Drawing Down the Moon
18 February–14 April 201218 Feb–14 Apr 2012
In the 1990s, Sydney artist Mikala Dwyer became famous for creating playful installations that provocatively conflated pedigreed modern art with the amateur, the infantile, and the feminine. Since her 2000 retrospective at Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art, her works have moved off in a new direction, increasingly mining the irrational, the paranormal, the occult. Dwyer has convened circles of anthropomorphic, totemic objects, suggesting seances and covens; has toyed with black-arts paraphernalia, including candles and Ouija boards; has employed clairvoyants to serve gallerygoers; has made art professionals dress up as crystals; and has collaborated with neodadaist Justene Williams to channel spirits of female convicts of yesteryear. For Dwyer, it is always about the return-of-the-repressed. As much as formalism seeks to drive out the amateur, the infantile, the feminine, and the irrational, in her work they always come back to haunt it.