Opening on Saturday 12 September at ACE Open, a major new exhibition of contemporary art, If the future is to be worth anything: 2020 South Australian Artist Survey is an extraordinary declaration of support for and investment in artistic communities.
Featuring ten local artists, collectives and support organisations at all points in their careers, the exhibition celebrates the breadth of art practice and critical perspectives emerging from South Australia’s artistic communities, and is ACE Open’s most ambitious project to date.
Over the past year, ACE Open’s Artistic Director, Patrice Sharkey, and Curator-in-Residence, Rayleen Forester, have been visiting artists, surveying the landscape of contemporary art in the state. Together, they have selected a diverse group of artists that embody a cross section of contemporary art production as opposed to a specific theme.
Invited artists have been encouraged to try something new and/or develop an as-yet-unrealised project, which may take any form. They include: Aida Azin, Carly Dodd, Emmaline Zanelli, fine print, Kate Bohunnis, Matt Huppatz, Sandra Saunders, Sundari Carmody, Tutti Arts and Yusuf Hayat.
“What brings together the artists featured in this exhibition is an engagement with a world beyond art, directed towards thoughtful and productive experimentation, the re-envisioning of self and structures, and political and aesthetic strategies for survival,” said Patrice Sharkey.
For local artists, an opportunity to participate in an exhibition of this scale and freedom is rare. “Being invited to participate in the 2020 South Australian Artist Survey exhibition has awarded me the confidence to explore an unrealised project that otherwise would not have been possible,” said South Australian artist, Kate Bohunnis. “With ACE Open’s support, I am able to dedicate the time and the materials integral to creating a new work of this scale and ambition.”
The choice to include independent visual arts writing platform, fine print, makes a statement about the importance and value ACE Open places on critical discourse, and also about the elasticity of creative expression that contemporary art and ACE Open itself possesses.
“fine print occupies a slightly different space to the other artists of the Survey, operating with a recognition of the importance that arts writing holds to the vitality of its creation,” says fine print co-editor, Joanna Kitto.
“ACE Open have created a space for fine print to continue our work beyond the digital, affording us a platform to explore the nature and principles of presentations, the architecture of space and people, and creating kinship between art and audience,” she says.
ACE Open provides transformative contemporary art experiences for artists and audiences from its CBD art space in Adelaide, South Australia. As South Australia’s flagship contemporary art gallery, ACE Open presents a year-round program of free exhibitions by practicing South Australian, Australian and international artists.
If the future is to be worth anything: 2020 South Australian Artist Survey
ACE Open – Lion Arts Centre, North Terrace, Adelaide (West End)
Exhibition: 12 September – 12 December 2020
For more information, visit: www.aceopen.art for details.
Image: Matt Huppatz, High Society 6 (Sir Baden and Lady Pattinson), 2019 (detail). Acrylic on canvas, on awning canvas, 107.5 x 199 cm. Courtesy the artist – photo by Sam Roberts