Sydney Contemporary out on the town

With Sydney Contemporary 2018 around the corner, the art fair has teamed up with Barangaroo Delivery Authority to invigorate Sydney’s newest precinct with breath, wind and fire.

Words: Camilla Wagstaff

With Sydney Contemporary 2018 around the corner, the art fair has teamed up with Barangaroo Delivery Authority to invigorate Sydney’s newest precinct with breath, wind and fire.

Three leading Australian artists – Callum Morton, Mel O’Callaghan and Cameron Robbins – were invited to create large-scale, site-specific installation works presented throughout Barangaroo in the lead up to and during the art fair, extending the event way beyond the booths of Carriageworks. “The three artists are chosen for their capacity to make work that engages the viewer in intriguing and innovative ways,” says Sydney Contemporary’s director Barry Keldoulis.

One is quick to be engaged by the unmistakable quiff and beady eyes of Donald Trump in Canadian-born, Melbourne-based Morton’s ‘Monument #32: Helter Shelter’, protruding from the Barangaroo wharf like the tip of an ominous iceberg. Carrying on Morton’s interest in human interaction with designed spaces and facades, the shelter in question is the hollowed-out head of the US president, brain removed and skull on fire, creating an unsettling resting spot (and great Instagrammable moment) for passers-by.

Mel O’Callaghan has partnered with Sydney Dance Company to make her (quite literally) breathtaking floor installation and movement-based breathwork, in which a group of dancers rapidly move and breathe across the lines and arcs of Barangaroo’s Exchange Place. The accompanying harp piece creates a lyrical, almost ritualistic display of the body moving in and across space.

Cameron Robbins is well-known for his collaboration with the elements. His whizzing, whirring, wind-powered instruments – bolted down to Barangaroo’s gusty wharfs – transcribe the invisible energies of the elements into drawings, a suite of which will be shown at Sydney Contemporary with Melbourne’s MARS Gallery.

Sydney Contemporary will take over the industrial spaces of Carriageworks from the 13–16 September, with more than 70 galleries taking part in this year’s iteration. The VIP preview will be held on Wednesday 12 and opening night on Thursday 13. The three installation works are on show at Barangaroo until 24 September 2018.

Image: Installation view of Mel O’Callaghan’s breathwork. Photo: Camilla Wagstaff

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