Workout

The Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) announces Workout , a one-week series of performances in the Level 1 North Gallery developed over a short period of time using everyday materials and a range of experimental and improvisational processes. Workout features seven artists and collaborative groups, each given the run of the gallery space for a single day.

Art Exhibition previously on at Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) in The Rocks precinct, New South Wales, Australia.
From Monday 22 April 2013 to Sunday 28 April 2013

Birthing things in the Spirit image Intercession (Newcastle Pools) image The Motel Sisters, Podcast image BIG IN JAPAN image Making art dreams a reality through an educational tour image True Love False Consciousness image Breathing for biagio walking image (Wrong Solo), Reverse Lecture image

Published by M.C.A. on Saturday 30 March 2013.
Contact the publisher.

The artists are David Capra, Domenico de Clario, Brian Fuata, Sarah Goffman, Agatha Gothe- Snape with Susan Gibb, The Motel Sisters (Liam Benson and Naomi Oliver) and Jodie Whalen.

Drawing on the double meaning of workout as both a strenuous exercise routine and a test of performance capability, the exhibition explores artists’ approaches to physical activity, mental exertion, training and routine. It also examines the creative act of ‘working out ideas’ as part of the artistic process.

MCA Curator Anna Davis explains: ‘During Workout, the Level 1 North Gallery begins each day as an empty white cube. Any interventions in the space are made by the artist, an MCA installer and a group of volunteers during gallery hours. These interventions are of a temporary nature and are removed before Museum closing time in readiness for the next day’s artist, offering visitors insights into processes that are usually kept behind the scenes.’

ABOUT THE ARTISTS AND WORKOUT PERFORMANCES
Monday 22 April – David Capra describes himself as an intercessory artist and his performances often involve gestures of spiritual healing such as the laying on of hands, banner waving, dance and glossolalia (speaking-in-tongues). Capra has been a member of the ‘International Wizard of Oz Club’ since age 7 and the enigmatic Oz is a recurring motif in his practice. In his performance Throne room (Wizard of Oz Intercession) (2013) he re-imagines the classic 1939 film The Wizard of Oz using dance, gesture, video projection and hand-made props. Drawing connections between Oz’s illusory, emerald-green throne room and ‘the throne room of God’ Capra explores the film’s depiction of the timeless quest to find your way home. The artist’s dog, a charismatic dachshund named Teena, appears in the work and acts as a symbol of answered prayer.

Tuesday 23 April – The Motel Sisters are Liam Benson and Naomi Oliver, a collaborative, multi-faceted duo from Western Sydney whose work engages with society, pop culture and the contemporary art scene. Having risen to fame as ‘art scene socialites’, they use their profile to explore the relationship between their suburban roots and their role as emerging artists. Alongside their guerrilla-style public performances, The Motel Sisters frequently utilise social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to perform and exhibit their work. In their new work My Little Kony (2013) they recreate the iconic Bed-In for Peace protest made by Yoko Ono and John Lennon in 1969. In their 2013 version, the artists take on the role of ‘slacktivists’, lying in bed with their laptops, ordering takeaway food, watching reality TV clips on YouTube and ‘liking’ socially conscious causes on social media. Apparently bedridden through obesity caused by an over lethargic lifestyle, The Motel Sisters also use their time to write idle complaint letters to organisations and government bodies that fail to meet their opinionated expectations.

Wednesday 24 April – Sarah Goffman was born in Sydney, Australia in 1966. She has been exhibiting regularly since 1992, and has shown extensively around Australia and overseas. Goffman works predominantly in installation and mixed media. Often working site-specifically, she makes use of trash and other found objects; transforming and re-contextualising unwanted materials to explore ideas of consumer exchange and the metaphysical in the everyday. She has been the recipient of a number of Japanese residencies in recent years and has used this opportunity to create work based on her research into customs and aesthetics. As a result of her time spent in Japan, she has begun incorporating video rituals and performance into her practice. Goffman’s performance Oki-do yoga (2013) is based on a Japanese ‘breathing’ yoga technique the artist learnt in Glebe over twenty years ago that she believes saved her life. During the course of the day, Goffman repeatedly performs her regular yoga ritual, taking time out for breaks and relaxation. The public is welcome to follow the artist’s simple yoga moves using one of the mats provided or just to relax, stretch out and listen to the accompanying music. There is no talking allowed.

