Australian Centre of Contemporary Art

current exhibitions

Friday, 28 September, 2018 to Sunday, 25 November, 2018

Eva Rothschild, Border 2018, painted concrete, wood, foam, polystyrene, 172.0 x 242.0 x 32.0 cm. Courtesy the artist and Modern Art, London

As part of the annual ACCA International series, presented in association with the Melbourne International Arts Festival, ACCA is pleased to announce the first Australian solo exhibition for the Irish-born, London-based artist Eva Rothschild, ahead of her appearance at the 2019 Venice Biennale where she will represent Ireland. 


Curated by Max Delany and Annika Kristensen, Eva Rothschild brings together three new sculptural commissions with recent work spanning the last decade of the artist’s diverse yet distinctive practice. Shaped by a myriad of influences from minimal art of the 1960s and 70s to classical architecture, spiritualism and pop-culture, Rothschild has developed an international reputation for sculptural forms that are both striking and spare, as sharp geometric shapes morph into flamboyant, enigmatic compositions. Stripped of excess, Rothschild’s abstract arrangements draw the mind into spaces where power, ritual, the architectural and the existential intersect.

Alongside the artist’s interest in the materiality of sculpture – encompassing ideas of form, mass and scale – is a questioning of the physicality of the body and its role both in the act of making, as well as experiencing, an artwork. Rothschild’s striking forms, assembled from a variety of materials including concrete, leather, jesmonite, fabric and plastic, encourage an energetic as well as aesthetic response from the viewer, as they navigate their own corporeality in relation to the work, the composition of the exhibition, and the architecture of the gallery. Several works consider the social potential of sculpture as spaces in which to convene and converse; to relax within or, more actively, play.

The inaugural Macfarlane Commissions
Saturday, 15 December, 2018 to Sunday, 24 March, 2019

Anna Breckon & Nat Randall, Rear View 2018, production still.
Photograph: Ross Turley

ACCA is excited to announce the inaugural Macfarlane Commissions, the first in a new series of exhibitions involving new commissions by leading contemporary artists at mid-career. The Theatre is Lying is the title of the first exhibition in the series, presenting five major new commissions by Anna Breckon & Nat Randall, Sol Calero, Consuelo Cavaniglia, Matthew Griffin and Daniel Jenatsch.

The Theatre is Lying brings together artists who seek to construct alternative narratives and worlds through illusionary, illusory, cinematic and theatrical devices including installation, misé-en-scene, theatrical re-enactment, scripting, sampling and compositions with video and sound. These new commissions explore ideas of smoke and mirrors, trompe l’oeil, phantasmagoria, red herrings and conspiracy theories, espionage and spy dramas, and an engagement with the representations and misrepresentations of cinema and media.

As performance curator and writer Mark Russell has written, ‘theatricality is made of transgressions and interruptions in time’. Exploring ideas of truth and fiction, perception and abstraction, and the warping of time and space, The Theatre is Lying is also set against theatres of media and politics increasingly informed by trickery and sleight of hand. The exhibition also considers the role of the spectator, as an active agent in a world in which we are all actors, and the increasing interplay between subjective and objective and psychic and social structures.

Through the white cube of the gallery and the black box of cinema, The Theatre is Lying proposes the gallery as a transformative threshold in which to examine the potential of imagination and artifice as means to reflect upon, critique and even escape – if only momentarily – the everyday reality of our fictive life and times.