27 Apr 2020

Defining Moments: Australian Exhibition Histories 1968-1999

ACCA’s popular two-year lecture series Defining Moments: Australian Exhibition Histories 1968–1999 will this year be presented as illustrated video lectures. 

Designed to shed light on the markers of change in Australian art from the last three decades of the twentieth century, Defining Moments focused last year on key exhibition and art making moments from 1968-1980.  This year the series will explore new institutional models and contemporary modes of exhibition-making that emerged in the 1980s and 90s – including the Asia Pacific Triennial and 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, as well as key models of First Nations led national and international exhibitions, among others.

In 2020, the series will be presented online as podcasts and video lectures to expand the national and international reach of this ambitious and rich historical project, beginning with an exploration of the National Gallery of Victoria’s 1982 exhibition Popism by independent writer and researcher Judy Annear.  Curated by a then 24-year-old Paul Taylor, publisher of the influential contemporary art publication Art&Text, the exhibition was a provocative and rhetorical manifesto for a new generation, with works by Howard Arkley, David Chesworth, Juan Davila and Maria Kozic to name a few.

Judy Annear’s lecture will be available on May 25, and will be followed in July with Recession art and other strategies, a lecture by artist and former IMA Brisbane Director Peter Cripps, based on Recession Art, the IMA exhibition he curated in 1985 in response to the social political and cultural contexts of the 1970s and 80s.

“The series takes a deeper look at the moments that have shaped Australian art since 1968 – the ambitious, genre-defining and genre-defining art exhibitions and institutions that have shaped and transformed the cultural landscape in Australia, along with our understanding of what constitutes art itself,” said ACCA Artistic Director/CEO Max Delany.  

These hour-long lectures come from a diversity of voices and perspectives, including some of Australia’s leading academics, artists and curators, and we are pleased to now present them in the digital world, and more widely accessible to national and international audiences,” Delany said.


Defining Moments: Australian Exhibition Histories 1968–1999 is presented by Abercrombie & Kent and Research Partner, Centre of Visual Art (CoVA) at The University of Melbourne. Each lecture will also be accompanied by a specially designed recipe from lecture series supporters Melbourne Gin Company.


Monday 25 May

Popism, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 1982

Speaker: Judy Annear, independent writer and researcher based in Victoria


Monday 13 July

Recession art and other strategies, Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane, 1985

Speaker: Peter Cripps, artist and a former Director of the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane (1984–86)

Respondent: Channon Goodwin, Director of Bus Projects and Composite: Moving Image Agency, Melbourne and founding Co-Convener of All Conference


Monday 27 July

The Aboriginal Memorial, Biennale of Sydney, 1988

Speaker: Djon Mundine, OAM, curator, writer, artist and activist


Monday 24 August

First Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, 1993

Speaker: Doug Hall, AM, writer, critic and a former Director of Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (1987–2007)


Monday 21 September

Aratjara: art of the first Australians, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Dusseldorf, 1993 and Fluent: Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Yvonne Koolmatrie, Judy Watson, at Australian Pavilion, Venice, Biennale in 1997

Speaker: Stephen Gilchrist, writer, curator and Associate Lecturer of Indigenous Art at the University of Sydney


Monday 5 October

Don’t Leave Me This Way: Art in the Age of AIDS, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 1994

Speaker: Dr Ted Gott, Senior Curator of International Art, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.


Monday 26 October

Founding of ‘Gallery 4A’ and the inaugural exhibition in 1997

Speaker: Mikala Tai, Director 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art


Further details and podcasts of the 2019 lecture series are now available



Australian Centre for Contemporary Art
111 Sturt Street, Southbank VIC 3006
Melbourne, Australia


Monday 27 April, 2020

For further media information:

Katrina Hall