Shapes of Knowledge

‘Shapes of Knowledge’ brings together eight projects from artists, collectives and organisations from across the globe to cultivate ideas about how we live, how we learn, and the unique ability of art to animate our sensory experiences and critical faculties. Presented at Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA), the exhibition reflects on the different platforms, spaces and timeframes in which knowledge is produced and shared.

Primarily an exhibition of ideas, ‘Shapes of Knowledge’ responds to a growing international discourse around pedagogy and contemporary art. It acknowledges the many ways in which artists challenge the conventions of knowledge towards new means. The exhibition features eight projects by: A Centre for Everything (Australia), Asia Art Archive (Hong Kong), Chimurenga (South Africa), Lucas Ihlein (Australia), Annette Krauss and the shifting team at Casco Art Institute: Working for the Commons (Netherlands), Alex Martinis Roe (Australia / Germany), Kym Maxwell (Australia) and The Mulka Project (Australia).

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, these projects focus on the role that artists play in relation to knowledge, focusing on notions of research, the laboratory, learning and teaching. Each project will be activated at various times throughout the exhibition – including bus visits to regenerative farms, morning stretch classes for Monash staff, weekend DIY workshops, a salon of feminist performances, and more.

Curated by MUMA’s Senior Curator, Hannah Mathews, the presentation – which is free and open to the public – aims to nurture a multiplicity of knowledge by challenging existing understandings and germinating new acts of knowing. ‘Art and artists invariably introduce us to knowledge that spans perspectives, disciplines and time’, reflects Mathews, ‘whether it be the materials and techniques of the studio, the histories – contested, real and imagined – of people and places, the politics of culture, technology and economics’. ‘Shapes of Knowledge’, she continues ‘considers not only how art can impact knowledge but how art itself – its forms, meaning and audiences – can be transformed by learning.’

Shapes of Knowledge
9 February – 13 April, 2019
Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne


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