As part of the exhibition Power to the People: Contemporary Conceptualism and the Object in Art, ACCA was very pleased to host the recent visit of Berlin-based artist, Peter Friedl.
Travelling to Australia for the first time, Peter gave two talks while in Melbourne. The first was his research lecture The Impossible Museum which was given at Monash University as part of the Theory Workshop program coordinated by fellow PTTP artist, Fiona Macdonald. Reflecting Peter’s interest in collections, display, aesthetics and context, this illustrated lecture offered a critical and, at times, humorous review of the development of the museum, provocatively asking: do museums owe us any explanations?
Later that same day Peter was joined by New Zealand artist and curator, David Cross, for an ‘In conversation’ at ACCA that focused on Peter’s exhibition practice. Beginning with video and still images that illustrated earlier presentations of the Peter Friedl animal costumes currently on show as part of Power to the People, the discussion started by addressing Friedl’s seeming preoccupation with animal representations and his ongoing Playground series before using footage of a lion devouring a toy snake (recently shown at Documenta) to bridge a move into other areas of his practice concerned with post-colonialism, violence and ideas of the document. A talk densely packed with many interesting ideas related to display, aesthetics and ethics, Peter left audiences with much to consider regarding the specificities of context and representation. Plus the talk was attended by an audience member dressed as a penguin in one of Peter’s animal costumes from the show – just to keep things tangible!
Peter Friedl’s visit to Melbourne was made possible through the generous support of the Goethe Institut.