7 Jun 2013


Annika von Hausswolff, Hey Buster! What do you know about desire? 1993, Colour photograph, Courtesy of the artist and Moderna Museet, Stockholm

From the cradle to the grave….


8 October – 28 November 2010

Some of the world’s leading artists explore life’s journey from the moment of lift-off to the final send-off and all the bits in-between in this new group exhibition, part of the Melbourne International Arts Festival.

Mid 19th century oil paintings by James Shaw, George Armfield, William Strut and Arthur Lindsay’s cemetery painting will hang alongside contemporary video, sculpture and installation works in an exhibition that spans history and captures artists’ long-time fascination with the passage of life and death.

Exploring the 2010 MIAF theme of spirituality, death and the afterlife, Mortality includes works by internationally renowned contemporary artists such as TV Moore, Bill Viola and Gillian Wearing as well as leading Australian video artists David Rosetzky and Anastasia Klose.

Highlights of the exhibition include:

Albanian born artist Anri Sala’s acclaimed video work Time After Time, featuring a horse trapped on a Tirana motorway, repeatedly, heartbreakingly raising its hind-leg. Anri first came to acclaim in 1999 for his work in After the Wall, the Stockholm Modern Museum's exhibition of art from post-communist Europe, and his work is characterized by an interest in seemingly unimportant details and slowness. Scenes are almost frozen into paintings.

Peter Kennedy’s Seven people who died the day I was born – April 18 1945, 1997-98 – a work from a series begun by the artist following the death of his father which connects individual lives with political and historical events. Kennedy’s birth in the last year of World War 11 and the seven people memorialized imply the multitude of others that died during this catastrophic event as well as the perpetual cycle of life.

A series of slides collected by British artist Louise Short, offering a beguiling insight into the everyday lives of everyday people accumulated as a life narrative.

Acclaimed British artist Tacita Dean’s Presentation Sisters, which shows the daily routines and rituals of the last remaining members of a small ecclesiastical community as they contemplate their journey in the spiritual after-life.

Three works from the Time series by influential Australian photographer Sue Ford, who passed away last year, will also be shown. The photographs capture the artist in various stages of her life.

Curator Juliana Engberg says: “As seems appropriate to such a title, I have designed this exhibition as a sweeping narrative. Joy, ennui, struggle, uncertainty, happiness, loss, hilarity and so much more is gathered into this epic journey of life and its cycle. The visitor to the exhibition will travel physically and metaphorically through the labyrinth of existence.”

Mortality: 8 October – 28 November, 2010
Charles Anderson, George Armfield, Melanie Boreham, Bureau of Inverse Technology, Aleks Danko, Tacita Dean, Gabrielle De Vietri, Sue Ford, Garry Hill, Larry Jenkins, Peter Kennedy, Anastasia Klose, Arthur Lindsay, Dora Meeson, Anna Molska, TV Moore, Tony Oursler, Neil Pardington, Giulio Paolini, Mark Richards, David Rosetzky, Anri Sala, James Shaw, Louise Short, William Strutt, Darren Sylvester, Fiona Tan, Bill Viola, Annika von Hausswolff, Mark Wallinger, Lynette Wallworth, Gillian Wearing.

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