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Pitch your own tent

Pitch Your Own Tent

23 June – 27 August 2005

Amanda Ahmed, Anti-Music, Guy Benfield and Vittoria di Stefano, Kate Beynon, Stephen Bram, Sandra Bridie, Tony Clark, Bronwyn Clark-Coolee, Martine Corompt, Peter Cripps, John Davis, Michael Delany,  John Dunkley-Smith, Richard Dunn, Kate Ellis, Marco Fusinato, Diena Georgetti, Mira Gojak, Melinda Harper, Gail Hastings, Eliza Hutchison, Raafat Ishak, Robert Jacks, Brendan Lee, Robert MacPherson, Andrew McQualter, Anne-Marie May, John Meade, Sean Meilak, Callum Morton, John Nixon, Rose Nolan, David Noonan, Alex Pittendrigh, Kerrie Poliness, Ti Parks, Mike Parr, David Rosetzky, Jacinta Schreuder, John Spiteri, Kathy Temin, Imants Tillers, Peter Tyndall, Lyndal Walker, Ania Walwicz, Jenny Watson, Gary Wilson and Constanze Zikos

Max Delany

Monash University Museum of Art presents Pitch Your Own Tent: Art Projects | Store 5 | 1st Floor, an exhibition and publication examining the recent history of contemporary Australian art from 1979-2002 through the activities and practices of three influential artist-run spaces:

  • Art Projects, Melbourne 1979-1984, established by John Nixon
  • Store 5, Melbourne 1989-1993, established by Gary Wilson
  • 1st Floor, Melbourne 1994-2002, established by David Rosetzky

The exhibition explores a strong lineage in the recent history of contemporary Australian art; of avantgarde, experimental and innovative practices and discourses developed by communities of artists through independent artist-run exhibition and publishing initiatives.

Each of the three respective artist-run spaces will be represented through one of MUMA’s three galleries, which will provide the opportunity to represent each organisation in context, whilst also allowing a comparison of the ideas, modes of display, and material culture of each respective enterprise. One contention of the exhibition is the degree to which it is artists themselves who are responsible for the interpretation and writing of art history.

One important parameter that has been established within the curatorial framework is to involve only those works of art which were actually presented in the programs of the respective artist-run spaces, thereby invoking the forms, production values and materiality of the respective periods. The title, Pitch Your Own Tent, makes reference to Gustave Courbet who pitched his own tent in front of the 1855 Exposition Universelle in Paris, to Ti Parks tents (one of which was exhibited at Art Projects and will be included in the exhibition), to Rikrit Taravanija's tent installed in front of the AGNSW, and to the perpetually provisional and itinerant nature of artist-run spaces generally.

Given that the programs of Art Projects, Store 5 and 1st Floor were each ambitious, diverse and encompassed exhibition and publishing programs conducted over periods of 5-9 years, the exhibition will inevitably focus upon the principal artists, and selected works which have made influential and/or lasting contributions, or are strongly representative of innovative visual arts culture of the time.

To coincide with the exhibition, the Monash University Museum of Art will publish an extensive catalogue, featuring essays by Carolyn Barnes, Max Delany, Robyn McKenzie, Tessa Dwyer, Andrew Hurle, Danny Huppatz and Sarah Tutton.

Exhibition Catalogue:
Pitch Your Own Tent

Image: Pitch Your Own Tent, installation view: Switchback Gallery, Gippsland Centre for Art and Design, 2005