07 Dec 2019 – 26 Apr 2020
GOMA | Gallery 1.1 The Fairfax Gallery, Gallery 1.2, Gallery 1.3 Eric & Marion Taylor Gallery | Ticketed
Walk across a vast, rocky riverbed created by Olafur Eliasson; see animals from around the world gather together to drink from Cai Guo-Qiang’s brilliant blue waterhole; gaze at Peter Fischli and David Weiss’s snowman frozen in Brisbane’s summer heat; traverse a cloud of suspended gymnastic rings in a participatory artwork by William Forsythe; view the tidal currents rise and fall around Angela Tiatia; reflect on the cultural traditions of bodies of water, including the Brisbane River, with Judy Watson; and on the long history of our reliance on water through Megan Cope’s re-created midden.
When ‘Water’ opens this summer at GOMA, visitors are invited to explore this vital element which sustains all forms of life on Earth. From major immersive experiences to smaller-scale treasures by Australian and international artists, the exhibition will highlight this precious resource and spark conversations about the environmental and social challenges we face today.
Megan Cope Re Formation
Megan Cope's RE FORMATION 2019 takes the environmental and cultural significance of oyster shells as its subject. This imposing mound of cast concrete oyster shells and black sand-like copper slag is the first artwork visitors encounter in ‘Water’. The coastal shellfish reefs in Moreton Bay and along the Brisbane River were a major source of food for Aboriginal people. Over centuries of feasting, large middens created from discarded shells and bones grew as large as one or two stories high, creating impressive sights on the local islands and beaches.
Megan Cope, Quandamooka people, Australia b.1982 / RE FORMATION (installation view) 2019 / Hand-cast concrete oyster shells, copper slag, foam support structure / Dimensions variable / © and image courtesy: Megan Cope
Olafur Eliasson Riverbed
Explore the environment of Riverbed 2014, a vast landscape created from more than 100 tonnes of rock through which a stream of water flows. This artwork by internationally acclaimed artist Olafur Eliasson challenges viewers to consider their place in the world, blurring the boundaries between the natural and the man-made.
Appropriate footwear must be worn at all times (i.e. no thongs, slides or loose fitting footwear).
Olafur Eliasson, Denmark b.1967 / Riverbed (installation view) 2014 / Collection: Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek, Denmark / © Olafur Eliasson / Courtesy: The artist; neugerriemschneider, Berlin; Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York/Los Angeles / Photograph: Iwan Baan.
Peter Fischli and David Weiss Snowman
Trapped within icy confines, Snowman 1987/2017–19 is a frozen sculpture by Swiss duo Peter Fischli and David Weiss. An unexpected sight, the Snowman is comically out of place in Brisbane’s summer heat. Discover more
Peter Fischli, Switzerland b. 1952 and David Weiss, Switzerland 1946-2012 / Snowman (installation view) 1987/2017–19 / © Peter Fischli and David Weiss / Courtesy: Peter Fischli and Sprüth Magers, Berlin
William Forsythe The Fact of Matter
As we seek new ways to navigate rising tidelines, William Forsythe’s cloud of suspended gymnastic rings asks visitors to consider the weight and strength of their bodies as they lift themselves up above the ground to traverse the space. The Fact of Matter 2009 invites us to discover new ways to move and work together to meet the challenges of climate change.
For safety reasons, this artwork has height, weight and age restrictions. Children 12 and under require full adult supervision. Appropriate footwear must be worn at all times (i.e. no thongs, slides or loose fitting footwear). Participants must be in good health and free from any potentially adverse medical conditions.
William Forsythe, America, b.1949 / The Fact of Matter (installation view) 2009 / Site-specific installation comprising gym rings, fabric straps, gym mat and truss system / 'William Forsythe: The Fact of Matter', Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt am Main, Germany, 2015 / © and image courtesy: William Forsythe / Photograph: Dominik Mentzos.
Cai Guo-Qiang Heritage
Heritage 2013 offers a snapshot of the natural world in a moment of apparent harmony. The pristine setting conveys Cai Guo-Qiang’s idea of a ‘last paradise’ where animals from around the world drink together. The smooth surface of the pool is occasionally disturbed by a single drop of water. The work was inspired by the artist’s visit to North Stradbroke Island, off the coast of Brisbane. Discover more
Cai Guo-Qiang, China b.1957 / Heritage (installation view) 2013 / Life-sized replicas of animals: polystyrene, gauze, resin and hide / Commissioned 2013 with funds from the Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Diversity Foundation through and with the assistance of the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art / © Cai Guo-Qiang.
Paul Blackmore Australia b.1968 / Heat 1 (from ‘Heat’ series) 2017, printed 2019 / Archival inkjet print / 160 x 106.5cm (framed) / Courtesy and ©: Paul Blackmore.
Martina Amati, Italy b. 1969 / Under (Depth) (detail) 2015 / Digital film, colour, 11 minutes, looped (one channel of 3-channel installation) / Courtesy and ©: Martina Amati.