Exhibition Program / Making Art Public
34 ephemeral projects, creatively re-imagined and presented together for the first time, always free to the public.
Making Art Public
50 YEARS OF KALDOR PUBLIC ART PROJECTS
Making Art Public is an exhibition that celebrates the 50th anniversary of Kaldor Public Art Projects. Over half a century, our 34 temporary projects in public spaces have had a profound impact on Australians’ experience of contemporary art.
In 1969, John Kaldor brought artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude to Australia, where they made one of the most ambitious public artworks ever seen. Titled Wrapped Coast – One Million Square Feet, Little Bay, Sydney, Australia, the project enveloped 2.5km of coastline with fabric and rope. Its success captured international attention, initiating what was to become the world’s first public art organisation.
The exhibition has been created by British artist Michael Landy. Rather than take the form of a conventional retrospective, it brings an artist’s perspective to bear on the Kaldor Public Art Projects completed to date.
Landy has reimagined each within an oversized archive box, using archives, documentation and remnant artworks to distil and reincarnate the projects in new and surprising forms. Installed out of chronological sequence, the archive boxes each offer markedly different experiences and reveal diverse approaches to making art public.
Allora & Calzadilla
Stop, Repair, Prepare: Variations on 'Ode to Joy' for a Prepared Piano
Never before seen in Sydney, Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla’s Stop, Repair, Prepare: Variations on ‘Ode to Joy’ for a Prepared Piano will be presented in the Entrance Court of the Art Gallery of NSW over two weeks. At once poetic and athletic, the work combines music, performance and sculpture to create a captivating experience for audiences.
Stop, Repair, Prepare… is performed by specially trained pianists on a modified Bechstein grand piano, on loan for the occasion from the Castello di Rivoli in Turin, Italy.
This reprisal has been made possible by the artists, Allora & Calzadilla; the Castello di Rivoli, Turin, Italy; Sydney Conservatorium of Music; and IAS Fine Art Logistics.
JENNIFER ALLORA & GUILLERMO CALZADILLA
Jennifer Allora & Guillermo Calzadilla create works that explore societal systems and are characterised by their sense of playfulness and use of humour. They respond to these contemporary issues by using visual art as a tool for experimentation and research, creating poetic videos, photographs, collages, sculptures and installations. Allora & Calzadilla often include performative elements in their works, soliciting public interaction and participation.
This Is So Contemporary
Your chance to experience the work of artist Tino Sehgal, who is renowned for creating art that leaves no material trace. This Is So Contemporary, which debuted in Australia at the Art Gallery of NSW in 2014, cannot be photographed, and must be experienced through direct, interpersonal encounters.
Born in London in 1976, the Berlin-based artist, who originally studied political economics and dance, constructs ‘situations’ by orchestrating interpersonal encounters through dance, voice and movement. His works elicit a different kind of viewer – one who cannot be a passive spectator, and who bears a responsibility to construct and contribute to the realisation of the actual piece.
Fire Woman and Tristan's Ascension
On the opening day of the exhibition, we present exclusive screenings of Bill Viola’s powerful and haunting video works Fire Woman and Tristan’s Ascension.
Previously shown as part of Kaldor Public Art Project 17 at St. Saviour’s Church, Redfern, 2008, and again for Project 21 at St. Carthage’s Church, Melbourne, 2010, the works were originally commissioned for a Los Angeles Philharmonic presentation of Wagner’s epic nineteenth-century opera Tristan and Isolde, in collaboration with director Peter Sellars and conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen. The two videos were created for the opera’s final act, in which the lovers are united in death. Viola drew their inspiration from elemental transformations described in the Tibetan book of the dead. Fire Woman depicts ‘an image seen in the mind’s eye of a dying man’, while Tristan’s Ascension portrays ‘the ascent of the soul in the space after death’.
Bill Viola has been experimenting with video art since the early 1970s, and has been instrumental in its development as a major contemporary artform. Viola’s unique style and imagery, expressed through his extraordinary range of works, has defined a new language for the moving image, using its fluid, ephemeral nature as a means to explore life and death, the reach and limitations of perception and cognition. In exploring universal elements of spiritual themes, his works often echo medieval and Renaissance paintings, seeming at once contemporary and timeless, meditations on the human experience.
Christo and Jeanne-Claude Exhibition
Artists Christo (b1935) and Jeanne-Claude (1935–2009) are renowned for monumental artworks that often involve wrapping or draping the landscape.
In 1969, John Kaldor brought the artists to Australia, where they made one of the most ambitious public artworks ever seen. Titled Wrapped Coast – One Million Square Feet, Little Bay, Sydney, Australia, the project enveloped 2.5km of coastline with fabric and rope. Its success captured international attention and launched Kaldor Public Art Projects.
