Defining Moments: A room of their own: creating a space for the feminist collective

Mon 7 Oct 2019

This is a past program.
ACCA Foyer
Season Pass: $200/$130 Casual Session: $35/$20

Season Pass: $200/$130*
Single ticket: $35/$20*
Ticket includes complimentary cocktail on arrival by The Melbourne Gin Company
*Concession cards must be shown to obtain concession price

Lecture by Janine Burke; Respondent: Helen Hughes

The mid-1970s were a time of radical feminist intervention in both Australian art history and contemporary art. Janine Burke was closely involved with significant curatorial enterprises that were initiated at the University of Melbourne. With Kiffy Rubbo and Lynne Cook, she co-curated A Room of One’s Own: Three Women Artists (1974), one of Australia’s first feminist art exhibitions. The following year Rubbo commissioned Burke to curate Australian Women Artists: One Hundred Years 1840-1940, a national touring exhibition. At the same time, the visit of New York-based critic Lucy Lippard lead to the foundation of the Women’s Art Movement.

In her lecture, Dr Burke reviews these events, interrogating their legacy as well as exploring perceived synergies between historical and contemporary women’s art, and assesses Rubbo’s role as a catalyst for collective feminist action.

Listen to the podcast:

Janine Burke is an art historian, curator and award-winning novelist. In 1975, she curated the landmark exhibition and publication Australian Women Artists: One Hundred Years 1840-1940 at the George Paton Gallery. In 2014, she organised the conference ‘Kiffy Rubbo: Curating the 1970s’ at the University of Melbourne, leading to a book of the same name co-edited with Helen Hughes in 2016. Dr Burke was the inaugural Lecturer in Art History at the Victorian College of the Arts in 1977 and is now Honorary Senior Fellow, Centre of Visual Art, VCA.

Helen Hughes an art historian and curator. She is a lecturer in Fine Arts at Monash University and her research focuses on Australian art history and international contemporary art. She co-founded and co-edits the Melbourne contemporary art journal Discipline, and is an editor of the peer-reviewed art history journal EMAJ. From 2016-18 she was Research Curator at Monash University Museum of Art, and co-curated the 2016 TarraWarra Biennial: Endless Circulation with Victoria Lynn and presented exhibitions and Discipline lectures at Gertrude Contemporary and beyond.

Please note, all lectures open at 5:30pm for a 6pm start.


What are the landmark exhibitions that have shaped Australian art? From 2019 to 2020, ACCA’s Lecture Series, Defining Moments: Australian Exhibition Histories 1968–1999, will take a deeper look at the moments that have shaped Australian art since 1968. In this two-year series, sixteen guest lecturers will analyse the game changers in Australian art, addressing key contemporary art exhibitions staged over the last three decades of the twentieth century and reflecting on the ways these exhibitions shaped art history and contemporary Australian culture more broadly.

Ambitious, contested, polemical, genre-defining and genre-defying, contemporary art exhibitions have shaped and transformed the cultural landscape, along with our understanding of the very nature of what constitutes as art. This program traces the legacies of artists and curators, addresses the critical reception of select significant projects, and reflects on a wide range of exhibitions and formats; from artist run initiatives to institutions, as well as interventions in public space and remote communities.

Presented by Abercrombie & Kent with Research Partner, Centre of Visual Art (CoVA) at The University of Melbourne, the two-year series brings together a diversity of voices with hour-long lectures and conversations involving exhibiting artists, curators, art critics and historians, with the first set of lectures scheduled from April to November 2019.

Presenting Partner

Research Partner

Event Partners

Media Partners