The Theatre is Lying, the inaugural Macfarlane Commissions

ACCA Nat Randall and Linda Chen feature in Rear View (film still) - courtesy of Anna Breckon and Nat RandallThe first in a new biennial series of commissions exhibitions supported by The Macfarlane Fund, The Theatre is Lying features five ambitious new works from leading Australian and international artists who share an interest in the construction of alternative narratives and worlds through illusionary, illusory, cinematic and theatrical devices.

Curated by ACCA Artistic Director Max Delany and Senior Curator Annika Kristensen, The Theatre is Lying delves into the world of conspiracy theories, red herrings, smoke and mirrors, espionage and spy dramas, and the representations and misrepresentations of cinema and media, with new works from artists Anna Breckon & Nat Randall, Sol Calero, Consuelo Cavaniglia, Matthew Griffin and Daniel Jenatsch,

Exploring ideas of truth and fiction, perception and abstraction, and the warping of time and space, the exhibition also considers the role of the spectator as an active agent in a world in which we are all actors, along with 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 exhibition 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.

“We are delighted and honoured to work with the Macfarlane Fund on this new exhibition series, and commend their major commitment to helping ACCA support artists to make ambitious new works and projects which are career-defining for artists and transforming for our audiences,” said ACCA’s Artistic Director and CEO Max Delany.

Following the triumph of their critically acclaimed 24-hour performance work, The Second Woman, Sydney-based artists Anna Breckon & Nat Randall will present Rear View – an ambitious ninety-minute film shot in a single take.

Operating at the intersection of cinema and performance, Rear View features Randall and co-star Linda Chen enacting exchanges, gestures and emotional registers that directly cite films featuring women in cars, and brings together high, middle and low in a way that the artists have described as “anti-discerning, comically reflecting on post-brow post-modern taste hierarchies.”

Sol Calero is a Venezuelan-born and Berlin-based artist who creates exuberantly coloured illusionistic installations and representations of social spaces – from day spas to dance studios – to address the complex constructions of Latin identity and the diasporic experience. Calero is undertaking a studio residency in Australia, in partnership with Monash Art, Design and Architecture, from mid-November 2018, to realise her new immersive installation for ACCA.

Consuelo Cavaniglia’s is a Sydney based, Italian-born artist whose large-scale installation will welcome visitors into ACCA’s grand commissioning hall with highly stylised lighting and an ever-changing choreography of reflective screens evocative of the phantasmagoria and illusionism of a hall-of-mirrors.

Sydney-based artist Matthew Griffin has developed a series of video installations that reflect on the disjuncture of body and mind, and operate at the slippery boundary between humour and tragedy, and the real and manipulated in an era that has normalised plastic surgery and is characterised by fake news, reality television, and virtual existences.

Melbourne-based artist Daniel Jenatsch’s striking video installation and new composition delve into fascinating world of espionage and conspiracy. Reveling in the aesthetic and narrative intersections of both fictional and real spy stories, this work makes particular reference to the infamous bungled training exercise of the Australian Secret Intelligence Service in 1983, known as The Sheraton Hotel Incident.

The The Macfarlane Commissions are a major initiative of The Macfarlane Fund, a new philanthropic established in 2017 to honour the life of respected Melbourne businessman Donald (Don) Macfarlane, who throughout his life took immense pleasure in the arts.

The Fund’s primary focus is to offer financial support across the career span of artists. Every-second year for a period of six years, five mid-career Australian and international artists will be invited to make a new large-scale work to be presented as a keynote project in ACCA’s exhibition program.


The Theatre is Lying, the inaugural Macfarlane Commissions
Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA), 111 Sturt Street, Southbank
Exhibition: 15 December 2018 – 24 March 2019
Free entry

For more information, visit: www.acca.melbourne for details.

Image: Nat Randall and Linda Chen feature in Rear View (film still) – courtesy of Anna Breckon and Nat Randall

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