It’s the 50th anniversary of the ambitious and pioneering Kaldor Public Art Projects and, to celebrate, it’s commissioned New York artist Asad Raza to present a work in Australia for the first time.
The yet-to-be-named piece will be in the Clothing Store building at Carriageworks, and Raza has been in cahoots with biologists and environmental scientists to create the installation, which will feature “organic elements”.
The work will grow and change while it’s exhibited; Raza will invite Australian artists to create “interventions” of their own in the space. Those interventions could be installations, performances or experiments, and they will reflect the process of collaboration with Raza.
“Raza’s dynamic and collaborative project will extend across our community of visitors and engage our current studio artists,” Carriageworks chair Sam Mostyn said in a statement.
Raza was born in Buffalo, New York, and has a Pakistani background. His works aim to establish a dialogue between patrons and participants, and often grow and change over time. Past installations have included Untitled (plot for dialogue), a tennis-like game in a deconsecrated church in Milan. Another involved placing 26 live trees in New York’s Whitney Museum. And one took place in his New York apartment. For that work, titled Home Show, the artist asked his friends, family and other artists to intervene in his life, installing artworks and personal trinkets throughout his flat.
Kaldor Public Art Projects was created by patron John Kaldor in 1969, and its first installation was a forerunner in the Australian arts scene. In 1968 Wrapped Coast – by New York artists Christo and his wife Jeanne-Claude – covered 2.5 kilometres of Sydney’s coastline, including cliffs up to 26 metres high, in fabric. At the time it was the largest artwork ever made.
Since, it’s funded 33 more installations, including Jeff Koons’s Puppy, a 12.4-metre-high sculpture of a dog, which was installed in front of the MCA in 1995. All of Kaldor’s projects have been free to the public – it believes in transforming public spaces and bringing art out of museums to make it accessible for everyone.
The last work commissioned by the foundation was The Last Resort in 2017, by Albanian-born French artist Anri Sala. It was installed in the rotunda at Observatory Hill Park and consisted of 38 snare drums suspended from the ceiling, with drumsticks attached. When a concerto composed by Mozart played through a hidden speaker, the reverberation caused the drum skins to ripple and bounce against the attached drumsticks.
Kaldor Public Art Project 34: Asad Raza will show at Carriageworks from May 3 to 19.