Time Out Sydney

The MCA is shaking things up (not to mention taking its things off)

The new Museum of Contemporary Art is well and truly up and running - and its opening performance season is just getting more exciting.

Curated by Performance Space, Local Positioning Systems is a showcase of participatory and performance art taking place in and around the Museum. If an in-the-nude tour of the MCA exhibitions doesn’t scream ‘participatory’, we don’t know what will.

Time Out gives you the lowdown on the events that are still to come.
Is it the boldest art event of the year? Well, it's certainly the barest.
Artist Stuart Ringholt is getting his kit off and giving the public a tour of the new MCA and its current exhibitions. To join him, you'll need to get your kit off too.
Ringholt recently assured Time Out that “all the anxiety leaves when you remove your clothes… You feel lovely not wearing clothes, and being in the museum when it is closed without clothes on is sublime.” Read more in our Stuart Ringholt interview.
Naturally, Time Out asked MCA director Liz Ann Macgregor if she'd be shedding her trademark ironic-tartan for the event. "That’s the advantage of being the director: you can quite safely step aside from things like this," Macgregor said. "I’m far beyond the age where I would take my clothes off."
Here at Time Out we're not so shy. We'll be there with no bells on. Check back for our, ahem, revealing post-event coverage.
Bookings essential on 02 9245 2400. 6pm, Apr 27-29. $15-$20. 
Does contemporary art make you sick? In recent weeks, visitors to the new exhibition galleries in the refurbished Museum of Contemporary Art have reported all manner of harmful effects: the inability to ‘get’ an artwork, information plaque fatigue, severe cases of involuntary eye-rolling…
If you show any of these or other undesirable symptoms in a gallery setting, let artist Jason Maling assist with his special brand of homeopathic therapy. For ‘Physician’, part of the MCA’s Local Positioning Systems performance season, Maling will conduct therapeutic one-on-one sessions with gallery visitors to discuss all their art-based physiological and psychological troubles. Perhaps you suffer from ‘Severe Relational Deficiency’ or ‘Metaphobia’. You could have a case of ‘Generalised Indifference Disorder’ or ‘Mild Conceptual Perturbation’. Sessions are by appointment only – register at the MCA information desk on the day – and, remember, if symptoms persist, see your Degas.
By appointment. May 5-18. Free.
Artist Lara Thoms will seek out members of the public at the MCA and discover their unofficial expertise and unrecognised skills and knowledge. Thoms will showcase 50 lessons in the MCA seminar room over a series of presentations.
Thoms explores the participatory possibilities of contemporary art through text, photographs and personal accounts. Interested in socially-engaging works, she often involves strangers, communities and other artists in her art-making.
Seminar Room, Lvl 2, MCA. Tue, Thu, Sat-Sun 1pm-4pm. May 6-13. Free.
Latai Taumoepeau's large-scale climate change performance installation is set to spring up adjacent to the MCA at the end of May. The artwork is comprised of large blocks of ice suspended in the air using traditional Tongan architecural lashing techniques. The work brings into question the relationship between melting ice glaciers and rising sea levels.
Taumoepeau is a Punake, a performance artist whose work is body-centred. Her art comments on sociopolitical issues including race and class, and she is committed to giving a voice to communities that are marginalised.
Taumoepeau explained that the presentation “is dedicated to a long-line of ancestral women before me who were great makers and custodians of my cultural heritage, who face me as I look to the past to back into the future.”
MCA Square. May 26-27, weather permitting. Free.
Like your contemporary art with more bark than bite?
To wrap up Local Positioning Systems, Bennett Miller is bringing his acclaimed Dachshund UN to the MCA forecourt: a four-level amphitheatre recreation of the UN's Human Rights Council, wherein all of the national delegates are live dachshunds (‘sausage dogs’),
West Australia-born Miller promises the experiment will be both joyful and chaotic, but he can’t promise a rigorous debate.
Time Out happened to be in attendance at the recent sausage dog auditions for this event. Trust us: this is going to be fun.
Check back for our chat with Bennett Miller.
MCA Square.  Jun 2-3, weather permitting. Free.


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By Amy Rathbone and Darryn King   |  

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