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State of the Arts talks

A series of free Friday lunchtime lectures in association with the new contemporary galleries

Fram Kitagawa’s visit is made possible with the support of

The Japan Foundation Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Fridays 27 May – 17 June 2011, 1pm


Please arrive early as seating is limited

Location: Centenary Auditorium

Related exhibition: New contemporary galleries

Building community and art: How site-specific works can change artists and audiences

Fram Kitagawa, general director Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial and Setouchi International Art Festival

Contemporary art impresario Fram Kitagawa offers his thoughts on the role of art in contemporary society at this turning point of our civilisations. Through case studies of the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial and the Setouchi International Art Festival, Kitagawa explores the dynamics of artists working with communities. Kitagawa has a deep connection with Australia, having invited many Australian artists to the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial since its inception in 2000. The Australian artist base at the Triennial ‘Australia House’, established in 2009, has collapsed in the recent earthquake in Japan. Kitagawa will also discuss the project of rebuilding with consideration of protection from natural disasters, shelter, snow-proofing, energy substantiality and preservation of communities.

Image: Fram Kitagawa


Friday 27 May 2011 1pm – 2:30pm

The lecture will be delivered in Japanese with English translation.

The art of giving art

Anna Waldmann, art adviser

The Australian visual arts sector is a complex territory in which the crossover between the public, private and commercial domains is stronger than ever, connected and fuelled by each other. Government assistance provides a backbone for the research and developmental role of the arts. But more essential than ever is the other pillar of support: private museums and foundations.

In this talk, Anna Waldmann will address different models of private art benefaction in Australia and overseas: foundations that have either elected to set up their own temporary or permanent spaces, associate with existing institutions, or offer alternative support through grants or gifts.

Image: Anna Waldman


Friday 3 June 2011 1pm – 2pm

Conserving contemporary art: Processes, challenges and behind-the-scenes

Donna Hinton, head of objects conservation, Art Gallery of NSW

When artists started experimenting with new materials in the late 1960s, conservators were faced with a whole new set of challenges and processes. How does a work of art that is made of animal fat or mud, for example, get preserved or conserved in a museum? With these ever-evolving experimentations in contemporary art, conservators continue to research and explore new techniques and strategies in the conservation and preservation of art.

In this talk Donna Hinton gives a behind-the-scenes look at the conservation practices that were involved in treating works from the contemporary collection, including the John Kaldor Family Collection.

Image: The Gallery’s conservation studio


Friday 10 June 2011 1pm – 2pm

Beckett and minimalism: the art of (non)-relation

Anthony Uhlmann, Professor, Writing and Society, University of Western Sydney

Samuel Beckett is considered one of the most influential writers of the 20th century. Often referred to as a ‘minimalist’, his work was read with fervour by many artists linked with the minimalist and conceptual art movements throughout the 1960s and 1970s. The renowned director and theorist Herbert Blau has written of the exchanges between Beckett and his American visual arts contemporaries as having something of the nature of a climate system, with ideas in the atmosphere spreading out through the work of many hands in many forms, from writing to visual art to music. This lecture considers Beckett’s understanding of non-relation and some of the ways in which works by New York artists such as Donald Judd, Robert Rauschenberg, Sol LeWitt, and Carl Andre might be illuminated by being placed in (non)-relation with Beckett’s aesthetic method.

Anthony Uhlmann has published widely on Beckett and is the chief editor of the Journal of Beckett Studies.


Friday 17 June 2011 1pm – 2pm