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Wednesday 4 September, 1-2pm
G104, Building G
Monash Art, Design and Architecture
Monash University, Caulfield Campus
FREE /// All welcome


Olaf Nicolai lives and works in Berlin. After studying German language and literature at the University of Leipzig, he has practiced as a visual artist since 1990. Considered one of Germany’s leading artists, Nicolai takes on a range of conceptual themes, from political and cultural critiques to inquiries into human perception. A recurring subject is the aesthetic appropriation of nature by human culture and design, explored through mixed-media sculptures and images. In addition to participating in solo and group exhibitions, Nicolai has shown at documenta X (1997) and documenta 14 (2017), and at the 49th and 51st Venice Biennale (2001 and 2005). For his work In The Woods There Is A Bird… (commissioned by documenta 14), he was awarded the 2017 Karl-Sczuka-Prize for works of radio art.

Nicolai is also recognised for his use of publishing as a method to translate, contextualise and examine his practice. His book, Four Times Through The Labyrinth (Spector Books, Leipzig Germany 2012) serves as both a reference system to Nicolai’s work and an independent source book dealing with labyrinthian matter, from the fable of the minotaur to the floor plan of IKEA. It will be performed during MUMA’s bookworks exhibition.

Olaf Nicolai is included in the group exhibition bookworks, a survey of contemporary artist book publishing guest curated by Warren Taylor that brings together six of the world’s leading exponents to Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA) from 24 July until 21 September 2019.  The exhibition explores the thematic connections between books, art and publishing from the conceptual, technical and material form of artist books – their history, production, classification and distribution.

Nicolai will expand on a selection of his projects for bookworks, including HOW TO PRODUCE A SITE SPECIFIC WORK ANYWHERE which involves a doppelgänger acting as the artist in the city of Melbourne.

Image: Olaf Nicolai, The Blondes 2005 and 30 Farben 2000, installation view, Monash University Museum of Art. Photo: Christian Capurro

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