first solo show in 2017. The following year Khanyile was awarded the Contemporary African Photography prize.

The NGV warmly thanks Triennial Major Supporter Bowness Family Foundation for their support.

Pierre Mukeba

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO, BORN 1995
LIVES AND WORKS IN ADELAIDE

PROJECT
Pierre Mukeba’s Impartiality 2018 is a large-scale textile painting depicting a group of four women looking intently back at the viewer. The figures are drawn with brush pen on unprimed cotton cloth and printed fabrics, in vibrant patterns, are applied to sections of the work. Mukeba uses patterned Dutch wax print fabrics commonly perceived as being ‘African’, while in reality, they were appropriated from traditional Javanese batik by Dutch colonisers in the 19th century, mass produced in Europe and exported to Africa. This painting is part of a group of recent works by Mukeba, in which he draws on socio-cultural standards of beauty and representations of his community. Mukeba also seeks to open audiences’ eyes to the plight of refugees as a result of a civil war in Africa and current narratives relevant to the African- Australian experience.

ABOUT
Pierre Mukeba was a child when he fled with his family from the Democratic Republic of the Congo to Zambia, where they lived in a refugee camp before joining family in Zimbabwe. Following the Mugabe regime’s arrest order for non-nationals, the family applied for asylum through the Australian Embassy and relocated to Adelaide in 2006. Largely self-taught, Mukeba has had no formal art education. He has been exhibiting his work since 2017, including solo presentations at GAGPROJECTS, Hamilton Gallery, Sydney Art Fair and Melbourne Art Fair. Mukeba was recently included in the Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art and in 2019 was awarded the Ramsay Art Prize, Lipman Karas People’s Choice Award, through the Art Gallery of South Australia.

The NGV warmly thanks Triennial Major Supporter Anne Ross for her support.

Pirjo Haikola

FINLAND, BORN 1979
LIVES AND WORKS IN MELBOURNE

PROJECT
From Tasmania to Northern California and up to the Arctic, lush kelp forests thriving in cold, nutrient-rich waters offer one of the ocean’s most bio-diverse ecosystems. They are crucial for a healthy planet, both above and below the surface. Around the world, these ecosystems are being devastated by steady rises in ocean temperatures, increasing nutrient levels, and an explosion in sea urchin populations. Sea urchins are capable of reducing kelp forests to wastelands, which poses a major threat to the ongoing survival of many marine species and habitats.

Combining her skills as a designer, researcher and SCUBA diving instructor, Dr Pirjo Haikola has focused her practice on developing a commercial use for sea urchins to reduce the threat to marine life. In Urchin Corals 2020, she has developed a landscape of 3D-printed corals from a new material manufactured from the shells and spikes of the Purple sea urchin (Heliocidaris erythrogramma) and the Black sea urchin (Centrostephanus rodgersii) blend with biopolymers.

The sea urchin material presented in Haikola’s Triennial installation is part of ongoing investigation into the beneficial properties of sea urchin shells and has led to a collaboration on material development and testing for coral reef restoration purposes.

ABOUT
Dr Pirjo Haikola is a designer, researcher and scuba diving instructor. Her work investigates how design can contribute to regenerating marine ecosystems and creating awareness of marine problems.

Haikola is a Lecturer and Industry Fellow in Design Innovation and Technology at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia. She has held positions at Aalto University in Finland, IADE University in Portugal and the Why Factory future cities research group at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. Dr Haikola earned her PhD as a Marie Curie Fellow within a network of European Universities at the University of Aveiro in Portugal and has a Master’s degree from Design Academy Eindhoven, the Netherlands.

The NGV warmly thanks Triennial Supporters Brendan & Grace O’Brien for their support.

Porky Hefer

SOUTH AFRICA, BORN 1968
LIVES AND WORKS IN CAPE TOWN

PROJECT
Plastocene – Marine Mutants from a disposable world 2020 is Porky Hefer’s major new work consisting of a series of large-scale handmade environments based upon imaginary sea creatures from a dystopian future he calls the Plastocene. This collection, including a 14m wide x 3.6m high octopus constructed of giant hand-felted cigarette butts, is made with a community of artisans and the team at Southern Guild in Cape Town. Marking the end of the Anthropocene, our current fossil-fuelled epoch, Hefer’s creatures remind us of plastic bags, straws, coffee cups, trash, and the discarded detritus of hyper-consumerism, convenience and environmental neglect. He speculates that in a distant future some species might transmutate, adapting to the endless abundance of plastics and pollutants flooded into nature. In a twist of evolutionary fate, Hefer imagines what would happen if refined hydrocarbon distillates from fossil fuels fused with organic DNA to generate a new type of life – transitional forms that exemplify the mutant fruits of our fossil-fuel era. The toxic future painted here is one that humans would struggle to inhabit. But at best, Hefer hopes that life continues in this new form, following the mass extinction that he sees us so selfishly perpetuating.

ABOUT
Designer Porky Hefer spent 16 years in advertising, during which time he worked as a creative director in Cape Town and New York, and became one of South Africa’s most awarded creatives. Realising that the higher he climbed, the less he personally created, he left advertising in 2007 to start up the creative consultancy Animal Farm. Four years later he founded Porky Hefer Design. Hefer focuses on conceptual precepts, which manifest in three dimensional forms, from public sculpture to product and furniture design. Intrigued by the reactions and energy a piece can generate, he embraces Africa and the skills that are readily available indigenously, rather than trying to emulate foreign processes. Hefer sees beauty in the functional, the ordinary and discarded. He regularly challenges our relationships with everyday objects, inspiring us to look again.

The NGV warmly thanks Triennial Champions Barry Janes & Paul Cross and Neville & Diana Bertalli for their support.

Refik Anadol

TURKEY, BORN 1985
LIVES AND WORKS IN LOS ANGELES

PROJECT
Commissioned by the NGV, Quantum Memories 2020 is Refik Anadol’s most technically and conceptually ambitious work to date. The work explores the opportunities presented by artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and quantum computing to visualise an everchanging large-scale immersive multimedia artwork. Harnessing a dataset drawn from over two hundred million images linked to nature from publicly available internet resources and processed using quantum computing with machine learning algorithms, Anadol’s work uses the data to speculate an alternate dimension of the natural world as a complex cultural entity with memory. The first true quantum artwork created, Anadol’s arresting visuals and accompanying audio are composed in collaboration with a generative algorithm enabled by AI. In taking the data that flows around us as his primary material and the neural network of a quantum mind as his collaborator, Anadol paints with a thinking brush offering us radical visualisations of our digitised memories of the natural realm. By representing the complexity of our collective memory in the largest digital artwork staged by the NGV, the artist encourages us to imagine the beginning of a quantum computerised mind and its immense potential for the future of art and design.

