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TABOO: A multi-faceted program opens at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia
Anton Kannemeyer, A Black Woman, 2011, lithograph, image courtesy the artist and Stevenson, Cape Town and Johannesburg © the artist.

SYDNEY.- The Museum of Contemporary Art Australia presents TABOO, a multi-faceted program curated by Australian artist Brook Andrew, exploring issues of taboo – attitudes long held and traditionally entrenched in societies around the globe.

TABOO comprises a group exhibition in the Level 1 South Gallery as well as an extensive program of performances, conversations and film presented throughout January and February 2013 in multiple locations around the Museum.

Brook Andrew said: ‘Raising issues of censorship with ‘daring’ or ‘disrespectful’ devices, TABOO aims to re-visit arguments and decisions made out of fear and trauma that have now become verbatim to shut down discourse or even to influence good value in debate, creativity and culture. TABOO aims to remove these barricades by juxtaposing ideas that open other strategies to enable visibility, discussion and accessibility.’

Featured artists in the group exhibition are Bindi Cole (Australia); Jimmie Durham (Europe); Leah Gordon (UK); Alicia Henry (USA); Ricardo Idagi (Australia); Anton Kannemeyer (South Africa); Jompet (Agustinus Kuswidanato) (Indonesia); Yal Ton (Eric Bridgeman) (PNG and Australia); Judy Watson (Australia) and Ana Mendieta (Cuba and USA).

In the Lecture Theatre, late night screenings of some of the most controversial films of our time encourage audiences to view taboos through new cultural perspectives. Films to be included are Salò (1975) directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini, Stolen Generations (2000) and River of No Return (2008) directed by Darlene Johnson and Strange Birds in Paradise (2009) directed by Charlie Hill-Smith.

An ‘in conversation’ series moderated by Namila Benson creates a space for critical debate and open discussion on specific taboo-related themes. Titled Forbidden Fruit, the series kicks off with Pushing Buttons, a discussion between disability-friendly sex worker Rachel Wotton and client Mark Manitta about sex, disability and prostitution. White Propriety, Dark Society sees Australian barrister Julian Burnside, hip hop comic Candy Bowers and one half of comedy duo Fear of a Brown Planet Aamer Rahman raise issues such as boat people, queue jumpers, xenophobia, repatriation and racism. In Through the Looking Glass, Dr Marcia Langton and a guest discuss whether anthropology is driven by morality and if ethnographic objectivity is ever possible.

A performance series titled Prose of Legislation invites fellow creatives to interpret and enact existing and available Australian legislative material in both group and individual performances throughout the galleries.

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TABOO: A multi-faceted program opens at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia

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