Free to the public from 13 October until 5 November 2017 within the historic parkland setting of Observatory Hill, Kaldor Public Art Projects presents The Last Resort – a world-premiere installation by internationally celebrated French-Albanian artist Anri Sala.
Positioned on Sydney’s highest natural viewpoint, set against 360-degree vistas of the city and harbour, Observatory Hill Rotunda provides a dramatic location for Sala’s astonishing new work comprising sculpture and sound, and the first time the artist has created a major work for an Australian audience.
“I am honoured to welcome Anri Sala to Sydney this Spring for the installation and world-premiere of his new work, The Last Resort,” said John Kaldor, Director of Kaldor Public Art Projects. “Anri is the most intellectually engaged artist I have ever met and certainly one of the world’s leading contemporary artists. This work is a tour de force and I am thrilled to present it as the 33rd Kaldor Public Art Project.”
Anri Sala will transform W.A. Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto in A Major, K. 622, augmenting and reimagining the canonical piece of music as if, like a message in a bottle, it had been washed ashore in Sydney after a long voyage at sea. Visitors to the artwork will step beneath a gravity-defying ensemble of custom-built drums, to experience their rhythmic, live response to a contemporary interpretation of Mozart’s concerto.
Influenced by the wind patterns of a historic sea journey, this musical dialogue animates the relationship between sound, place, time and history on this evocative site. “I wanted to imagine how a fictional journey through the winds, the waves, and the water currents of the high seas would affect a musical masterpiece of the age of Enlightenment; what would become of Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto if it were to float and drift like a message in a bottle, until it is washed ashore after a long voyage?” said Anri Sala.
The Last Resort is supported by a dynamic and inclusive engagement program for diverse audiences, comprising talks, panel discussions, musical performances, curriculum-linked school visits and video conferences, Western Sydney masterclasses, innovative disability-led workshops and hands-on family activities.
Audiences can make a day of their visit, joining one of the many free public programs on site, or spread a picnic blanket for a relaxing afternoon of art in the sunshine. Learn more about the artwork with free, daily staff-led floor talks, or participate in engaging weekend programs, including family workshops, stimulating panel discussions and lunchtime talks.
Featuring leading commentators from the fields of music, history, astronomy and the visual arts, the numerous free programs will examine the project’s timely and compelling themes of migration, journeys, the communicative power of music, and the relationships between sound, place and time. Special guest speakers include Anri Sala, award-winning composer and broadcaster Andrew Ford, acclaimed performer and scholar Neal Peres Da Costa, celebrated artist Daniel Boyd and astronomer Duane Hamacher.
An internationally celebrated artist and filmmaker, Anri Sala represented France at the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013 and was awarded the Vincent Award in 2014 – one of Europe’s most prestigious contemporary art awards. Sala has achieved international renown for his works of film, sculpture and installation that create poetic analogies reflecting on different frames of experience.
Sala often bridges language, sound and architecture, orchestrating a dialogue between live and recorded works, to express the shifting and fragile interplay between time, memory and cross-cultural translation. His work has been presented in major exhibitions internationally and in 2016 the most comprehensive survey of Sala’s work to date – Anri Sala: Answer Me – was presented at the New Museum, New York.
The Last Resort will be presented at Sydney’s Observatory Hill Rotunda from 13 October until 5 November 2017. It is open free to the public from 10.00am to 6.00pm daily – with extended opening hours every Wednesday until 7:30pm – giving visitors an opportunity to experience this multi-sensory project against spectacular harbour views at sunset.
For more information, visit: www.kaldorartprojects.org.au for details.
Image: The Last Resort by Anri Sala – photo by Peter Greig