ABOUT
New media artist Refik Anadol has created a body of work that locates creativity at the intersection of humans and machines. His site-specific parametric data sculptures, live audio/visual performances and immersive installations take many forms, while encouraging us to rethink our engagement with the physical world, its temporal and spatial dimensions, and the creative potential of the machine.

Exhibiting extensively in North America, Europe and Asia since 2009, Anadol’s works were presented in 2019 at the Florence Biennale, Italy; National Museum of China, Beijing; and Hermitage Museum, Moscow. In 2018 his works were exhibited at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Arizona and Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles, where he worked with the Artists and Machine Intelligence programme at Google Arts and Culture to project imagery onto the entire façade of the building.

The NGV warmly thanks Triennial Champions Barry Janes & Paul Cross and Loti & Victor Smorgon Fund for their support.

NEC is extremely proud to be a supporting partner of the NGV Triennial 2020 and Refik Anadol’s Quantum Memories digital artwork. As a company that believes in bringing the best in technology together with the best in humanity, this is an exciting new partnership for NEC Australia.

SUPPORTER

Richard Quinn

ENGLAND, BORN 1990
LIVES AND WORKS IN LONDON

PROJECT
Look 2, Ensemble is from Richard Quinn’s 2020 autumn-winter collection. Embellished overall with diamantes, buttons, bugle beads and faux pearls, the outfit references the dress codes of English Pearly Kings and Queens. Adapted from the decorative button trims favoured by London costermongers (street traders) in the late 19th century and used by pearly societies to draw attention to their charitable fundraising, pearly costumes were densely embroidered with patterns, symbols and slogans, such as the heart of charity. In this work, Quinn riffs on a specifically British working-class tradition through the lens of couture craftsmanship. Featuring a punk-inspired quip, ‘GOD SAVE THE QUINN’, embroidered around the hemline, the work references English Royalty, the hereditary nature of Pearly King and Queen titles and the lineage of Quinn’s own fashion house.

ABOUT
Richard Quinn received a Master of Arts (Fashion) from Central Saint Martins and established his namesake label in 2016. Known for his vivid floral textiles, his designs typically combine overblown volume, subversive head-to-toe print, latex and face masks. In 2018, Quinn received the inaugural Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design. The award was presented by Her Majesty the Queen at the conclusion of Quinn’s 2018 autumn-winter collection and acknowledged his commitment to sustainable and collaborative design practices – particularly his establishment of an open-access print studio in South London as an affordable resource for fellow designers and students. In 2018 Quinn also dressed VIP guest Amal Clooney for the Met Gala.

Rive Roshan

THE NETHERLANDS, ESTABLISHED 2012
BASED IN AMSTERDAM

PROJECT
Displayed as part of a broad range of projects relating to ideas of illumination, and set amongst the NGV historical collection, Colour dial table, sunrise light 2020 is a circular glass table treated with a surface colour gradient. The piece is a continuation by Rive Roshan, the artistic practice of Ruben de la Rive Box & Golnar Roshan, exploring hues of colour on a glass surface. Light that falls onto the table travels through the glass picking up the different tones and leaves a coloured trail on the surrounding floor. The intention is to use the table as a projector or lens, creating the effect that time is caught in hues settling down on the surface. The resultant image is ever-changing depending on the angle of the source of light. Colour dial table, sunrise light is part of a new body of work by the duo exploring the journey of colour and movement through light.

ABOUT
Rive Roshan is the artistic practice of Ruben de la Rive Box (Netherlands, 1981) and Golnar Roshan (Australia, 1986), working at the intersection of art and design. The studio creates edition objects and immersive installations to connect with people intuitively and leave impressions that last a lifetime. Through exploring the interplay of light, colour, perception and materiality, the studio aims to create sensorial wonder and stimulate emotional well-being. Rive Roshan create worlds with a progressively driven narrative that shift perspectives. Through their work they aim to tell stories that bring about awareness, diversity and change through the transformative power of creativity. Rive Roshan’s work has been exhibited at Les Musée des Arts Decoratifs Paris, The Old Selfridges Hotel London, MAAS Sydney, Shanghai Museum of Glass, Museum JAN.

Generously supported by NGV Supporters of Contemporary Design and Architecture.

Sabine Marcelis

THE NETHERLANDS, BORN 1985
LIVES AND WORKS IN ROTTERDAM

PROJECT
Sabine Marcelis’ Dawn XXXIII 2015 is one of twelve light works from the designer’s 2015 Dawn light series featuring a large circular wall light cast in red and yellow polyester resin. Embedded within the resin is a white glass neon circle, illuminating the work to evoke the warm orange and red hues of the sun rising at dawn. The designer’s work captures a temporal, spatial, spectacular phenomena that occurs each day. Caused by the scattering and refraction of particles in the earth’s atmosphere, our visual perception of the burning star is informed by the character of the light reflected. Inspiring wonder, surprise and fear in human beings throughout history, the aesthetics of the cosmos as observed in every day and rare experiences is underpinned by humanity’s enduring preoccupation with making sense of light and its dynamic interaction between objects, the environment and radiant energy. Dawn XXXIII belongs to a collection of contemporary art and design works assembled for the NGV Triennial ‘floor of light’.

ABOUT
Sabine Marcelis is a designer working with light, glass and resin, known for her distinctive furniture, object and lighting designs realised in primary forms and luminous colours. Her designs challenge the perception of industrial materials and processes to achieve exquisite aesthetic effects in one-off and limited-edition design works.

Establishing Studio Sabine Marcelis in 2012 in Rotterdam, Marcelis has exhibited nationally and internationally since 2010. Her work has appeared at Dutch Design Week, Eindhoven (2013); Musee des arts Décoratifs, Paris (2015); Design Miami, Florida (2015); Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam (2016); and, Salon del Mobile, Milan (2015-2019). In 2020 Marcelis created a collection of sculptural interventions for the Mies van Der Rohe Barcelona Pavilion.

The NGV warmly thanks Triennial Major Supporters Esther Frenkiel OAM & David Frenkiel for their support.

