Contemplate the importance of solitude through contemporary art
nightshifts considers the importance of solitude through contemporary arts practice. Shifting in and out of focus like a dreamscape, the exhibition looks to the shadows and ‘after hours’ as metaphors for the work and thinking that happens beneath the surface, away from the public gaze: time alone in the studio, during the quiet of the night and while asleep.
Spanning a range of histories and media, works from the Michael Buxton and University of Melbourne Collections are presented alongside new commissions, offering a contemplative counterpoint to the recurring emphasis on collaboration and hyper-visibility in contemporary practice.
These artists demonstrate the natural cycles and shifting conditions of working alone, from rumination to meditative, flow-like states and the periods of quiet and rest that necessarily follow. Solo human journeys and cosmic trajectories diverge and connect, and perspectives on Deep Listening demonstrate the power of singular focus to sharpen attention and reveal things unseen.
Curated by Hannah Presley and Annika Aitken.
Benjamin Armstong • Peter Booth • Rob Bundle • Tony Clark • Vicki Couzens • Mikala Dwyer • Marco Fusinato • Teelah George • Shaun Gladwell • Mira Gojak • Brent Harris • David Jolly • Mabel Juli • Emily Kame Kngwarreye • Laresa Kosloff • Lindy Lee • Tracey Moffatt • Callum Morton • John Nixon • David Noonan • Gekko Ogata • Mike Parr • Rosslynd Piggott • Lisa Sammut • Sandra Selig • Ricky Swallow • Louise Weaver • Constanze Zikos
26 May – 29 October 2023
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Image credit: Lisa Sammut, FULL CIRCLE (ii) (2023), video still. Image courtesy of the artist