10 October, 2006

Melbourne International Arts Festival

Melbourne International Arts Festival is one of Australia's leading international arts festivals and has an outstanding reputation for presenting unique international and Australian events in the fields of dance, theatre, music, visual arts, multimedia, free and outdoor events over 17 days each October.
12 -28

Artists have, from time immemorial, included or depicted animals in their work; from cave paintings to the Renaissance animals have featured in visual art. The Melbourne International Arts Festival Visual Arts program, brings together a diverse array of contemporary artists, special projects and exhibitions, that provide a broad sample of over 30 artist’s use of animal imagery.

Across painting, sculpture, installation, video, photography and mixed media, the program occupies nine prominent Melbourne galleries. Unsettled Boundaries is by no means an all inclusive survey, rather, it is an engaging look at what may seem, upon first glance, a somewhat simple thesis, but in actuality offers a complex set of aesthetic strategies, by some highly unique artists from around the globe.

We’re all familiar with the use of animal images in the advertising world – beer, lollies, cars, ice cream ads come to mind – but animal imagery permeates all aspects of our lives. However it is more often than not when our understanding of environmental disasters, conservation campaigns, or the plight of a specific species is increased that our emotional
engagement peaks and forces us to raise questions about our own relationship with animals.

Artists too, are exploring our relationship to, exploitation of and efforts to connect with animals. They are developing their own unique contribution to their art form or craft, and through both the quality of their work and the conceptual underpinning of their content, we will look at animals and our engagement with contemporary art in a whole new way.

The program is featured in nine venues located in the heart of the city. The National Gallery of Victoria, Federation Square, Gallery 101, Span Gallery, 45 Downstairs, Arc One Gallery, RMIT Gallery, Craft Victoria and Tolarno Galleries are recognised as key contemporary arts presenters and supporters in Melbourne and are welcomed presenters in this years program.

Major new work by 12 artists from China, Mexico, United Kingdom, France, USA and Australia will be featured. RMIT Gallery and the Australian Centre of Photography (Sydney) are presenting curated group shows, enabling us to present a further diversity of international and Australian artists.

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