Anywhere but here: MCA Primavera Acquisitions responds to the global upheaval of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Recognising that pre-existing issues have been aggravated by the current crisis, it considers ideas of labour and domesticity; wellbeing and community; place and urbanism.
The exhibition draws from the MCA’s collection of works by artists who have participated in Primavera, the MCA’s annual exhibition of young Australian artists aged 35 and under. While these works were created prior to the pandemic, it provides a lens for approaching them in new terms. Emma White questions capitalist demands on productivity, while Keg de Souza highlights housing instability and the importance of public space. Hiromi Tango invites us to experience the therapeutic benefits of movement and self-expression, and Dion Beasley draws us back to the local, encouraging us to deepen our social connections. The selected works highlight longstanding strains on society that need to be addressed.
Anywhere but here borrows its title from a work by Matthew Griffin. As a throwaway statement, it’s something any one of us might mutter under our breath in the present moment. Restlessness is one of many responses we could land on, as our emotions fluctuate along with the news cycle.
While considering the immediate impacts of the pandemic on contemporary society, Anywhere but here meditates on the potential for lasting structural change.
Stephanie Berlangieri and Lucy Latella