Monash University Toggle Search

Shapes of Knowledge

9 February – 13 April 2019

A Centre for Everything, Asia Art ArchiveChimurengaLucas IhleinAnnette Krauss & Casco Art InstituteAlex Martinis RoeKym Maxwell and The Mulka Project

Hannah Mathews

Shapes of Knowledge brought together eight projects from artists, collectives and organisations from across Australia and the globe to reflect on the different platforms, spaces and timeframes in which knowledge is produced and shared.

Shapes of Knowledge responded to a growing international discourse around pedagogy and contemporary art. Ranging from an ice cream machine making coal-flavoured treats, live radio broadcasts and a cinema of Indigenous culture to test sites for future greening technology, a toolkit for feminist action and performance lectures, the projects in Shapes of Knowledge variously addressed how we live, how we learn, and the unique ability of art to animate our sensory experiences and critical faculties.

Primarily functioning as an exhibition of ideas and approaches, Shapes of Knowledge also existed as a site for broader programming. Each project was activated at various times throughout the exhibition’s duration, either by the artist, a delegate or via other mediums. The nature of these programs reflected the individual projects and included bus visits to regenerative farms, an unlearning workshop for MUMA staff, and a salon of feminist performances, among others.

In addition to various participatory programs, the exhibition was accompanied by an anthology publication that documented the relationship between art and pedagogy. The anthology includes newly commissioned texts by Wes Hill, Georgina Criddle, Joshua Harrison, Quentin Sprague, Barbara Casavecchia, Andy Butler, Natasha Ginwala, Syafiatudina Saja and Michelle Antoinette, along with re-published texts by Australian writers on a range of topics, including the educational turn, art’s relationship to knowledge, the place of knowledge in Australian Indigenous culture and research, and the often contentious relationship between art and research, and art school and university.

Image: From left, Kym Maxwell and Dandenong Primary School, Museum of Anticipation T-shirts: (Pro)Test / (Re)Search / Museum Attendant / Collections Manager, 2018; Then He Huffed and Puffed (Disappearance of the Social Tent), 2018; Objects of Longing: Venn Diagram (Museum of Anticipation, 23 July – 3 August 2018), 2019; Objects of Longing (Culturally Speculating About a Work of Art as a Social Context, Considerations by Way of Stephen Willats), 2019; (Flowed and Interrupted Phases of Learning), 2019; Destiny Deacon and Virginia Fraiser, Forced into images, 2001; Susan Jacobs, Hard age new edge (melted wizard), 2010; Gordon Bennett, Wound, 1990; Kym Maxwell and Dandenong Primary School ‘Raven’  and ‘Collaborative Teacher’ costume for the student play, Objects are a Limbic System Embrace Their Logic, 2018. Shapes of Knowledge, Installation view, Monash University Museum of Art, 2019. Photo: Christian Capurro

Shapes of Knowledge Projects
A Centre for Everything

Maps of Gratitude, Cones of Silence and Lumps of Coal
Alex Martinis Roe

Our Future Network
Annette Krauss & Casco Art Institute

Site for Unlearning (Art Organisation)
Asia Art Archive

Art Schools from Asia: Three Case Studies

Pan African Space Station
Kym Maxwell

Objects of Longing
Lucas Ihlein

Baking Earth: Soil and the Carbon Economy
The Mulka Project

Digital library and production centre, Yirrkala

Related Programs
Book Launch: Annette Krauss, Unlearning Exercises

Wednesday 6 February 2019, 6–8pm
A Centre for Everything: Coal as Ice

Saturday 9 February 2019, 3–5pm
Wednesday 27 February 2019, 12–1.30pm
Live Demonstration: Lucas Ihlein, Soil Carbon Testing with the Yeomans Carbon Still

Tuesday 12 & Wednesday 13 February 2019, 10am–3pm
Thursday 7 & Friday 8 March 2019, 10am–3pm
Thursday 21 & Friday 22 March 2019, 10am–3pm
MADA Art Forum: The Mulka Project

Wednesday 6 March 2019, 1–2pm
Lucas Ihlein: Soil Sampling Field Trip

Saturday 9 March 2019, 10am–4pm,-Productive-Refusals-w-Helena-Reckitt-2016.jpg
Alex Martinis Roe: Our Future Network Salon

Saturday 16 March 2019, 2–4pm
MADA Art Forum: Lucas Ihlein

Wednesday 20 March 2019, 1–2pm,-Crepe-circles-_-Munari_s-circles_2015.jpg
MADA Art Forum: A Centre for Everything

Wednesday 27 March 2019, 1–2pm
THREEFOLDparallelperformance: Space or Place?

Wednesday 27 March 2019, 6.30pm,-Lagos,-2016-Photographer-Lanre-Orisunmibare-002.jpg
Pan African Space Station live broadcast from MUMA

Thursday 11 April 2019, 3–8pm
Friday 12 April 2019, 3–8pm
Saturday 13 April 2019, 12–5pm

Installation Views
Shapes of Knowledge-1
Shapes of Knowledge-2
Shapes of Knowledge-3
Shapes of Knowledge-4
Shapes of Knowledge-5
Shapes of Knowledge-6
Shapes of Knowledge-7
Shapes of Knowledge-8
Shapes of Knowledge-9


The exhibition was generously supported by:

Artists' projects supported by:

Lucas Ihlein's project was assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body; the Australian Research Council (ARC); and the NSW Government through Create NSW. The project forms part of "An artist, a farmer, and a scientist walk into a bar..." co-ordinated by Kandos School of Cultural Adaptation (KSCA).

Annette Krauss & Casco Art Institute was supported by the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna in the framework of her postdoctoral grant, financed by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF).

Alex Martinis Roe’s Our Future Network film project was funded by the Graduiertenschule der Universität der Künste Berlin, The Einstein Stiftung, Berlin and the Australian Government through its arts funding and advisory body, the Australia Council for the Arts. Her broader To Become Two project was co-commissioned by If I Can’t Dance, I Don’t Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution (Amsterdam); ar/ge kunst (Bolzano); Casco – Office for Art, Design and Theory (Utrecht); and The Showroom (London). The Our Future Network workshop and salon series was supported by The Kier Foundation. Alex Martinis Roe's project was supported by the MUMA Contemporaries.

Kym Maxwell's project, Objects of Longing, was generously supported by Gandel Philanthropy and Creative Learning Partnerships - A Victorian Government Initiative.

The Mulka Project’s participation in Shapes of Knowledge was assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body. The Mulka Project was supported by the MUMA Contemporaries.