Who thought of asking Jeff Khan to curate Australian Centre of Contemporary Art's (ACCA) New12, their annual show for emerging artists? Bravo! That's a genius move right there. Jeff, former artistic director for youth-oriented arts festival Next Wave, has beagle-like ability to hound down Australia's most exciting young artists. This March at ACCA, New12 will unveil six future stars of the art world.
Jeff’s approach blends “the use of performing arts, a sense of dynamism and a relationship between works and the audience,” he says. “A heightened sense of performance and play.” Jeff was given an open brief for this project, and it’s clear he’s having fun. The best part? Hearing him talk so affectionately about the works he’s exhibiting. We asked him to run us through each of the six artists, and why he selected them for New12.
Angelica Mesiti (NSW)
Video and installation artist Angelica plays with portraiture, gender bending and everyday life through the prism of performance and costume. Khan explains: “A lot of her works are video portraits of extraordinary people.” Her work for New12 ‘Citizen Span’ is a four-channel video project capturing individuals from different cultural backgrounds, performing different musical styles.
Matthew Bradley (SA)
“Matthew is curious about the world,” Khan says. Inspired by DIY construction, Matthew’s fascination in Earth, space, the past and the future makes us think it’d be nice to tip-toe around his mind for a while. He’s creating a massive sculptural entrance – something that looks like it’s straight off the set of Stargate.
Katie Lee (Vic)
The architects to thank for ACCA’s cavernous halls say that the building is a “a sculpture in which to show art... a robust laboratory for experimentation.” Katie Lee’s works often incorporate the structure of the exhibition space and for New12 she’s creating “layers of film referencing the raw untreated space” of ACCA.
Bennett Miller (WA)
Remember the large-scale replica of a former UN office that was built in the middle of Melbourne Museum Plaza in 2010? And how all the UN delegates were daschunds? That was Bennett Miller’s bright idea. At New12 Miller continues his exploration into human-animal relationships by looking at “the superficially quasi-human constructions humans create for animals”.
Kate Mitchell (NSW)
Sydney-based photographer, video and performance artist Kate Mitchell “has invented a morse code language for office workers. They can communicate with their Venetian blinds,” Khan explains. Brilliant. “Kate is interested in performance in everyday life.”
Charlie Sofo (Vic)
Charlie considers the “small, subtle, poetic interventions in everyday life,” Jeff says of the artists's work. At New12, Sofo will explore shopping culture and our relationship with sample products through sculpture.