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Nite Art 17 Performative Lecture - SPLIT by Fabian Knecht

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Forum Theatre Arts West Professors Walk

The University of Melbourne Building 148, Royal Parade, Parkville VIC 3052

Melbourne, VIC 3052

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"My hope is that art is a means to break power and authority and that by questioning art we can take paths beyond convention”

With his art, Fabian Knecht pursues a consistent path; one which causes irritation, which marks an exceptional state in the current of everyday life, and which scratches at societal mindsets. This is expressed in his precisely positioned, temporary actions, which he realises at specific, sometimes historically connoted locations in urban space or in boundary areas.[i]

As the inaugural international guest artist for Nite Art, Knecht will present a Lecture Performance that speaks to his recent global ISOLATION projects and a new work, SPLIT, created in this, his first visit to Australia. Knecht will travel to a remote conservation reserve in the Northern Territory to undertake its making. Drawing on the canon of the Land Art movement of the 1960s and ‘70s, SPLIT will bring into question the inherent values of the natural or built environment, and our interpretation of these through art frameworks.

Challenging what constitutes a gallery or museum space, the ISOLATION series comprises an exhibition space – a ‘white cube’ – which is built for one evening around a segment of a remote landscape: a riverbed and a base of a vanished monument in Ukraine, a frozen sea in Vladivostok, wasteland in Berlin and an uprooted tree in a forest near Arnsberg. In ISOLATION, nature in all its complexity is elevated to the status of an artwork and exhibited in situ.

Olafur Eliasson, the Danish-Icelandic artist and Knecht’s professor at Berlin University of the Arts, says of this project “Fabian is remarkably capable of taking sensitive, political and zeitgeist-informed ideas, and translates the living parts of those ideas into his work in very emotional, sometimes provoking and critical ways. He’s constantly travelling, moving and producing. To come to Melbourne and to resonate with the context there will inspire new works and grant new perspectives”.

Fabian Knecht was born in Magdeburg, Germany and lives and works in Berlin. He studied Fine Arts at the University of Arts Berlin, the California Institute Of The Arts, and the Ale School of Fine Arts, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. From 2009 to 2014 Knecht was a participant in the Institut für Raumexperimente, Olafur Eliasson's class at the University of Arts Berlin. He graduated as Meisterschüler in 2014. In 2012, Knecht worked for video and performance artist Matthew Barney in New York. He is represented by alexander levy Berlin and Galerie Gaillard Paris.

Among others, Fabian Knecht's works have been shown at the Museum For Contemporary Art Zagreb; 5th Moscow International Biennale for Young Art, Moskow; Reykjavík Art Museum; Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo and Neue Nationalgalerie Berlin.

The Goethe-Institut is the cultural partner for this project.

Supported by the City of Melbourne



[i] Dr. Ursula Ströbele

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Forum Theatre Arts West Professors Walk

The University of Melbourne Building 148, Royal Parade, Parkville VIC 3052

Melbourne, VIC 3052

Australia

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