Thursday 25 April – Jodie Whalen explores the idea of a physical and psychological finish line that may never materialise. Whalen’s work I’m Worth My Weight in Gold , took the artist on a journey towards ‘getting fit’. The 3-year project combined art and everyday life, exploring the limits of the exercising body and linking its obsessive training and suffering to the process of making art. Whalen’s most recent performances are informed by her employment as a gallery attendant and educator at an art museum and explore how this interacts with her artistic process. Whalen’s Workout performance Day Job / After Work Drinks (2013) sets out to examine the audiences (and her own) perceptions of what it is to be an artist. Involving specifically stated tasks, expectations and rules – like most jobs, it takes place in a provisional office environment set up at the MCA where members of the public are invited to meet the artist and discuss her work. What at first seems to be a shameless act of self-promotion evolves into a test of stamina and commitment, as the artist will not stop talking unless asked to do so.

Friday 26 April – Agatha Gothe-Snape was born in 1980 and lives and works in Sydney. Gothe- Snape has developed a conceptual practice that relates closely to improvisational performance. Based on ephemeral materials and subtle alterations to space, she tracks our relationships to each other, to art, art contexts and histories. Her work takes many forms – pedestrian performances, endlessly looped PowerPoint slide shows, workshops, digital collages, diagrams, visual scores, and collaboratively produced art objects whose production is implicated within a performance, the limits of which are ambiguous and up for negotiation. Gothe-Snape often employs conversations or instructions in order to stage critical responses to institutional, social and historical contexts. For Workout, Agatha Gothe- Snape and curator Susan Gibb use dialogues, ideas and reflections from across their entire working relationship to create a single day performance of new and existing work by Agatha Gothe-Snape.

Saturday 27 April – Domenico de Clario is an interdisciplinary artist, academic, curator, writer and musician. Born in Trieste, Italy, in 1947, he migrated to Australia with his family in 1956. De Clario has presented more than 250 solo and group exhibitions and performances since 1966 and has published a number of books and CDs. He has been the recipient of international/national residencies and grants, including the Australia Council Fellowship. His work is represented in major public and private collections in Australia and worldwide. Since 1973, de Clario has presented a single work that has taken place at many different times and locations. Central to this evolving project is a growing archive of everyday objects, which the artist continuously re-examines in terms of its relationship to himself, other objects and the various architectural contexts in which it is contained. On the morning of the 27 April 2013 de Clario’s archive is delivered to the MCA and arranged in the Level 1 North Gallery by a group of preparators and volunteers before being repacked and taken away that evening. This is the final viewing of the archive before its ritual burial at Glenorchy Art and Sculpture Park (GASP) in Hobart later this year. In one day in the gallery, De Clario sings and performs a blindfolded piano improvisation from 7.40 am when the full moon sets to 6.26 pm when it rises again.

Sunday 28 April – Brian Fuata is a Sydney–based writer and performance maker who creates work about himself relating to different places of performance whether in the theatre, gallery, sms texting or the internet. Fuata also has an extensive collaborative practice, including the performance projects Wrong Solo with Agatha Gothe-Snape, and Fuata Moran with Michael Moran. For Workout , Fuata occupies a thin corridor-like area at the edge of the gallery space each day witnessing and responding to all the performances. He has a minimal set up of chair, desk, camera and laptop and transcribes, translates and performs his own texts, and ones gleaned from his co-participants as a way of simultaneously responding, documenting and re-performing the activities enacted during Workout.