17 July, 2006

HIGH TIDE - Lithuania

HIGH TIDE: new currents in art from Australia and New Zealand
2 June – 13 August, 2006

Magda Kardasz and Simon Rees

Vokieciu g. 2, LT-01130
Vilnius, Lithuania
T: +370 5 262 3476
F: +370 5 262 3954

Tuesday – Sunday 12.00 – 19.30

The Contemporary Art Centre’s major summer exhibition HIGH TIDE is the largest bi-national exhibition of contemporary art from Australia and New Zealand presented internationally. HIGH TIDE which includes 29 artists and 5 collaborative groups has traveled to the CAC following its popular and critical success at Zach?ta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw (February – April 2006).

HIGH TIDE presents Australian and New Zealand art from a European point of view locating themes and motifs that match a European popular imagination — with a focus on works that make humorous/political commentary or reveal the hidden underbelly of this imaginary. For instance, artist Daniel Malone leaves no doubt in the audiences’ minds that many intelligent New Zealanders revile the concept that their nation is in anyway associated with Tolkien’s ‘Middle Earth’ in the wake of the Lord of the Rings movie experience. There is a strong environmental theme within the exhibition as several artists signal the impact that human contact is having on the unique and often fragile ecologies of both geographies. Ironically, the more people who visit this nature the faster its beauty fades. Similarly, the Aboriginal, Maori, and Pacific Island artists in the exhibition chart the complicated impact that European colonization has had on their homelands and peoples.

The CAC exhibition includes 8 newly commissioned works as 15 artists traveled to Vilnius for the occasion. Melbourne artists Callum Morton and Danius Kesminas produced a large-scale performative architectural ‘happening’ reflecting historical links between the cities of Melbourne and Vilnius: since the first decade of the 20th Century Melbourne has been a site of major Lithuanian emigration. Australian Wiradjuri artist Brook Andrew investigated local engagements with notions of ‘blackness’ (when Lithuania is a resolutely white and culturally homogeneous nation). Equally ‘alienated’ when in Vilnius for two months, New Zealand artist Jim Speers has produced a new three-channel video scanning the outer-spaces of the city and grey-zones of male social interaction.

Alienation and cultural distanciation are cultural affects, often associated with Australia and New Zealand (and post-Soviet Europe), that HIGH TIDE goes some way to overcoming.

Participating artists: A.L.A.N., Brook Andrew, Guy Benfield, Mladen Bizumic, Lisa Crowley, Bill Culbert, Destiny Deacon and Virginia Fraser, eX de Medici, Mikala Dwyer, Shaun Gladwell, Matthew Griffin, Peggy Napangardi Jones, The Kingpins, Maddie Leach, Daniel Malone, MINIT (Jasmine Guffond and Torben Tilly), Tracey Moffatt, TV Moore, James Morrison, Callum Morton and Danius Kesminas, Ani O'Neill, Michael Parekowhai, Patricia Piccinini, Rachael Rakena, Scott Redford, Ann Shelton, Jim Speers, Kathy Temin, Yvonne Todd, Francis Upritchard, Ronnie van Hout, Suzann Victor, Louise Weaver, Boyd Webb

HIGH TIDE is accompanied by an extensive catalogue that includes installation photography of the exhibitions and texts by: Brook Andrew, Gregory Burke, Destiny Deacon and Virginia Fraser, Robert Drewe, Simon During, eX de Medici, Blair French, Jeff Gibson, Ihor Holubizky, Magda Kardasz (ed.), Kestutis Kuizinas, Agnieszka Morawinska, Scott Redford, Simon Rees (ed.) plus an interview with the artists Daniel Malone, Ani O’Neill, Michael Parekowhai by the curators.

HIGH TIDE is a collaboration between the CAC and Zach?ta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw
And has received generous support from: the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts its arts funding and advisory body; Creative New Zealand Arts Council of New Zealand, Toi Aotearoa

With assistance from the Embassies of Australia and New Zealand to Lithuania

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