Defining Moments: Post Object Art in Australia and New Zealand

Mon 4 Nov 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 Anne Marsh

The Australian & New Zealand Post-Object Art: A Survey (April-May 1976) was the first major exhibition curated by the Experimental Art Foundation in Adelaide. It was a landmark exhibition that demonstrated a network of experimental art relations between Australia and New Zealand.

The term ‘post-object art’ was in circulation between 1969 and 1985 and described ‘practices that extended sculpture into temporary, multi-part, mixed media, largely ephemeral situations’ (Te Ara – the Encyclopedia of New Zealand).

In his catalogue essay for the Australian & New Zealand Post-Object Show Donald Brook, called it ‘a fragment of jargon,’ a misleading term, which stems from the artist’s disenchantment with art and its institutions. According to Brook terms such as Alternative, Non-Commodity, Idea Art, Conceptual, Process, and Documentation Art describe more specifically what Post-Object Art includes.

Anne Marsh will consider the legacy of the Post-Object Show for experimental art in Australia and the development of a theoretical dialogue about such work in Donald Brook’s writings.

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Professor Anne Marsh is Professorial Research Fellow at the Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne. She is known for her expertise on photography, performance and feminism. In 2018 she presented the symposium Women, Art and Feminism in Australia since 1970 at the Victorian College of the Arts, together with Doing Feminism / Sharing the World a series of artist residencies and public program. In 2015 she curated Performance Presence/Video Time at the Australian Experimental Art Foundation showcasing performance art live and on screen, followed by You Had To Be There, a national symposium. Her books include but are not limited to:  Performance Ritual Document, Macmillan, 2014, LOOK: Contemporary Australian Photography, since 1980, Macmillan, 2010, and Body & Self: Performance Art in Australia 1969-92, Oxford University Press, 1993.

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.

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