Category : Interviews

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Video Editing: Ben Wickes | Editing: David Burnett, Ben Wickes

21st Century Artist Interview: Lee Mingwei

In 2008 David Burnett, Curator, International Art spoke with Lee Mingwei about the Bodhi Tree Project 2006.

“The sacred Sri Lankan city of Anuradhapura was established around the Sri Maha Bodhi, tree of enlightenment. The Bo-tree, which is sacred to both Hindus and Buddhists, is the oldest depicted tree in Indian art and literature and it can be said that this is the mythical ‘World Tree’ or the ‘Tree of Life’ of the Indian subcontinent. For the “Bodhi Tree Project”, Lee Mingwei brought a seedling produced by the Sri Maha Bodhi in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka to Brisbane and planting it in a garden created within the Gallery of Modern Art site. In a 4 years collaborative process with the Buddhist communities in both Anuradhapura and Brisbane, this sacred Bodhi tree sapling was planted on the gallery ground on Buddha’s birthday of 2008. The Sri Maha Bodhi Tree is the direct decedent to the original tree at the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodhgaya in the Indian state of Bihar where the historical Buddha and founder of Buddhism, Siddhartha Gautama, is said to have achieved enlightenment. This Bodhi Tree will provide a place for children to play in coming years, offering shade and be a focus for contemplation. ” Artist Statement

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Camera: Ben Wickes | Editing: Francis E Parker, Ben Wickes

21st Century Artist Interview: Fiona Hall

Fiona Hall uses a dazzling variety of materials in her complex, imaginative and often surprising works. For the last two decades Hall has made sculptures and installations of many different types, ranging from tiny snow-dome multiples to entire gardens. Her broad-ranging practice includes major public commissions and projects that have embraced a broad range of media, and have increasingly engaged with themes of ecology, history and the effects of globalisation. In November 2010, Hall spoke with Francis Parker, Curator, Contemporary Australian Art about working with museum collections and how see came to make the installation Tender 2003-06 featured in the ‘21st Century: Art in the First Decade’ exhibition.

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Camera: Ben Wickes | Editing: Mellissa Kavenagh, Ben Wickes

21st Century Artist Interview: Romuald Hazoumé

Romuald Hazoumé’s assemblages are constructed from a range of discarded materials, including the plastic containers used to smuggle petrol into Benin from neighbouring Nigeria. This ‘recycling’ refers to historical inequities in exchange between Africa and Europe —  of slaves, of traditional artefacts being sent to Europe and the Americas over centuries, and of the contemporary phenomenon in which industrialised countries pay African nations to allow the dumping of their waste. Hazoumè creates a subversive feedback loop within this system by recycling the waste as sculpture to be exhibited in (primarily) European galleries. During a research visit to Australia in September 2010, Hazoumé spoke with Russell Storer, Curatorial Manager, Asian and Pacific Art about his practice and contribution to the ‘21st Century: Art in the First Decade’ exhibition.

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Camera: Ben Wickes | Editing: Bree Richards, Ben Wickes

21st Century Artist Interview: Justine Cooper

Justine Cooper works at the intersection of art, science and medicine. Internationally recognised as an interdisciplinary artist, she originally specialised in photography but her work now extends across media including animation, video and installation, as well as medical imaging technologies such as MRI, DNA sequencing and Ultra sound. Julie Ewington, Curatorial Manager, Australian Art spoke with Cooper about the development of her ‘Saved by Science’ series and the works featured in the ‘21st Century: Art in the First Decade’ exhibition.

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Thomas Ruff reflects on the photographic medium

Thomas Ruff reflects on the photographic medium across several key bodies of work – from his Portraits series started at the Düsseldorf Academy through to the Jpegs series that focus on the structure of images found on Internet and their distribution. By enlarging these found images, Ruff plays with the perception of these images when the pixel patterns becomes sublime geometric displays of colour.

Artist talk as part of the Aperture Gallery series at the School of Art, Media, and Technology at Parsons The New School for Design, New York, February 12, 2010.