Salon et Lumière

First held in 1667, the annual Salon in Paris was the official exhibiting organ of the French Académie des Beaux-Arts (Fine Arts Academy). Until the emergence of commercial dealer galleries in the mid-nineteenth century, the Salon provided many artists with the only opportunity to show their work and hopefully attract sales and patronage. By the mid-nineteenth century thousands of paintings were presented floor to ceiling, as closely together as possible. Visitors sometimes brought spyglasses to these exhibitions, in order to see the works that were ‘skied’ or hung close to the exhibition venue’s ceilings. In a similar fashion, the Royal Academy in London held the first of its annual contemporary art shows in 1769. Growing exponentially each year, by the mid to late nineteenth century its shows were bursting at the seams. Receiving multitudes of visitors each year, from all levels of society, both the Paris Salon and the Royal Academy exhibitions acted, before the invention of cinema, as primary vehicles for disseminating contemporary visual culture to its visitors.

The National Gallery of Victoria’s Salon Gallery, with more than 140 paintings and a dozen sculptures on display, transports visitors back in time to an era when jostling crowds thronged the great Salon and Royal Academy exhibitions with wonder, excitement and hunger for information. Salon et lumière seeks to recreate the exhilaration experienced by nineteenth-century audiences in a twenty-first-century context, utilising modern illumination and projection techniques and an immersive soundscape to capture for today’s audiences the immersive thrill felt by their forebears more than a century and a half ago. By selectively illuminating an assortment of stories drawn from the many narratives on display in the Salon Gallery – animalia, love and loss, music, punishment, clouds, horses, and the colour pink – Salon et lumière embodies the clamorous power of these great exhibitions.

This project is proudly supported by Major Partner, Telstra

Creative Director: Benjamin Ducroz, NGV Multimedia Manager
Lead Moving Image Designer: Taylor Curry
Lead Sound Design: Cornel Wilczek
Thematic Development: Dr Ted Gott, NGV Senior Curator, International Art

Sarah Waiswa

UGANDA, BORN 1980
LIVES AND WORKS IN NAIROBI

PROJECT
The photographs in Sarah Waiswa’s 2016 series Stranger in a familiar land are staged portraits of an albino woman, Florence Kisombe, captured within the Kibera slums in Kenya. The photographs oscillate between seemingly documentary images of Kisombe interacting with local people, and highly staged, surrealist-inspired photographs of the woman set in the rough, urban landscape. Working closely with the model to choreograph each scene, Waiswa’s images convey the cruel realities of a woman being rejected because of her physical appearance within her own country. Describing her model, Waiswa wrote: ‘[Kisombe] is very outgoing, wants to be a model, and I knew she would be perfect for the project. The concept of Stranger in a familiar land groups together various portraits of an albino woman set against the backdrop of the Kibera slums, which are a metaphor for my turbulent vision of the outside world. The series also explores how the sense of non-belonging has led her to wander and exist in a dreamlike state. People notice Kisombe, but at the same time, they don’t.’

ABOUT
Sarah Waiswa moved to the United States in 1999 and completed an undergraduate degree in Sociology at Berea College, Kentucky, and a master’s degree in Industrial and Organisational Psychology at Eastern Kentucky University. After working for several years in the corporate field, Waiswa moved to Kenya in 2010 and turned to photography as a means of reconnecting, visually, with her home. In 2015, she abandoned her corporate career to focus entirely on photography. That same year she was a category winner in the Uganda Press Photo Award. In 2016 Waiswa was awarded the prestigious Rencontres d’Arles Discovery Award, which is given to a photographer whose work has been recently discovered, for her Stranger in a familiar land series.

Scotty So

HONG KONG, BORN 1995
LIVES AND WORKS IN MELBOURNE

PROJECT
China Masks 2020 presents a set of eight porcelain facemasks and six photographic prints that reflect Scotty So’s experience of the COVID-19 pandemic in Melbourne and the 2003 SARs crisis in Hong Kong. To So, wearing masks is just a normal measure to prevent spreading sickness to others but he now notes there is ‘a huge debate and fear in mask wearing during the current COVID–19 pandemic’. The artist is drawing attention to the fact that masks have become a symbol of fear and led to racial assaults on the Asian community, which adopted mask wearing at the beginning of the pandemic. Through this project, So plays with the similarity in the colours of surgical and N95 masks via jade green celadon hues and other Chinese porcelain traditions. Making porcelain ‘china’ masks, the artist finds beauty and irony in the fragile material when it’s used as safety gear. His accompanying photographic prints are part of an ongoing project to incorporate cloth face masks into ‘fake’ old photos and then upload them on different Wikipedia pages.

ABOUT
Scotty So works across media, using painting, photography, site-responsive installation, video and drag performance to explore the often-contradictory relationship between humour and sincerity within our lives. Born and raised in Hong Kong, So graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts with First Class Honours at the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne, Australia, 2019. So’s work has been displayed in two solo and several group shows, including exhibitions in Hong Kong, Greater China and Australia.

Siji Krishnan

INDIA, BORN 1983
LIVES AND WORKS IN KOCHI

PROJECT
Siji Krishnan foregrounds the interdependence of life, community and family in her exquisitely executed watercolour Father’s Portrait 2016. Having grown up in the countryside of southern India, she revisits childhood memories and early sensual impressions, such as the sounds of her village life and the fragrance of flowers.

Father’s Portrait is from a group of portraits the artist dedicated to her family. They function as manifestations of subjective remembrances, capturing moments of isolation and interaction. Rendered by processes of retrospection, her subjects are placed in rural settings that are reminiscent of her native village. They are united in lively get-togethers of different generations, with representatives of infancy, youth, adulthood and advanced age. Each family member is characterised through singular props, bearing distinct attributes of a trade or occupation.

To prepare the perfect ground for this panoramic display that spans over three meters, Krishnan layers and combines rice paper of varying thickness and texture. After numerous washings with watercolour, the paper achieves a suppleness, and a singular patina. On this smoothened surface, Krishnan paints with great delicacy and commitment to each subject, exploring a rich variety of human forms and conditions.

