previews

  • Michael Stevenson, On How Things Behave (still), 2010, english voiceover dubbed from HD, 16mm, 15 minutes and 43 seconds (looped).

    Michael Stevenson, On How Things Behave (still), 2010, english voiceover dubbed from HD, 16mm, 15 minutes and 43 seconds (looped).

    Michael Stevenson

    Museum of Contemporary Art, Australia
    140 George Street The Rocks
    April 5–June 19, 2011

    Curated by Glenn Barkley

    As mercilessly as Stevenson—part cultural historian, part paranoid conspiracy theorist—lampoons forgotten moments of artistic hubris, misjudgment, and parochialism, his nuanced pseudo-documentary installations and films belie a fascination with, even an empathy for, the romance of pretense and failure. Now the MCA Sydney has brought together some twenty of this New Zealand–born, Berlin-based artist’s works, including objects, drawings, installations, and films. Taken as a whole, despite shifts in medium and ambition, his career forms a consistent, if idiosyncratic, archive of subterranean currents of money and power as they have flowed through the art world over the past twenty years. Look elsewhere for cut-and-dried institutional critique, though. A catalogue with essays by anthropologist Michael Taussig and others accompanies the show.