Art's fertile ground

John Kaldor’s ambitious public art project, 13 Rooms, is providing fertile ground for UNSW research and creativity.

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Xu Zhen, In Just a Blink of an Eye (Image courtesy John Kaldor Public Art Project)

John Kaldor’s ambitious public art project, 13 Rooms, is providing fertile ground for UNSW research and creativity.

The performance-based art project, presented by Kaldor, one of the world’s most renowned art collectors, brings together the works of 13 famous artists performed by more than 100 participants in an innovative group exhibition, contained within 13 purpose-built rooms at Pier 2/3 at Sydney's Walsh Bay.

School of the Arts and Media (SAM) PhD students Nalina Wait, Boni Cairncross and Ilana Cohen are taking part in 13 Rooms as ‘interpreters’ -- dancing or acting in place of the original artists who performed in the first exhibition at the Manchester International Festival in 2011.

Choreographer Nalina Wait performs US-based artist Marina Abramović’s physically challenging meditation on loneliness, Luminosity, where a naked performer balances on a bike seat attached half-way up a wall.

Also involved are Boni Cairncross and Ilana Cohen who interpret British-German artist Tino Seghal’s,This is New, a spontaneous interaction between visitors and participants to the exhibition.

“These are some of our top Creative Arts students who are are closely engaged with performance practice which makes their involvement in 13 Rooms both timely and pertinent,” said theatre and performance lecturer, Professor Edward Scheer.

SAM also contributed to 13 Rooms in collaboration with UNSW’s ARC-funded Experimental Humanities Project.

Various UNSW academics and PhD students presented 13 Themes for 13 Rooms, a day-long workshop of creative responses to the performances involving 300 artists and thinkers.

“13 Themes was the ideal forum to explore the goals of the Experimental Humanities project which aims to challenge humanities scholarship by learning from the experimental aspects of the creative arts,” said Professor Scheer who was the convenor of 13 Themes.

Kaldor Public Art Project 27: 13 Rooms runs until April 21.

Contact: Fran Strachan, UNSW Media Office | 9385 8732