Wrong Way Time
22 April – 10 July 2016
Direct from the 2015 Venice Biennale, Fiona Hall's Wrong Way Time exhibition at the NGA provides Australian audiences with the first opportunity to see this major international event at home.
The celebrated new Australian Pavilion at the 56th International Art Exhibition, Venice Biennale, attracted global attention when it opened in May 2015. Fiona Hall became the first artist to represent Australia in the new building with her exhibition Wrong Way Time.
'This is a fantastic opportunity for art lovers from all over Australia to share the Venice phenomenon and see one of our most important and influential artists'
Gerard Vaughan, NGA Director
'This is the first time that the Australian exhibition at Venice has been shown in its entirety at a public gallery and we are delighted it's here in Canberra,' said Dr Vaughan.
Fiona Hall Endings are the new beg 2014 from the series Wrong Way Time 2012–15 oil on long-case clock 137.0 x 31.0 x 18.0 cm on loan from the artist and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney Photograph: Clayton Glen © Fiona Hall
Wrong Way Time, curated by Linda Michael, presents more than 800 objects in one space, installed in huge cabinets filled with curiosities. Around the walls are clocks painted with diverse imagery and slogans, which tick and chime in a cycle reminding viewers that time is passing.
'The world is such an amazing place, yet sadly we are living in troubled times and that sense is reflected in a lot of the works. It was an honour to present the show in Venice and now to bring it to Canberra, especially as I have a longstanding relationship with the NGA'
The Venice exhibition is complemented by a collection of Hall's works mainly from the NGA collection, curated by Senior Curator of Australian Art, Deborah Hart. Visitors can see Hall's earlier work including the much-loved erotic sardine-tin sculptures Paradisus terrestris 1989–90 and her magnificent installation Leaf litter 1999–2003. Fiona broke new ground in 1998 when she designed the NGA's superb Fern garden. The garden has been refurbished and is visible from the exhibition's foyer.
Fiona Hall in front of the National Gallery of Australia's Paradisus Terrestris 1989–90 © Fiona Hall
Hall's lifelong passion for the natural environment can be felt intensely in both spaces. The artist brings together hundreds of disparate elements which create tensions around three intersecting concerns: global politics, world finances and the environment. Hall sees these as failed states, as 'a minefield of madness, badness and sadness' stretching beyond the foreseeable future.
'Fiona Hall's work responds to her concerns around our persistent role in nature's demise, or to the perilous state of various species,' said Dr Hart. 'However, I also believe that, notwithstanding a prevalent darkness, Hall's exhibition is fundamentally life-affirming.'
Established in 1895, the Venice Biennale is the world's oldest and most prestigious biennale of international contemporary art. Australia's representation at the biennale began in 1954, and the Australia Council for the Arts owns the Australian Pavilion and manages Australia's participation at this major event. Fiona Hall's Wrong Way Time exhibition was commissioned by Simon Mordant (Australia's Commissioner for the 2015 Venice Biennale), supported by the Australia Council and curated by Linda Michael.
Fiona Hall Wrong Way Time 2012–15 Australian Pavilion, Venice Biennale 2015 (installation view) Photograph: Christian Corte © Fiona Hall
This event is exclusive to NGA in Australia and has been made possible through the generous support of the Australia Council and the following Exhibition Patrons:
- Simon Mordant AM and Catriona Mordant
- Susan Armitage and The Hon Dr Michael Armitage
- John Calvert-Jones AM and Janet Calvert-Jones AO
- Pauline Gandel and John Gandel AO
- Terrence Campbell AO and Christine Campbell
- Anthony Cross and Clare Cross
- Paul Cross and Samantha Cross
- Susie Maple-Brown AM
- Rupert Myer AO and Annabel Myer
- Mark Nelson and Louise Nelson
- Penelope Seidler AM
- Dick Smith AC and Philippa Smith AO
- Ezekiel Solomon AM.
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