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Michael Rakowitz Keynote & Art and Architecture

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MAAS Powerhouse Museum

500 Harris Street

Ultimo, NSW 2007

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SESSION 1: 6:00 PM–7:30 PM

MICHAEL RAKOWITZ
‘Art should demand the right to be dangerous, weird and impolite; I don’t think artists have a responsibility except to stay true to that impetus.’ *

Iraqi-American interdisciplinary artist Michael Rakowitz’s architecture-focussed works interrogate the contested history of objects and antiquities in conflict zones such as the Middle East, and the fate of art during war. A key focus is the reconstitution of lost or looted cultural artifacts and practices, such as in the ongoing series The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist (2007), and the highly acclaimed Lamassu on the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square, London, constructed from over 10,000 cans of Iraqi date syrup to replicate the 2,700 years-old winged bull sculpture which was destroyed by Islamic State in 2015.

Michael Rakowitz is Professor of Art Theory and Practice at Northwestern University, Chicago. His work features in major private and public collections worldwide, including The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Neue Galerie, Kassel, Germany; The British Museum, London; Kabul National Museum, Afghanistan; and UNESCO, Paris. Rakowitz has received numerous international awards, including the Herb Alpert Award in the Arts (2018), and The Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award (2012).

* Michael Rakowitz interview with Evan Moffitt, Frieze: Enemy Territory, March 2018

SESSION 2: 7:45 PM–8:45 PM

ART AND ARCHITECTURE PANEL
Sarah Rees (Curator of Contemporary Art, Sydney Opera House): moderator; with architect Peter Tonkin (Tonkin Zulaikha Greer) and artist Janet Laurence (collaborators on major public artworks); plus architect John Prentice (Woods Bagot – Wynyard Walk and Wynscreen), with artist Nicole Foreshew (Wynscreen video artwork)

Architects and artists discuss their experience of the intense process of collaboration on public art commissions; the trend toward the commissioning or ‘embedding’ of art at the conceptual design stage of new buildings and public spaces (such as the innovative 23 metre media art screen, Wynscreen at Wynyard station, and Jenny Holzer’s LED work, I Stay (Ngaya ngalawa), at 8 Chifley building in Sydney); and the emergence of public media art projections, which ‘graft’ art into existing architectural contexts, such as the ‘sails’ of the Sydney Opera House and CBD heritage buildings for Vivid Sydney.


Sherman Centre for Culture and Ideas (SCCI) gratefully acknowledges the generous support of Presenting Partner the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS).


Image credit: Michael Rakowitz, Lamassu, The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist, the Fourth Plinth, Trafalgar Square, London, United Kingdom, 2018. Contributor: AC Manley/Alamy Stock Photo


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MAAS Powerhouse Museum

500 Harris Street

Ultimo, NSW 2007

Australia

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Refunds up to 7 days before event

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