Create NSW and ABC have announced the commission of Kaldor Public Art Projects (working title) – a film about the influence of arts patron, collector and philanthropist John Kaldor on the contemporary Australian art scene, as the third in its three-year Documentary Feature Fund joint initiative, with major production funding from Screen Australia.
From creating a living canvas on which to project a new vision of Sydney as an international landmark with Christo and Jeanne Claude’s Wrapped Coast in 1969, to unearthing the remains of the Garden Palace with Jonathan Jones’ ‘barrangal dyara (skin and bones)’ in 2016, the Kaldor Public Art Projects have been significant drivers in site-specific, socially engaged public artworks. All of the 33 works to date seek to disrupt the collective memories of Sydney’s cultural narrative.
Operating on diverse and divergent levels for fifty years, the Kaldor Public Art Projects have reimagined Sydney as a site of complex encounters, connecting the city across continents and across millennia. The art projects have both delighted and challenged audiences and critics alike.
The documentary will track how John Kaldor first set Australia as a stage for international contemporary art practice – and continued over the next five decades to transform landmarks around Sydney into sites of desire, dreams and delirium. The documentary feature will be directed by acclaimed director Samantha Lang (Carlotta, The Well), with Felix Media’s John Maynard producing and Bridget Ikin executive producing.
Samantha Lang previously worked with producer John Maynard on the feature film The Monkey’s Mask. John Maynard and executive producer Bridget Ikin have produced feature films, television dramas and documentaries for more than 30 years. Maynard’s recent credits include executive producer of Sherpa and producer of Jirga, and his distinguished career in the arts includes establishing a public art museum in New Zealand in 1970.
The Create NSW and ABC Arts Documentary Feature Fund is a three-year joint initiative to fund one new feature-length arts documentary per year. Create NSW contributes $100,000 to each production with the ABC allocating a $150,000 license fee. Each film funded through the initiative receives a world premiere at the Sydney Film Festival prior to screening on ABC.
“I am delighted to be making this arts documentary about Kaldor Public Art Projects with Felix Media, which explores the impact Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s land art project Wrapped Coast had on the Australian art scene in the late 60s and how, over the following fifty years, John Kaldor has maintained his passion as an arts patron, creating adventurous public art projects with artists such as Marina Abramovic, Jeff Koons and Jonathan Jones,” said Director Samantha Lang.
“This important initiative has already produced two stunning feature documentaries that place art and culture at the centre of their storytelling,” said Create NSW Executive Director for Investment and Engagement, Elizabeth W. Scott. “I am confident that this film, with its exceptional team of filmmakers and fascinating subject, will be a worthy film to round out this three-year partnership.”
“The ABC is excited to be sharing this unique story of John Kaldor’s contribution to Australian Arts,” said ABC Manager of Arts Richard Buckham. “The ABC is committed to connecting artists and their communities with audiences through our wide-reaching platforms. John Kaldor’s support of the arts is closely aligned to the ABC’s dedication to content that strengthens and celebrates Australian identity, character and cultural diversity.”
“Sydney Film Festival is proud once again to premiere the Documentary Feature Fund 2019 film, Kaldor Public Art Projects, following on from the huge success of Kriv Stenders’ The Go-Betweens: Right Here, and Olivia Martin-McGuire’s China Love,” said Sydney Film Festival CEO Leigh Small.
Image: Wrapped Coast – Kaldor Public Art Projects