Interplay: The MCA Staff Show 2013

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Interplay is the MCA Staff Show for 2013, featuring 45 emerging and established artists. The show brings together a diversity of practices including drawing, painting, photography, sewing, video, and performance, with a number of new works created specially for this show. The exhibition will conclude with a night of performance on Sunday 10 March 2013.

Inspired by the common ground of working together at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Interplay explores ideas of connections, networks and interaction. When viewed as a whole, the exhibition presents the diverse and dynamic talents of a group of artists who possess a great passion for contemporary art. Works that may not have been shown together previously, due to formal differences, engage with each other playfully and, in doing so, create new possibilities and meanings. The artists represented are at varying stages of their careers; it will be the first show for some, while others have exhibited regularly in group and solo exhibitions for many years.

107 Project’s former life as a car park, now converted into a fully-functional art space, creates an open and inviting setting worlds away from the traditional white cube. This relaxed atmosphere has encouraged the artists and organisers to be more playful in exploring their practice and the relationship between works. We look forward to visitors enjoying and engaging with the works, as well as the performance pieces, which will make specific use of the site.

A number of interesting connections and interactions between works have emerged through the hang of the show. A sense of fun, an exploration of materials and an enjoyment of the art-making process is visible in numerous works. A resurgence of drawing as a primary practice is revealed in others, as is a blurring of the boundaries around traditional craft endeavours such as sewing and needlework. Themes of the domestic, belonging, friendships and the environment feature as central concerns in a number of artist’s works.

Given the diversity of practices and inclusive curatorial ethic, it is almost impossible to draw out overarching conceptual or aesthetic concerns. However, that is not the point. Interplay is a snapshot of the lives and work of a group of practicing artists who are also colleagues and, as such, share friendships that span far beyond the gallery walls. Ultimately, this show is a celebration of one of Sydney’s most vibrant creative communities and the relationships that have formed through their work at the MCA.

We hope you enjoy the show almost as much as we enjoyed putting it together!

Exhibition essay written by Sophia Cai, Kathleen Linn and Pete Johnson with editing by Athena Cabot. Originally published at launch of exhibition on February 28, 2013. 

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