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NEW16 launches at ACCA

10 Mar 2016

NEW16 launches at ACCA Image

Curator Annika Kristensen said she hoped that this year’s influential NEW16 exhibition would encourage audiences to create their own connections between the works shown within it.

In what is one of Australia’s only commissions exhibitions, the popular annual NEW series returned on March 5 with 10 promising artists invited to make eight big new works.

Now in its 14th year, around 100 artists have made ambitious new works for NEW since it was first established in 2003, in what is widely considered a defining moment in invited artists’ careers.

This year, 10 artists from across Australia will deliver new projects with the support of the ACCA installation team in time for this month’s opening, becoming the 2016 fresh crop of artists to watch.

Without giving anything away, NEW16 curator Annika Kristensen said she hoped that people would find it to be an “open exhibition”.

“There is no over-arching theme to the show but ideas around vulnerability, futility, absurdity and proximity connect the works within it,” she said.

“A word that was circulating in the back of my brain in the research process for the show was ‘generosity’ and how as an artist, a curator or an institution you can create an exhibition that opens up ideas, communicated through art, to a wide public audience.”

Having worked as ACCA’s exhibition manager for the last 18 months, Annika said the experience had given her a comprehensive understanding of the centre’s unique gallery spaces.

While boasting a decorated career as a former project co-ordinator of the Sydney Biennale and working at various arts institutions in London, Sydney and her hometown of Perth, she said NEW16 was the biggest show she’d curated to date.

“It’s definitely the biggest project that I have curated in my own right, which has been an extremely exciting and humbling experience,” she said.

She said the artists assembled for this year’s exhibition had a shared interest in negotiating various tensions and thresholds, including “relating various tensions between themselves and others, the artwork and the audience, private and public space and productive futility.”

“The research process was a lengthy one,” she said. “As well as regularly viewing exhibitions, I did studio visits with over 60 artists from across Australia.”

“There was no theme in mind as I met with these artists – just a desire to create an exhibition that reflected a diversity of practices that both contrasted and complemented one another.”

“It wasn’t until I finalised the shortlist that I realised that there were in fact strong themes that connected the projects in the show – but much of this is down to luck rather than design!”

New16 is a free exhibition that runs for March 5 to May 8.

For gallery hours and more information visit www.accaonline.org.au

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