7 Jun 2013

Gestures & Procedures

Francis Alÿs, Paradox of Praxis 1, 1997, Video, 5.00 min, Courtesy of the artist David Zwirner, New York

Gestures & Procedures

August 6 – September 26 2010

A new survey exhibition where artists use gestures, rituals and repetitions in video and photography opens at ACCA on August 6th

Gestures & Procedures, brings together a series of works in which artists depict simple, recurring actions and sequences in their conceptual practice.

Some of the most seminal works in early video, studio and performance practice will be shown, including key 1970s projects by pioneer conceptual artists such as Bruce Nauman, John Baldessari and Vito Acconci, as well as works by contemporary practitioners such as British artist Lucy Gunning and Australians Anastasia Klose, Daniel von Sturmer and Tony Schwensen.

Highlights of Gestures & Procedures includes:

Bruce Nauman’s Bouncing in the Corner and Stamping in the Studio, where the artist treks back and forth, doing exactly what these titles describe. These works are part of a series where Nauman uses his body to explore the limits of everyday situations.

Vito Acconci’s Pryings 1971, a video recording of the artist who, in an epic struggle, tries to force open the eyes of a woman who persists in keeping them closed.

Lucy Gunnings’ acclaimed 1993 work, Climbing Around My Room, where the artist crawls and climbs precariously around the windows and bookshelves of her bedroom. Gunning, who will visit Australia during Gestures & Procedures, was invited to show this and similar works at the Tate Britain in 2001, as part of a program aimed to generate discussion and promote awareness of new art in Britain.

Renowned performance artist Paul McCarthy’s Rocky 1976, where the artist, dressed as a boxer, smears himself in ketchup and punches himself, senseless, around the head.

And a video of internationally revered Australian performance artist and printmaker Mike Parr’s important work 100 Breathless (2008) where the artist sucks one self portrait after another onto his face, will also be included.

“Gestures & Procedures takes us back to the basics of practice. It demonstrates the artistic tactic of simple actions to create epic effects. It focuses upon the importance of a studio practice, as it evolved from painting to performance; and a narrative practice that moves from pictorialism to imaginary story telling,” says Juliana Engberg, ACCA Artistic Director. “Aspects of durational and endurance performance demonstrate a link to mythological feats and failures, as well as investigations into temporal states”.

Gestures & Procedures will also include works by Bas Jan Ader, Joan Jonas, Francis Alÿs, Charles Ray, Robert Rooney, Patricia Esquivias, Daniel von Sturmer, Delphine Reist, Anastasia Klose, Marina Abramovic and more.

Gestures & Procedures
August 6 – September 26, 2010

Australian Centre for Contemporary Art
111 Sturt Street, Southbank.
Gallery hours: Tuesday-Friday 10am–5pm. Weekends 11am-6pm. Mondays by appointment. Tel: 03 9697 9999. Admission: Free.

For further media information: Katrina Hall on 03 9697 9999,
mobile 0421 153 046 or email