Unprecedented Arenas

Unprecedented Arenas

The NGV Triennial provides an international platform for over 100 innovative practitioners, foregrounding those who engage with new and advanced technologies such as 3D printing and robotics. The event pushes the boundaries of contemporary art whilst engaging with current socio-political issues, featuring a diverse selection of established figures such as Yayoi Kusama, Zanele Muholi, Xu Zhen, Guo Pei and Sissel Tolaas alongside a host of emerging artists.

Three powerful self-portraits from Muholi’s (b. 1972) series Somnyama Ngonyama (Hail the dark lioness) connect to issues affecting the LGBTQI community in South Africa, whilst Kusama’s (b. 1929) immersive work Flower obsession invites visitors to “obliterate” the walls of the institution with floral motifs. Tolaas (b. 1959) uses scent  to memorise the city of Melbourne, aiming to stimulate olfactory experiences in audiences. The multiplicity of methods is marked, as Tony Ellwood, Director of NGV, notes: “We believe that the ambition, depth and diversity of the artists and designers in the inaugural NGV Triennial will ensure our audience has a truly unforgettable cultural experience.”

In celebration of this event, 20 new large-scale artworks from a range of disciplines – including architecture, design, sculpture and digital installation – have been commissioned, each transcending their medium and interacting with modern day concerns in meaningful ways. For example, Candice Breitz’s (b. 1972) video piece reveals the personal stories of six refugees, contrasting their experiences with the privilege of celebrity lifestyle. Similarly, Richard Mosse (b. 1980) connects with the experiences of migrants, making use of a long-range military camera to document the crisis in Syria. Collaborative studio Formafantasma use commercial office furniture as starting point for a series of conceptual objects investigating the reality of the global trade in earth metals, revealing the cost of producing material goods.

From 15 December. Find out more:  www.ngv.vic.gov.au.

1. Zanele Muholi, Ntozakhe II, (Parktown), 2016 from the Somnyama Ngonyama series, 2015-16. National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. Bowness Family Fund for Photography, 2017. © Zanele Muholi Courtesy Zanele Muholi, STEVENSON, Cape Town and Johannesburg and Yancey Richardson, New York.