ABOUT
Siji Krishnan attained her BFA at the Raja Ravi College of Fine Arts in Kerala and her MFA at the Sarojini Naidu School of Fine Arts in Hyderabad. She has held solo exhibitions at Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke in Mumbai (2012 and 2016), and her works have been shown at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, Kerala (2012) and the Moscow Biennale of International Contemporary Art, Moscow (2017). In 2019 Krishnan was an artist in residence at the Koganecho Art Center in Yokohama, Japan. Her works are held in important public collections such as the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia; the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi, India; and The Minneapolis Institute of Art, USA.

Generously supported by Ruth Margaret Frances Houghton Bequest.

Soheila Sokhanvari

IRAN, BORN 1969
LIVES AND WORKS IN CAMBRIDGE

PROJECT
Paradise lost 2014–16 is a set of 20 small paintings related to Soheila Sokhanvari’s childhood memories. Collectively, the works present a portrait of the artist, her family and Iranian society around the time of the 1979 Iranian Revolution. The NGV’s nine works from the series are recreations of family photographs, painted in a sepia tone commonly associated with historical photographs. The ‘paint’ is Iranian crude oil that Sokhanvari sourced from an oil refinery in her birthplace, Shiraz. This choice of medium is an integral part of the meaning of the work. It suggests that a personal or family portrait is never a self-contained story, because it is embedded in a network of social and economic relationships. These relationships are represented here by Iranian oil, which has played a crucial role in Iranian history and Sokhanvari’s own exile from her home.

ABOUT
For the purpose of education, Soheila Sokhanvari moved with her brother, from Iran to England in 1978. A year later she watched the tumultuous events of the 1979 Iranian Revolution unfold from afar. Remaining in England, Sokhanvari graduated from Chelsea College of Art and Design with a Postgraduate Diploma in Fine Art in 2006 and a Master of Fine Art from Goldsmiths College in 2011. Sokhanvari works in various media and chooses her mode of expression according to the ideas she wants to communicate in each work. She has exhibited regularly, and her works are held in national and international private and public collections.

Steven Rhall

AUSTRALIA, BORN 1971
LIVES AND WORKS IN MELBOURNE

PROJECT
Steven Rhall’s immersive installation Air dancer as black body 2019 is made up of a nylon inflatable air dancer, sensor activated fan, and spotlight. Audiences approach a darkened room and, upon triggering the sensor, activate a spotlight and fan, which inflates the air dancer with a loud and violent burst of action. Drawing attention to the history of violence against black bodies, the work is a commentary on how non-white bodies appear in Eurocentric frameworks of art and culture. In addition, the work explores the human conditions of loneliness and isolation, which feel more relevant than ever in 2020.

ABOUT
Taungurong artist Steven Rhall describes himself as a postconceptual artist operating from a First Nation, white-passing, cis-male positionality. His interdisciplinary practice responds to the intersectionality of First Nation art practice and the Western art canon. Rhall is interested in interrogating modes of representation, classification and hierarchy through formats including installation, performance, sculpture, curatorial practice and public/private interventions. He exhibits internationally, lectures at the Victorian College of the Arts and is a PhD candidate at Monash University on Birrarung-ga land (Melbourne, Australia).

Stuart Haygarth

ENGLAND, BORN 1966
LIVES AND WORKS IN LONDON

PROJECT
Optical (tinted) 2009 is a large spherical light created from more than 4,500 tinted prescription spectacle lenses. Recycled from used optical frames, the lenses have been meticulously grouped according to colour density. The work explores the narratives of time, loss, consumption and modernity. Engaging in the process of collecting and sorting discarded objects, Haygarth elevates them to items of value and beauty through the production of handcrafted contemporary lighting. The more dense and cloudy lenses appear at the nucleus of the chandelier, gradually becoming clear towards the outer layers of the form, where the lenses appear virtually transparent. Illuminated from its core, light is refracted through the many layers of lenses both tinted and clear. The overall effect is a large dazzling crystal-like disco ball, which on closer inspection is composed of optical elements designed to aid and focus human sight. Optical (tinted) belongs to a collection of contemporary art and design works for the NGV Triennial centred around the theme of illumination.

ABOUT
Stuart Haygarth is recognised for repurposing commonplace objects to produce compelling lighting designs and installations. He employs the flotsam and jetsam of everyday life – from manmade debris washed up on the seashore to salvaged objects from thrift stores, Haygarth’s works capture a critical moment in the story of contemporary design, engaging with issues of consumption, disposable culture and sustainability.

Haygarth has exhibited his work widely throughout Europe and North America since 2007 with works appearing at the Venice Biennale, Italy (2019); Victoria & Albert Museum, London (2013); and Design Museum, London (2011). Haygarth’s work is held in both public and private collections, including: Design Museum, London; Museum of Art & Design, New York; Craig Robins Collection, Miami; David Roberts Art Foundation, London; and Museum Fur Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg, Germany.

The NGV warmly thanks the 2018 NGV Curatorial Tour donors for their support of this work.

Susan Philipsz

SCOTLAND, BORN 1965
LIVES AND WORKS IN BERLIN

PROJECT
A Single Voice 2017 is inspired by the work of Swedish writer Harry Martinson whose 1956 epic poem Aniara was adapted by Karl-Birger Blomdahl into a modernist opera of the same name. Aniara is a sci-fi tragedy following the fate of a group of would-be colonists on a spaceship that flees a poisoned planet Earth to start a new life on Mars, but after it strays off course it is doomed to drift endlessly in space. In A Single Voice Philipsz isolates the first violin from the rest of the score and then deconstructs the violin’s music into its 12 separate tones. Each note is then assigned its own speaker causing the sounds to emerge at different times and from different points in the room. The sound installation is anchored by a film, which depicts a violinist playing alone in a darkened space. Here the camera closely orbits the musician’s body, precisely locating the source of the sound in stark contrast to the disembodied noise emanating from the other speakers. The film and sound are stripped back to create a very intimate portrayal of isolation and solitude that touches on the core issues of the human condition.

Borne out of an ecological disaster on Earth, the dystopian story of Aniara remains relevant today as we continue to pollute and make it vulnerable.

ABOUT
Susan Philipsz’ work deals with the spatial properties of sound and the relationships between sound and architecture. She is particularly interested in the emotive and psychological properties of sound and how it can be used as a device to alter individual consciousness.

Selected exhibitions include Seven Tears, Pulitzer Art Foundation, St. Louis (2019); I See a Darkness, The Tanks, Tate Modern, London (2018); Separated Strings, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden (2018); Resonating Spaces, Fondation Beyeler, Basel (2019); Machines a Penser, Fondazione Prada, Venice (2018); Soundings, A Contemporary Score, MoMA, New York, (2013); dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel (2012); Haunted, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2010); Turner Prize, Tate Britain, London (2010); Sydney Biennale, Sydney (2008); Skulptur Projekte Münster 07, Münster, (2007).

