From Andrew Frost…
If contemporary art is a kind of art making that attempts to open up a critical debate with the values and aspirations of wider culture, the Museum of Contemporary Art’s exhibition Taboo is the very definition of contemporary practice. Curated by artist Brooke Andrew the show’s rationale aims for the stars. “Raising issues of censorship with ‘daring’ or ‘disrespectful’ devices, Taboo aims to re-visit arguments and decisions made out of fear and trauma that have now become verbatim to shut down discourse or even to influence good value in debate, creativity and culture,” writes Andrew. “Taboo aims to remove these barricades by juxtaposing ideas that open other strategies to enable visibility, discussion and accessibility.”
As to how successful such a wide and ambitious curatorial gambit may be is at the very heart of the show, with artists combining ethnographic approaches to image making and documentation, or repurposing kitsch racism into bitterly ironic commentaries on the nature of race relations today. The exhibition features the work of a number of international and Australian artists including Bindi Cole, Jimmie Durham, Alicia Henry, Judy Watson, among others. Also included in the show are a series of talks and discussions on hot topics including sex, race and religion each Sunday at 2pm, and a film series that includes such transgressive favourites as Salo [120 Days of Sodom], Bhutto and River of No Return.
Until February 24
Museum of Contemporary Art, The Rocks.
Pic: Anton Kannemeyer, In Heaven, 2011, lithograph, image courtesy the artist and Stevenson, Cape Town and Johannesburg © the artist.