Melbourne Art Week and and the Institute of Modern Art present the launch of Ryan Presley: Prosperity.
Artist Ryan Presley and publication editor Madeleine King are joined in conversation by Yorta Yorta writer and curator Kimberley Moulton, for the Melbourne launch of the new publication.
The book presents selected works from Presley’s acclaimed Blood Money series, which presents the heroes and warriors of Indigenous history as figureheads on Australian banknotes, alongside documentation of the recent Prosperity exhibition at the IMA.
His installation Blood Money Currency Exchange Terminal (2018), a participatory currency exchange, has been restaged for the duration of Melbourne Art Fair as part of the Project Rooms. Visitors are invited to convert Australian dollars (AUD) into the artist’s own Blood Money currency (BMD)—a series of four double-sided limited-edition prints from Presley’s watercolour series that take cues from the distinctively colourful polymer form of the Australian banknote.
The hardcover book features a chapter by Presley on the history of the Australian colony’s first currency, the holey dollar, alongside contributions by Tina Baum, Daniel Browning, and Suvendrini Perera that explore different manifestations of currency as a tool of the colonial project.
Please note: this event will take place off-site at the Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne.
Ryan Presley was born in 1987 in Alice Springs, and currently lives and works in Brisbane. His father’s family is Marri Ngarr and originate from the Moyle River region in the Northern Territory. His mother’s family were Scandinavian immigrants to Australia. Presley’s work has been included in Trade Markings, Van Abbemuseum (2018); the 33rd Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards, Darwin; Frontier Imaginaries, IMA, Brisbane; TarraWarra Biennial: Endless Circulation (all 2016). His work is held in public collections at the University of Queensland Art Museum, Murdoch University, Griffith University Art Collection, and the Museum of Brisbane. Presley completed a PhD at the Queensland College of Art, Griffith University, in 2016, and his current project “Prosperity: An In-Depth Analysis of the Blood Money Series” is supported by Griffith University’s Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Scheme. His solo exhibition Ryan Presley: Prosperity was held at the IMA in 2018.
Madeleine King is Assistant Director of the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane, and is the editor and curator of Ryan Presley: Prosperity.
Kimberley Moulton is a Yorta Yorta writer and curator based in Narrm (Melbourne) and Senior Curator of South Eastern Aboriginal Collections at Museums Victoria.