The NGV warmly thanks Triennial Champions Barry Janes & Paul Cross for their support.

Tabor Robak

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, BORN 1986
LIVES AND WORKS IN NEW YORK

PROJECT
Megafauna 2020 is a new work by Tabor Robak, which takes the form of an immersive installation spreading across a whole gallery space. Commissioned and acquired for the NGV Collection, Megafauna is a group of computer-generated animations that surrounds the viewer on video screens and projections.

Numerous highly detailed digital sculptures – called Magi – glow in the darkened space. On the floor a digital projection responds to our movement, and before us is a glowing control console. The imagery in Megafauna is visually derived from micro-biology, advanced robotics, data storage, and sacred iconography. The installation, lit by the light of these numerous digital images, feels like a sacred space or a monument.

Moving constantly on the screens of the Magi are animated forms – part-organic, part-machine – that recall the technologies that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is most likely to emerge from: geoimaging and cartography, military science and weaponisation, banking and healthcare.

Megafauna is about the mythology of AI and advanced technology, exploring the god-like importance we place on it in our present trajectory as a society. The work explores the ethical and philosophical implications of our attitude to technology.

ABOUT
Tabor Robak is a new media artist who graduated in 2010 from the Pacific Northwest College of Art. Since this time he has participated in over 60 exhibitions worldwide, including seven solo shows in the US and Europe. Robak’s art has been exhibited in over 15 countries and has been acquired by a number of major museums, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zürich. His work examines the relationship between humanity, nature, and technology, often blurring the lines of the real and artificial.

The NGV warmly thanks Triennial Champions Barry Janes & Paul Cross for their support.

Deakin University is proud to support Tabor Robak to present Megafauna for NGV Triennial 2020. Vice-Chancellor Professor Iain Martin said, ‘The opportunity presented by immersive environments through design is a shared interest in both Robak’s work and Deakin’s suite of creative and design programs, and research innovations. Our coming together presents exciting opportunities to use design to rethink our future.’

MAJOR PARTNER

Talin Hazbar

SYRIA, BORN 1988
LIVES AND WORKS IN DUBAI

PROJECT
Accretions 2020 presents a series of five evocative and intriguing light works, literally grown in the waters off the coast of Sharjah. The designer’s practice questions our understanding of, and relationship to, nature and its systems. Accretions continues Hazbar’s ongoing enquiry into the capacity of the earth’s oceans to nurture life and organic processes capable of creating ornament, structure and form. Drawing on the natural systems of the ocean, where calcium accumulation and accretion is commonplace, Hazbar repeatedly submerges hand forged steel armatures to encourage the growth of molluscs, crustaceans and corals. The calcium carbonate structures these life-forms construct on the surface of the armature transform it into an ornate light shade. Through this process, each shade becomes a specimen of the specific ecologies, conditions and life-forms that inhabit the area of submersion. In relinquishing control of this phase of production to natural processes, Hazbar offers an example of how, through respect and understanding of natural forces and systems, designers can work collaboratively with nature to grow structures and produce materials of great functionality and unique beauty.

ABOUT
Talin Hazbar works across architecture, design and art to connect with surrounding landscapes and the intricate materiality of the natural world. Through her research-based study of architecture, she looks to redefine material experimentation to better understand the context of landscapes, material properties and organic processes so that they may be both sensitively and functionally applied in creative practice. Hazbar has been selected for the dieDAS Fellowship program 2020 in Design Academy Saaleck. In 2018 she was commissioned to exhibit in Co-Lab: Contemporary Art and Savoir Faire exhibited at the Louvre Abu Dhabi. She has exhibited locally in the United Arab Emirates and internationally at fairs and institutions including Design Days Dubai, Dubai Design Week, Beijing Design Week, Warehouse 421, Third Line dxb Gallery and Art Dubai. Hazbar holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the American University of Sharjah 2012. In 2015 she completed the Salama Bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Emerging Artists Fellowship program in collaboration with Rhode Island School of Design, Abu Dhabi and the Tanween Design Program, Tashkeel, Dubai.

The NGV warmly thanks Triennial Lead Supporter Gordon Moffatt AM for his support.

Tomoaki Suzuki

JAPAN, BORN 1972
LIVES AND WORKS IN LONDON

PROJECT
NGV Triennial features nine works by Tomoaki Suzuki made between 2009 and 2020. The most recent sculpture is Marisa, based on a Canadian citizen living in London. Just before lockdown was imposed in the UK in March 2020, Marisa left in a hurry to join her family in Canada and Suzuki had to finish the sculpture working remotely, with the model posing in front of a computer in Canada and the artist working on the sculpture in front of a screen in Dalston. Over the past two decades, Suzuki has employed a unique approach in creating his hand carved lime wood sculptures. The first stage is the selection of the model. The artist looks for people with a distinctive sense of style, immersed in the present. Once the model is identified, Suzuki takes hundreds of photographs and hours of videos. After that, he begins the process of sculpting the figure out of a piece of wood. This stage usually lasts for several months and involves many sessions from life, with the model posing in front of the artist in the studio. The final stage is the painting of the sculpture to capture the different textures and tones of clothing and skin. The figures are scaled down to one third of the model’s size, and when installed, they are positioned directly on the floor. Suzuki contrasts the traditional technique of carving a figure from life with contemporary fashion styles in a practice he describes as ‘taking photographs through sculpture’.

ABOUT
Tomoaki Suzuki moved from Japan to London in 1998 to study at Goldsmiths College. He is best known for his scaled-down, figurative sculptures, carved in wood and meticulously painted. All of his works are portraits of friends or acquaintances that he meets in his neighbourhood of Dalston, London. Suzuki’s models are always young people who have a distinctive style and who use fashion to express their individuality. The artist’s sculptures are installed directly on the floor, encouraging an intimate interaction by the audience.

Suzuki has exhibited internationally for the past 20 years. Recent solo exhibitions include the Art Institute of Chicago; the CAPC in Bordeaux; Museo de Arte SHCP, Mexico City; and Ushaw Gallery, Durham.

