Local Positioning Systems
Artists. Bennett Miller, Jason Maling, Julie-Anne Long, Lara Thoms, Latai Taumoepeau, Stuart Ringholt, Walker & Bromwich
Organisations. MCA, Performance Space
Local Positioning Systems was a program of performance and live art curated by Jeff Khan and Bec Dean of Performance Space; it was staged as a partnership with the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia to coincide with the reopening of the museum in 2012.
Local Positioning Systems featured the work of nine contemporary artists: Jason Maling, Lara Thoms, Latai Taumoepeau, Julie-Anne Long, Stuart Ringholt, Bennett Miller, Zöe Walker and Neil Bromwich, who created a variety of site-specific, performative works.
The project took its starting point as the newly-reconfigured architecture of the MCA building, with works such as Walker and Bromwich’s Celestial Radio or Lara Thoms The Experts Project blurring the threshold between the museum and its surrounding environment and communities. Taking place in the museum’s forecourt, first aid room, library, education facilities and surrounding areas Local Positioning Systems explored new ways audiences and artworks can relate to each other.
In Physician, Jason Maling offered private consultations to gallery visitors. He suggested poetic treatments for contemporary anxieties associated with visiting galleries and museums.
Over the course of a year, Lara Thoms met with ‘everyday’ experts and learned about their skills, talents and obsessions, presenting her findings in a three-hour lesson at the MCA.
i-Land X-isle by Latai Taumoepeau was a large scale, performance installation which challenged ambivalent attitudes towards climate change and the excessive consumption of resources by first-world countries, exploring the direct impact this has upon vulnerable, island communities.
In her ongoing Invisibility Project, Julie-Anne Long explored the invisibility of middle-aged women in contemporary society by inhabiting the persona of a cleaner and infiltrating the MCA galleries and building.
Stuart Ringholt presented naked tours of the MCA’s first exhibition in its new permanent Collection gallery.
Zöe Walker and Neil Bromwich’s Celestial Radio was a seductive and functional sculptural object, a radio station housed on a sailing boat. The surface of the boat was covered by 60,0000 inch-square mirror tiles.
Bennett Miller’s Dachshund U.N. was a large-scale architectural installation and performance work that examined the role of the United Nations as a risk management organisation. The MCA presentation saw forty-seven dachshunds involved in vigorous debate.
Local Positioning Systems marked the first dedicated performance program undertaken by the MCA. The Keir Foundation is delighted to have supported this project.