Photographs, objects and curios sourced from the internet and op shops will be organised alongside artworks from the NGV Collection in a wondrous series of encyclopedic displays for Patrick Pound: The Great Exhibition at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia from 31 March 2017.
An avid collector, the New Zealand-born, Melbourne-based artist is fascinated by the categorisation and ordering of objects. Irreverently titled The Great Exhibition, with a knowing nod to the epic ambitions of the famous London exposition of 1851, in his largest ever presentation Pound will showcase more than 50 collections, which he describes as museums of things – featuring hundreds of items from the artist’s expansive archives.
Pound has also extensively researched the scope of the NGV Collection, identifying more than 300 works from across all of the NGV collecting departments to incorporate into his museums of things. The connections that Pound draws between objects will allow audiences to see the NGV’s diverse holdings in surprising new contexts.
Among the museums, viewers will encounter vast displays of found photographs which, at closer glance, reveal their common thread, such as The hand of the photographer – a display in which the eclipsing thumb of the photographer is ever-present, and Damaged – a huge display of photographs which have been defaced by their original owners; faces marred by cigarette burns, marker or ripped out of the photo entirely.
Other museums incorporate seemingly disparate items, like The Museum of there / Not there, which explores the idea of absence and presence, illustrated by a curated selection of objects such as an obsolete Australian $2 banknote and a mourning locket alongside a milk jug produced to commemorate the forthcoming coronation of King Edward VIII, who abdicated before he was crowned.
“Through complex arrangements of items drawn from the artist’s archives alongside works from the NGV Collection, Pound’s installations playfully explore the art of collecting, and the ways in which things can hold and project ideas,” said Tony Ellwood, Director NGV. “Within each museum a new logic or exciting narrative is created for the viewer to unravel or identify.”
Pound last exhibited at the NGV in the 2013 exhibition Melbourne Now with his popular Gallery of Air – a wunderkammer of diverse artworks and objects that held the idea of air, drawn from the NGV Collection and the artist’s archives.
The inaugural NGV Festival of Photography in 2017 will be the largest display of photography in the NGV’s history and coincides with the 50th anniversary of the NGV Photography Department. Presented across multiple galleries at both NGV International and NGV Australia, the festival also includes solo exhibitions by William Eggleston, Bill Henson, Zoë Croggon and Ross Coulter, alongside dedicated displays, events and programs.
Patrick Pound: The Great Exhibition
The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Federation Square, Melbourne
Exhibition: 31 March – 30 July 2017
For more information, visit: ngv.melbourne for details.
Image: Patrick Pound, The photographer’s shadow, 2000-17 (detail). Collection of the artist. Courtesy of Station, Melbourne, Stills Gallery, Sydney, Hamish McKay Gallery, Wellington and Melanie Roger Gallery, Auckland © Patrick Pound