Institute of Modern Art (IMA), Brisbane; Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA), Melbourne; and Kunst-Werke Institute of Contemporary Art, Berlin, have jointly developed the first survey exhibition of Melbourne-based artist, Nicholas Mangan, titled Limits to Growth.
After premiering at MUMA in July, Limits to Growth will open at the IMA on October 29. The exhibition will travel to Kunst-Werke Institute of Contemporary Art in summer 2017.
Limits to Growth brings together five major projects made by Mangan between 2009 and 2016. IMA Directors and Curators Aileen Burns and Johan Lundh state, 'Nicholas Mangan’s work is deeply grounded in specific stories of Australia and the Asia Pacific region, while at the same time he sheds new light on major topics of global concern such as the economy, mining, and ecology. It is his unique and grounded position paired with complex and compelling methods of storytelling that make him one of the most exciting artists working today.'
The source of the exhibition’s title, Limits to Growth, is a 1972 report that tests the impacts of exponential economic and population growth against the finite nature of the world’s resources.
The works in this show emerge out of the conditions of Mangan’s own geographic region, the Asia Pacific, in which his home country of Australia has played a decisive role. Mangan weaves the geographic specificity of these locations into a bigger picture that takes into account the global economy, resource extraction, and the ultimate power of the sun.
Nauru—Notes from a cretaceous world explores the boom and bust economy of Nauru; Progress in Action considers Indigenous activism against mining corporations in Bougainville, Papua New Guinea; while a brand new work, co-commissioned by Institute of Modern Art and Monash University Museum of Art, titled Limits to Growth, takes as its starting point the ancient currency Rai. Mangan compares these large stone coins from the Micronesian island of Yap to one of the newest global digital currencies, Bitcoin. Together these artworks capture the sensitivity with which Mangan tackles key issues of our era, notably, the socio-political context of energy extraction.
Burns and Lundh again: 'We’re excited to be finishing the year with Limits to Growth; the exhibition is a great example of our commitment to supporting the best Australian artists and partnering with high calibre institutions to deliver new work.'
The exhibition is accompanied by a 262-page fully illustrated publication designed by Ziga Testen, co-published by Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane; Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne; and Kunst-Werke Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin with Sternberg Press. This substantial book features newly commissioned texts by Ana Teixeira Pinto and Helen Hughes, along with a conversation between the artist and Barcelona-based curatorial office, Latitudes.
The exhibition and publication Nicholas Mangan: Limits to Growth is co-produced by Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne; Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane; and Kunst-Werke Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin.
The new commission, Limits to Growth (2016) is co-commissioned by Monash University Museum of Art and the Institute of Modern Art, and has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.
About the Artist
Nicholas Mangan has exhibited extensively in Australia and internationally. His recent major installation Other Currents was presented at Artspace, Sydney, 2015; and Ancient Lights at Chisenhale Gallery, London, 2015. Other solo exhibitions include: Some Kinds of Duration, Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne, 2012; Nauru, notes from a cretaceous world, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne, 2010; and Between a Rock and a Hard Place, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2009. Selected group exhibitions include: Gwangju Biennale: What does art do?, 2016; Riddle of the Burial Grounds, Project Arts Centre, Dublin, 2015; Art in the Age of…, Witte de With, Rotterdam, 2015; New Museum Triennial: Surround Audience, New York, 2015; Melbourne Now, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 2013–14; the 13th Istanbul Biennial, 2013; and the 9th Bienal do Mercosul, Porto Alegre, Brazil, 2013. Mangan has been awarded numerous international residencies, including Recollets Artist Residency, Paris, 2011; and the Australia Council’s New York Green Street Residency, 2006.
Nicholas Mangan is represented by Sutton Gallery, Melbourne; LABOR, Mexico City; and Hopkinson Mossman, Auckland.
**Nicholas Mangan, Aileen Burns, and Johan Lundh are available for interview .
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