The NGV warmly thanks Triennial Champions Neville & Diana Bertalli, Triennial Major Supporters Christopher Thomas AM & Cheryl Thomas and Triennial Supporters Tim Fairfax AC & Gina Fairfax, Janet Whiting AM & Phil Lukies & Family, Gwenneth Nancy Head Foundation and Lisa Ring as well as donors to the 2020 NGV Annual Appeal for their support.

Tomo Koizumi

JAPAN, BORN 1988
LIVES AND WORKS IN TOKYO

PROJECT
Top and skirt, designed 2019 autumn–winter, made 2020, is an ensemble from Tomo Koizumi’s critically acclaimed first collection, presented at New York Fashion Week in February 2019. Characteristic of his practice, the work is maximalist in scale and uses metres of vibrantly-coloured Japanese polyester organza, first formed into ruffles and then machine-stitched together to create the garment. While his dresses typically use between 50 and 80 metres of fabric, this work employs over 200 metres. Choosing to work with one material is a strategy that Koizumi believes will consistently push him to create something new. Top and skirt embodies Koizumi’s exuberant aesthetic, the rainbow-hued ruffles expressive of his stated intention to make fashion that radiates pure joy and beauty.

ABOUT
Tomo Koizumi is an emerging Japanese fashion designer who became the breakout star of the autumn–winter 2019 fashion season. Previously working as a costume designer in Tokyo, with his own brand since 2011, Koizumi captured worldwide attention after one of his customized ruffled ensembles was worn by Lady Gaga in 2016. In 2018 he gained further prominence via Instagram, when his work was brought to the attention of influential English stylist Katie Grand, who helped to orchestrate the presentation of his debut collection at New York Fashion Week. Since then, Koizumi’s exuberant designs have been applauded for their visual and emotional power and singular material vocabulary. Koizumi was recently a finalist in the 2020 LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers, which was ultimately split between the eight contenders due to COVID-19.

The NGV warmly thanks Triennial Major Supporters Krystyna Campbell-Pretty AM & Family, Triennial Supporters Tania & Sam Brougham, Tommy Hilfiger Australia, PVH Brands, Triennial Cricle donors Rob Gould and SIRAP Art Collective as well as donors to the 2020 NGV Annual Appeal for their support.

Tony Albert

AUSTRALIA, BORN 1981
LIVES AND WORKS IN BRISBANE

PROJECT
Tony Albert creates a second life for those captured in ‘Aboriginalia’ – a term Albert uses to describe kitsch objects and images that feature portrayals of Aboriginal people and cultural materials.

Recast from Albert’s vast collection of objects showing racist and often vulgar depictions of Aboriginal people and culture, Nguma 2020 and Yabu 2020 are powerful lamps that interrogate contemporary legacies of colonialism. Translating to father (nguma) and mother (yabu) in Girrimay, one of the artist’s ancestral languages, Albert names the individuals and releases them from their racist caricatures.

In these lighting designs, glass acts as a medium that urges us to recognise the invisible forces that influence us. Glass is both fragile and strong, and like racism, it can be shattered.

This is the first contemporary lighting design made by an Indigenous practitioner to enter the NGV Collection. The work belongs to a collection of contemporary art and design works assembled for the NGV Triennial 2020 ‘floor of light’.

ABOUT
Tony Albert is a contemporary artist working in a wide range of mediums including painting, photography and mixed media. His practice interrogates contemporary legacies of colonialism in a way that prompts the audience to contemplate their own perceptions on First Nation Peoples. Albert’s technique and imagery is distinctly contemporary, displacing traditional Australian Aboriginal aesthetics with ‘Aboriginalia’.

Albert presented his first major institutional solo exhibition, Visible, at the Queensland Art Gallery of Modern Art in 2018. He was the recipient of the 2016 Fleurieu Art Prize, 2014 Basil Sellers Art Prize and 2014 Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Award. In 2013 Albert was commissioned to create a large-scale sculpture for the Sydney Hyde Park War Memorial to commemorate indigenous soldiers.

Tony Matelli

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, BORN 1971
LIVES AND WORKS IN NEW YORK

PROJECT
Tony Matelli is a sculptor who uses figurative, botanical and abstract forms to create objects that are simultaneously humorous and uncanny. He is renowned for his manipulation of hyperreal figures and objects in jarring contexts, and perhaps best known for his work Sleepwalker 2014, a life-size sculpture of a sleeping man in his underwear installed on the High Line in New York.

For NGV Triennial the Gallery has commissioned Hera (bronze) 2020, a bronze rendition of the Greek goddess Hera, in the style of a classical monument of the Queen of the Gods. This singular, larger-than-life-size outdoor figurative sculpture is an extension of Matelli’s Garden Sculptures series, initiated in 2015.

Appearing to be an original marble Greco-Roman sculpture in a state of deterioration, the artist has juxtaposed this with flawless rendered watermelons (also cast from bronze and handpainted) that balance upon her head, within the creases and folds of her drapery, and at her feet. These faux-perishables, poised upon the intentionally eroded and debased figure, are presented in an eternal state of freshness. In doing so, Matelli stages opposing entropic forces, the synthetically preserved, and the forcibly decayed.

ABOUT
Tony Matelli was born in Chicago and received his Bachelor of Fine Art from the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design in 1993 and his Master of Fine Art from the Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1995. Since graduating from his undergraduate degree, he has participated in regular group exhibitions and 52 solo exhibitions. This includes exhibitions at the State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia; the Davis Museum, Massachusetts; Künsterlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin; and the Palais de Tokyo, Paris. A mid-career survey, Tony Matelli: A Human Echo, premiered at the ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum, Denmark in 2012 and travelled to the Bergen Kunstmuseum, Norway in 2013. Matelli’s work is held in numerous public collections around the world including the FLAG Art Foundation, New York; ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum, Aarhus, Denmark; and the National Centre of Contemporary Art, Moscow, Russia.

The NGV warmly thanks Triennial Champions Barry Janes & Paul Cross for their support.

Tromarama

INDONESIA, ESTABLISHED 2006
BASED IN BANDUNG AND JAKARTA

PROJECT
Presented in the 19th Century galleries Solaris 2020 is a mural-sized LED curtain screening a spectacular, luminous ecosystem populated with blooms of jellyfish. Created with a computer program commonly used in video game platforms, the screening presents a digital simulation of a unique marine environment – a landlocked body of salt and rainwater formed over 11,000 years ago, located off the coast of Indonesia’s Kalimantan Island. Predator-free and able to thrive in warm waters, these jellyfish species have evolved differently, providing scientific communities with a living laboratory for studying the potential effects climate change may have on marine systems.