In 1999, Christo and Jeanne-Claude returned to Sydney where they wrapped the vestibule of the Art Gallery of New South Wales as a new art project. Subsequently, in 2011, Kaldor gifted a large group of works by the artists to the Gallery, a selection of which are on display in the Entrance Court.
Also on view are major new works by Australian artists Imants Tillers (b1950) and Ian Milliss (b1950) that reference their own encounters with Wrapped coast 50 years ago.
50 Years, 35 Projects
Project 1: Christo and Jeanne-Claude Wrapped Coast - One Million Square Feet, Little Bay, Sydney, 28 October - 14 December 1969 Photo: Harry Shunk
Project 2: Harald Szeemann Szeemann arranging Aleks Danko’s slide program Photo: Brian Adams
Project 3: Gilbert & George The Singing Sculpture, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 16 – 21 August 1973 Image courtesy AGNSW Australia
Project 4: Miralda Coloured Feast, John Kaldor Fabricmaker showrooms, Sydney, 1973 Photo: Douglas Thompson
Project 6: Sol LeWitt View of lines to points on a grid. On yellow: Lines from the center of the wall. On red: Lines from four sides. On blue: Lines from four corners. On black: Lines from four sides, four corners and the center of the wall, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 1977
Project 7: Richard Long A line in Australia, created on Long's walk outside Broken Hill as part of his project in 1977 Photo: Richard Long
Project 8: An Australian Accent View of An Australian Accent, P.S., New York, 1984 Photo: Andrew Moore
Project 9: Christo and Jeanne-Claude Wrapped Vestibule, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 1990 Photo: Wolfgang Volz
Project 10: Jeff Koons Puppy, outside the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 1995 Photo: Eric Sierins
Project 11: Sol LeWitt Wall drawing #824, 1997, (left); Wall drawing #825, 1997, (centre) and Wall drawing #870, 1997, (right) at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, as part of the exhibition Wall pieces, 1998 Photo: Paul Green
Project 12: Vanessa Beecroft Documentation of VB40, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 1999 Photo: Giasco Bertoli
Project 13: Ugo Rondinone View of Our Magic Hour, 2003, installed on the roof of Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art
Project 14: Barry McGee View of The stars were aligned..., Metropolitan Meat Market, Melbourne, 2004 Photo: Garry Sommerfeld
Project 15: Urs Fischer Cockatoo Island installation, 2007, Cockatoo Island, Sydney Photo: Jenny Hare
Project 16: Gregor Schneider 21 beach cells, Bondi Beach, Sydney, 2007 Photo: Peter Murphy
Project 17: Bill Viola Detail of Tristan’s Ascension (The Sound of a Mountain Under a Waterfall), 2005, screened with Fire Woman, 2005, at St Saviour’s Church, Sydney, 2008 Photo: Kira Perov
Project 18: Martin Boyce Installation view of We are shipwrecked and landlocked, 2008, transforming the courtyard of the Old Melbourne Gaol with a desert landscape and sculptural installation Photo: Adam Free
Project 19: Tatzu Nishi Interior view of Peace, part of War and peace and in between, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2009 Photo: Carley Wright
Project 20: Stephen Vitiello The Sound of Red Earth, Sydney Park Brickworks, Sydney, 13 August - 12 September 2010 Photo: Paul Green
Project 21: Bill Viola Installation view of Fire Woman, St Carthege's Church, Melbourne, 2010
Project 22: Santiago Sierra 7 forms measuring 600 x 60 x 60cm constructed to be held horizontal to a wall, Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane Photo: Natasha Harth
Project 24: Michael Landy Acts of Kindness, Martin Place, Sydney, 2011 Photo: Paul Green
Project 25: Thomas Demand The Dailies, Commercial Travellers' Association, Martin Place, Sydney, 2012 Photo: Paul Green
Project 26: Allora and Calzadilla Stop, Repair, Prepare..., State Library of Victoria, Cowan Gallery, 2012 Photo: Andrew Curtis
Project 27: 13 Rooms Xu Zhen, In Just a Blink of an Eye, 2005, 13 Rooms, Pier 2/3, Walsh Bay, Sydney, 2013 Photo: Jamie North
Project 28: Roman Ondak Measuring the Universe, 2007, Parramatta Town Hall, 2014 Photo: Paul Green
Project 30: Marina Abramović Marina Abramović: In Residence, Pier 2/3, Walsh Bay, Sydney, 2015 Photo: Peter Greig
Project 31: Xavier Le Roy Open rehearsal for Temporary Title, 2015, Carriageworks, 12 November 2015 Photo: Annie Mckay
Project 32: Jonathan Jones Aerial view of barrangal dyara (skin and bones), Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney, 2016 Photo: Peter Greig
Project 33: Anri Sala The Last Resort, 2017, The Rotunda, Observatory Hill, Sydney Photo: Peter Greig