Shapes of Knowledge

MUMA Kym Maxwell, Objects of Longing Project 2018Continuing an ambitious program of bringing critical thinking and innovation into the galleries of Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA), Shapes of Knowledge brings together eight projects from artists, collectives and organisations from across the globe.

The first exhibition of its kind in Australia and curated by MUMA’s Senior Curator, Hannah Mathews, Shapes of Knowledge is a compelling display of big ideas – reflecting on how we live, how we learn, and the unique ability of art to animate our sensory experiences and critical faculties.

The exhibition reflects on the different platforms, spaces and time frames in which knowledge is produced and shared. These projects include A Centre for Everything (AUS), Asia Art Archive (HK), Chimurenga (SA), Lucas Ihlein (AUS), Annette Krauss (NLD), Alex Martinis Roe (AUS), Kym Maxwell (AUS), and The Mulka Project (AUS).

“One of the most powerful things about art is the multiplicity of knowledges it leads us to,” says Hannah Mathews. “Whether it be the materials and techniques of the studio, the histories – contested, real and imagined – of people and places, the politics of culture, technology and economics, art and artists invariably introduce us to knowledge that spans perspectives, disciplines and time.”

“This knowledge may be new to us. The accumulation might challenge what is already familiar, renew something of our past or revise something for our future. Shapes of Knowledge considers not only how art can impact knowledge but how art itself – its forms, meaning and audiences – can be transformed by learning.”

The exhibition focuses on the role that artists play in relation to knowledge, taking up notions of research, of the laboratory, of learning and of teaching as its central concerns. It acknowledges the myriad ways in which art and its makers challenge the conventions of knowledge towards new means, towards new acts of knowing.

The eight projects in Shapes of Knowledge range from an ice cream machine making coal flavoured treats, live radio broadcasts, a cinema of Indigenous culture, test sites for future greening technology, a toolkit for feminist action, and performance lectures. Each project will be activated at various times throughout the exhibition.

Shapes of Knowledge
Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA), 900 Dandenong Road, Caulfield East
Exhibition continues to 13 April 2019
Free entry

For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Kym Maxwell, Objects of Longing Project (research phase with Dandenong Primary School, July), 2018 – photo by Keelan O’Hehir