Drawing from real-time weather data from the lake, elements in the simulated world respond to weather changes – wind speed moves the camera across the undulating terrain, temperature readings affect the size and number of jellyfish, and cloud cover and UV readings alter the colour palette of the environment. Situated in a room flanked by similarly large-scale artworks depicting subjects and large-scale events relevant to the 19th century, this contemporary work provides viewers with a virtual forecast of what is arguably one of the most significant events currently affecting the planet today.

ABOUT
Tromarama is an artist collective founded by Febie Babyrose, Herbert Hans and Ruddy Hatumena. Engaging with the notion of hyperreality in the digital age, the artists explore the interrelationship between the virtual and the physical world. The collective often combine video, installations, computer programming and public participation depicting the influence of digital media on society’s perception towards its surroundings.

Tromarama has held solo exhibitions at the Liverpool Biennial Fringe; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; and Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, among others. The collective’s group exhibitions include the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design (MCAD) Manila; Frankfurter Kunstverein; Gwangju Biennale; APT 7 QAGOMA, Brisbane; and the Singapore Art Museum.

The NGV warmly thanks Triennial Supporters David Parncutt and Robin Campbell Family Foundation for their support.

Veronique Ellena

FRANCE, BORN 1966
LIVES AND WORKS IN PARIS

PROJECT
Véronique Ellena is a passionate witness to everyday events, and she works using both documentary and staged photography to tell sensitive stories of contemporary life. Her series of five photographs, Les Invisibles, was commenced in 2008 during her residency at the Villa Médicis, Rome, when she became acutely aware of the presence of homeless people living in the centre of the historic city. The works included in NGV Triennial were created in 2011 when Ellena revisited the scenes she witnessed, as a way to sensitively draw attention to the plight of homeless people living in affluent cities across the world. Each of these photographs shows a shrouded figure, either draped in a blanket or canvas cloth; lying in doorways, on public steps, or on the bases of public monuments. They are eloquent reminders of an altogether too familiar sight in contemporary cites: the too easily overlooked presence of the homeless.

ABOUT
Véronique Ellena studied photography at the National School of Art in Nancy and later at the National School of Visual Arts in Brussels. She began exhibiting her work in 1997, and since that time has held a number of solo exhibitions and participated in numerous group shows. Ellena has been awarded a number of residencies at studios in Europe including the Villa Médicis in Rome and the École des Beaux-arts in Clermont-Ferrand. Her photographs are held in the collections of the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; the Museum of Photography in Charleroi, Belgium; and the Musée Malraux, Le Havre. The works included in NGV Triennial were featured in her first major retrospective exhibition held at the Musée Reattu in Arles in 2018.

The NGV warmly thanks Triennial Champions Barry Janes & Paul Cross for their support.

Vicki West

AUSTRALIA, BORN 1960
LIVES AND WORKS IN LAUNCESTON

PROJECT
Reflection 2020 presents a group of nine kelp sculptures that pay homage to the nine traditional (pre-invasion) nations of Tasmania and are Vicki West’s contemporary re-interpretation of traditional vessels. In these works, she uses her wealth of acquired knowledge to reflect the traditional, material and customary practices of her ancestral family in north eastern Tasmania: the Trawlwoolway people.

West creates her sculptures with the intention that they speak to old and new perceptions of the cultural devastation caused by British Invasion upon the original inhabitants of lutrawita – or Tasmania as it’s now known. West breathes new life into the humblest of customary organic materials and honours the cultural knowledge of women in her community. Her works explore and celebrate cultural survival in the face of continuing colonial myths of her people’s extinction by asserting ‘we are still here’.

ABOUT
Vicki West is a descendant of the Trawlwoolway people of north-eastern Tasmania. She was first introduced to the tradition of Tasmanian Aboriginal basket weaving and working with kelp through a cultural workshop in the early 1990s. Since that time West has become the premier Australian practitioner of kelp. She creates sculptural installations that reflect the impact of British invasion, oppressive government policies and the denial of native title on Tasmanian Aboriginal people. In 2005 West held her first solo show, A Nasty Piece of Work, at Arts Alive Artspace, Launceston. Recent exhibitions include String Theory at Museum of Contemporary Art Australia in Sydney (2013) and Defying Empire: The Third National Indigenous Triennial at the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra (2017).

The NGV warmly thanks Triennial Supporters Nicholas Allen & Helen Nicolay and donors to the 2020 NGV Annual Appeal for their support.

Yann Gerstberger

FRANCE, BORN 1983
LIVES AND WORKS IN MEXICO CITY

PROJECT
Yann Gerstberger’s Queen Niya Yoruba Corona xxx3 2018 and Queen Niya Yoruba Corona xxx2 2018 are part of an ongoing series of tapestries inspired by patterns found in Mexican popular culture, art history and nature. Citing Picabia, Matisse and Rousseau as his inspirations, Gerstberger suggests craftsmanship as a possible continuation of the modernist pictorial project. Through his tapestries, the artist builds a vernacular vocabulary referencing Alejandro Jodorowsky’s comics Fábulas Pánicas, tropical fantasy through a European lens, post-graffiti, and the history of abstraction including its repertoire of mystical shapes.

Gerstberger conceived the original technique used to produce these tapestries. It consists of forming colourful surfaces by gluing fibres of cotton mixed with industrial fabrics (preferably patterned or textured) on vinyl. The cotton fibres are dyed by hand, using a mixture of natural Mexican dyes such as cochineal, and industrial ones like Citocol, the most basic dye that can be found in the supermarket.

ABOUT
Yann Gerstberger is best known for his tapestry works, which he has been working on since 2012. Over the past ten years, he has exhibited in the United States, Peru, Mexico, Belgium, France and Switzerland. Gerstberger’s works are also in the permanent collections of the MATE Museum in Lima; the Kamel Lazaar Foundation in London and Tunis; the Perez Art Museum in Miami; and the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, among others.

The NGV warmly thanks Triennial Major Supporters Vivien & Graham Knowles and Katrina Knowles & Adam Karras for their support.

