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The humours

7 October – 16 December 2017

Curator: Hannah Mathews

Artists: Gabriel Abrantes (FR/PT), Barbara Cleveland (AU), Matthew Griffin (AU), Glenn Ligon (US), Mary Reid Kelley with Patrick Kelley (US), Mika Rottenberg (US)

The humours is an international group exhibition that brings together new and recent works to consider how artists employ strategies of comedy and absurdity. Rather than identifying 'what is funny', the exhibition looks more closely at 'what makes funny' and how artists use various comedic personalities, strategies and tropes (including bodily movement, scripted dialogue, timing, exaggeration of scale and situation) to reveal more serious concerns about race, labour, gender and history.

With a particular focus on the delivery of comedy and absurdity through physicality and language, The humours includes moving image, photographic, installation and performance works by five artists and one artist-led collective. The exhibition continues MUMA's commitment to provide a safe space for challenging ideas – with humour allowing us to look more closely at the complexities of contemporary living.


Exhibition Catalogue:

The humours. Purchase via MUMA shop.

Public Programs:

The humours: Curatorial floor talk - Sunday 22 October
Boiler Room Lecture: Mary Reid Kelley and Patrick Kelley - Wednesday 13 December
Screening Program: Nathaniel Mellors, Ourhouse (2010- ) - every Tuesday and Saturday from 21 November until 16 December

Media Kit:

The humours Media Kit

Presented in association with Melbourne Festival.

Image: Mika Rottenberg, Squeeze, 2010, single channel video installation, digital c-print, video duration: 20 minutes, overall dimensions variable, edition of 6 with 2 Aps © Mika Rottenberg, courtesy Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York

in Exhibitions