Annette Messager. My vows 1989
Christian Boltanski. Pourim Reserve 1989
Richard Wilson 20:50
"Installation is an art of the real. In an era of fluid identities, mobile lifestyles and undefined relationships, installations are islands of refuge."
Kate Davidson. Curator of International Photography. NGA
Islands: Contemporary Installations, was held at the National Gallery of Australia in 1996, comprising of twelve installations by the following artists:
Fiona Foley Land Deal
Rosalie Gascoigne String of blue days
Lyndal Jones From the Darwin Translations: Room with Finches
Ramingining artists The Aboriginal Memorial
Montien Boonma Temple of the mind: Sala for the mind
Yukinori Yanagi Chrysanthemum carpet
Joseph Beuys Stripes from the house of the shaman 1964-72
Annette Messager Penetration
Richard Wilson 20:50
Alfredo Jaar The eyes of Gutete Emerita
Bill Viola Interval
I was lucky enough to attend the exhibition, and also own the catalogue, which contains earlier examples of the artists' work, such as Annette Messager's My Vows. Favourite artists represented in this show include Christian Boltanski, Annette Messager, Richard Wilson and the Ramingining artists.
One of the most striking installations was Richard Wilson's 20:50, created with recycled engine oil.
"Viewed from the entrance platform 20:50 appears as a holographic field: simultaneously a polished floor, infinite clear pool, an expansive and indefinable virtual space that clinically absorbs and mirrors the gallery architecture. The room is in fact entirely flooded in oil.
Visitors are invited to examine the piece close-up via a walkway that extends into the lake, placing the viewer, waist deep, at the centre of a perfect mathematically symmetrical scope. Through this altered perspective 20:50’s phantasmical aura is enhanced, amplifying the disorientating and mesmerising experience of the space, and further confounding physical logic.
20:50 takes its name from the type of recycled engine oil used. It is thick, pitch black, and absolutely indelible: please take extreme care with your clothing and belongings, and no matter how tempting, please do not touch. 20:50 often has to be demonstrated to be believed: the liquid can be seen by blowing very gently on the surface."
(Copyright of the photographs included in this review held by the artists and by the NGA)