Yanni Florence

AUSTRALIA, BORN 1965
LIVES AND WORKS IN MELBOURNE

PROJECT
Yanni Florence’s ten untitled photographs from his 2019 Tram Windows series feature portraits of anonymous commuters photographed through scratched and scarred tram windows. Taken at a tram stop opposite the Nicholas Building on Swanston Street in Melbourne, these photographs are sensitive studies of people captured in moments of introspection. Discussing the series, Florence reveals that the initial inspiration came from a famous photograph by Robert Frank of people looking out of a trolley car in New Orleans: ‘I wanted to explore some ideas I saw in that photograph … I took a few photographs of people looking out of tram windows and tried to get as close as possible to make portraits. The passengers sit there, mostly passively waiting for their journey’s end, looking out, watching the world go by. There is a very open, unguarded and accepting look they have, that I tried to show.’

ABOUT
Yanni Florence co-founded and designed the art publication Pataphysics Magazine in 1989. In 1997 he completed a Bachelor of Architecture at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. Florence has been making and publishing photographs since 1990. His monographs comprise thoughtfully nuanced and sequenced selections of images. The works from the Tram Windows series are from his first solo exhibition of photographs in which he extended his practice from the printed page to the gallery wall. Florence’s work has been included in several group exhibitions, including Melbourne Now in 2013. His first solo exhibition, Tram Windows, was held at ReadingRoom Gallery in 2019.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Themes

The projects within the NGV Triennial intersect with many fascinating ideas and pressing issues and topics. Four themes invite audiences to embark on a journey of exploration to discover intersecting ideas through works on display. Intimacy and awe, sadness and beauty, ruination and inspiration – a microcosm of the world today.

Publication

This five-volume publication features contributions by over eighty authors from around the globe and casts a wide gaze across themes that are drawn from the works in the exhibition. Intended to operate in a broader setting than a traditional exhibition catalogue, the volume presents discourses from a variety of perspectives, including those of academics, journalists, literary figures, social commentators, artists and curators.

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Comprising newly commissioned scholarship and insights the publication is richly illustrated with images of works of art and design, photo essays and source and research material from featured artists and designers. The NGV Triennial 2020 publication is intended to contribute to the broader cultural discourse around the subjects and issues that the exhibition explores.

The NGV warmly thanks Triennial Major Supporters Wendy & Paul Bonnici & Family for their support.

CONTRIBUTORS
Glenn Adamson (United States); Annika Aitken (NGV); Asinnajaq (Canada); Elisabetta Barberio (University of Melbourne); William ‘Badger’ Bates (Australia); Merve Bedir (Hong Kong); Laurie Benson (NGV); Tilly Boleyn (Australia); Benjamin Bratton (United States); Ellen Broad (Australia); Kalia Brooks Nelson (United States); Holly Buck (United States); Elisha Buttler (NGV); Guido Casaretto (Turkey); David Challis (University of Melbourne); Gabrielle Chan (Australia); Brendan Churchill (University of Melbourne); Jessica Cole (NGV); Claire G. Coleman (Australia); Edward Colless (University of Melbourne); Claire Collie (University of Melbourne); Wayne Crothers (NGV); Zena Cumpston (Australia); Stefano de Pieri (Australia); Jane Devery (NGV); Manoj Dias (Australia); Maria Cristina Didero (Italy); Myfanwy Doughty (NGV); Kimberly Drew (New York); Amanda Dunsmore (NGV); Tony Ellwood AM (NGV); Anastasiia Fedorova (United Kingdom/ Russia); Rosie Findlay (United Kingdom); Tim Flannery (Australia); Ted Gott (NGV); Anna Gritz (Germany); Ashley Hay (Australia); Jörg Heiser (Germany); Stefanie Hessler (Norway); Lucy Ives (United Kingdom); Sigourney Jacks (NGV); Neelika Jayawardane (United States); Petra Kayser (NGV); Vicki Kirby (Australia); Frances Koya Vaka’utan (Fiji); Tessa Laird (University of Melbourne); Claudia La Rocco (United States); Venus Lau (Hong Kong); Simone LeAmon (NGV); Michelle Lim (Australia); Astrid Lorange (Australia); John Macarthur (Australia); Simon Maidment (NGV); Sarah Martin (Australia); Tony Matelli (United States); Hannah McCann (University of Melbourne); Donna McColm (NGV); Ewan McEoin (NGV); George Megalogenis (Australia); Tom Melick (Australia); Timothy Moore (Australia); David Moyle (Australia); Julie Nagam (Canada); Astrida Neimanis (Australia); Peter Otto (University of Melbourne); Tony Oursler (United States); Megan Patty (NGV); Hannah Presley (NGV); Katharina Prugger (NGV); Maria Quirk (NGV); Steven Rhall (Australia); Zoe Rimmer (Australia); Leah Ruppanner (University of Melbourne); Myles Russell-Cook (NGV); Judith Ryan AM (NGV); Kate Ryan (NGV); Michael Ryan (NGV); Tom Simonite (United States); Meg Slater (NGV); Simone Slee (University of Melbourne); Seetal Solanki (United Kingdom); Victor Steffensen (Australia); Maria Tumarkin (University of Melbourne); Lee Ufan (France/Japan); Susan van Wyk (NGV); Pip Wallis (NGV); Danielle Whitfield (NGV); Eva Wilson (United Kingdom/Germany); Fred Wilson (United States); Charles Yu (United States); Donna Zuckerberg (United States)

The NGV warmly thanks Research Partner the University of Melbourne for its significant contribution to the publication.

Partners

ClemengerNYTThe AustralianAsahiMelbourne Airport7amVogue LivingSmoothFMQMSDuluxNECCity of MelbourneValmorganHerald SunBroadsheetYering StationChadstoneCreative Victoria Mercedes-Benz Telstra EY Macquarie Qantas Corrs Chambers Westgarth RMIT University Deakin University La Trobe University The University of Melbourne Mimco
ClemengerNYTThe AustralianAsahiQMSSmoothFMVogue Living7amMelbourne AirportNECDuluxCity of MelbourneValmorganHerald SunBroadsheetYering StationChadstoneCreative Victoria Mercedes-Benz Telstra EY Macquarie Qantas Corrs Chambers Westgarth RMIT University Deakin University La Trobe University The University of Melbourne Mimco

LOOKING BACK

Triennial 2017

Featuring the work of over 100 artists and designers from 32 countries, the NGV Triennial surveys the world of art and design, across cultures, scales, geographies and perspectives.

@NGVMelbourne #NGVTriennial2017