The Biography of Things

ACCA The Biography of ThingsAn exhibition that explores the labyrinthine stories that live behind things continues at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA) until 21 February 2016.

The Biography of Things is an international exhibition curated by Juliana Engberg, Annika Kristensen and Hannah Mathews, bringing together artists who use objects, archives and collections to reveal narratives of loss, intrigue, histories and people.

Working as if detectives, the artists in this exhibition bring a lively approach to object encounters, using both objective and subjective approaches to reveal much about what time has concealed or forgotten. Highlights of the exhibition include:

  • New York-based, French artist Camille Henrot’s Gross Fatigue (2013), hailed as ‘groundbreaking’ when it was awarded the Silver Lion at the 2013 Venice Biennale, draws on the collections of the world’s largest scientific museum, the Smithsonian Institute, to tell the story of the creation of the world.
  • Narelle Jubelin’s Case no: T961301 (1998), a monumental installation where the worlds of diplomacy and trade meet in a reflection on colonial histories. Jubelin, Sydney-born and Madrid-based, has a research-based practice that directs our attention towards tiny fragments of large histories with great exactness.
  • Renowned Lebanese-born artist Walid Raad’s Preface to the Fifth edition, a series initiated by the Louvre, Paris, in 2014 for their new Islamic Art spaces. Since the late 1980s, Raad has been focused on creating works that archive the Lebanese wars in fictional form through his Atlas Group project.

Other artists include Brook Andrew (Aus), Ilit Azoulay (Israel)  Aurélien Froment (French born, Ireland based), Camille Henrot (US) Nicholas Mangan (Aus), Rosalind Nashashibi & Lucy Skaer (UK), Kirsten Pieroth (Germany) and Paul Sietsema (US).

The Biography of Things will be accompanied by a catalogue of new texts and a series of podcasts featuring interviews with artists, curators, commentators and Melbourne personalities discussing hidden histories and stories, real or imagined.

The Biography of Things
Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA), 111 Sturt Street, Southbank.
Exhibition continues to 21 February 2016
Free entry

For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Camille Henrot, Grosse Fatigue, 2013 (video still). Courtesy the artist, Silex Films and kamel mennour, Paris – photo by Simon O’Dwyer