Is there racism in heaven? This is the question that sparked American artist Nick Cave’s (not the Australian musician) largest exhibition to date. His monumental installation took four years to develop (with three presenting partners) and fills the entire public space of Carriageworks. The immersive landscape is made of crystals, beads, trinkets and found objects, and through this overwhelming bricolage of things, Cave addresses issues of race relations, gender politics and American gun violence.
Visitors will be able to climb one of four ladders to view the uncanny piece from above, and gaze upwards at Crystal Cloudscape, a five-tonne sculptural centrepiece suspended from the ceiling of the old railway workshop. Micro worlds within the extravagant build contain a 14 channel video installation, a shimmering wall made from mylar filament and an immense kaleidoscopic installation made from millions of plastic pony beads.
A series of free music and performance events, panel discussions and community forums will be hosted throughout the duration of the exhibition. Until is on at Carriageworks from November 23, 2018 until March 3, 2019. carriageworks.com.au.
Organisers claim Caldera is Sydney’s boutique answer to Tasmania’s experimental art festival Dark Mofo, and you can be the judge when this four-night multisensory art experience pops up at the 130-year-old Eveleigh Locomotive Workshops at the end of the month.
On entry punters are sent a code that will give them access to a digital map marking the location of the artworks. The theme the 11 exhibiting artists are working to has been kept an intentional mystery, but all we know is that works of metal, optical illusion, digital necromancy, hair, line painting, fire, steam and ephemera await us. To uncover the thread that binds them together, you’ll have to journey among the steam hammers and blast furnaces of this “industrial cathedral”.
Caldera is on at Bay 1 and Bay 2 of Eveleigh Works at 8pm and 10pm from November 29 until December 2. Tickets are $54 and include a Four Pillars Gin cocktail on arrival. caldera.sydney.
Museum of Contemporary Art
A trio of openings means there are three new reasons to head to the MCA this month.
Occupying level three of the gallery is the retrospective exhibition of David Goldblatt, a South African photographer internationally renowned for his documentation of apartheid, a period of government-enforced racial segregation that existed in South Africa from 1948 until the early 1990s. Goldblatt died in June of this year, and this survey exhibition will tell seven decades of South Africa’s stories through his black-and-white photographic series, post-1990s experiments in colour photography, and previously unseen images from his personal archives.
For Compass, the curator of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander collection and exhibitions Clothilde Bullen has delved into the MCA’s collection and put together a thought-provoking show that draws connections between the work of Indigenous and non-Indigenous female artists and exposes their varying experiences of womanhood.
And don’t miss Primavera 2018, the MCA’s annual survey of up-and-coming Australian artists aged 35 and under. This iteration has been curated by one of MCA’s own, Megan Robson, and examines the importance of identity today through the work of eight diverse artists from across Australia including Sydney-based multidisciplinary artists Caroline Garcia, Spence Messih and Jason Phu.
Compass and Primavera are on at the MCA until February 3, 2019. David Goldblatt – Photographs 1948–2018 runs until March 3, 2019. mca.com.au/whats-on.
Possible Dream Theory #2
Expect to be lulled into the trippy subconscious of eight emerging, mid-career and established Australian artists with Galerie Pompom’s final exhibition of the year.
For Possible Dream Theory #2 Pompom director George Adams has curated, among others, the ephemeral work of Emily Parsons-Lord – who is experimenting with gallium, a bizarre metal that melts in your hand – the morphed creatures in Polly Borland’s digital photographic series, and the vibrant nonsensical scenes by Matthew Harris to explore the mystery, peculiarity and psychology of dreams.
Possible Dream Theory #2 is at Galerie Pompom from November 14 until December 16. galeriepompom.com.
Fisher’s Ghost Art Award
This annual art award coincides with the Festival of Fisher’s Ghost – a 10-day event that dates back to 1956 and celebrates Frederick Fisher, a convict settler who was brutally murdered by his neighbour in 1826 and whose ghost apparently returned to haunt the settlement in the years following his death.
From a record-breaking 1126 entries, Sydney-based performance artist Brian Fuata has taken out the coveted Open Award, which will be on show at Campbelltown Arts Centre alongside finalists from the 11 award categories spanning Aboriginal art, contemporary work, sculpture, photography, surrealism and more.
Fisher’s Ghost Art Award is at Campbelltown Arts Centre until December 13. c-a-c.com.au/fishersghost.
The Bearded Tit certainly isn’t the only Sydney bar to offer up a space for artist residencies and exhibitions, but that doesn’t make its offering any less unique.
Its 36th exhibition Perfect Strangers promises awkward moments, strange encounters and intimate endings. Sydney-based artist Laura Ellison is occupying Streetspace – a small exhibition space viewed from Regent Street via a custom-built window – with a series of video encounters of a 100-kilogram sack representative of her body prior to her radical 2017 gastric-sleeve surgery. Her transformation journey extends into The Salon as a fleshy pink photographic series.
Direct from the US, art stars Valentine Freeman and Azsa West (who have produced films and advertising campaigns for the likes of Opening Ceremony, Rodarte and Nike), will take over Taxidermy TV, the screens above the bar, with a fantasy lesbian cable channel. And every Sunday, “Starving Artist in Residence” Bonnie Cowan will enact a responsive performance for a stranger she has met for coffee only hours before.
Perfect Strangers is at The Bearded Tit until December 8. thebeardedtit.com.