Trace: Performance and its Documents

Event  |  Reviews  |  Comments
Dropping a Han dynasty urn (detail) , 1995 Gelatin Silver Photograph On Paper © Courtesy of the artist & The Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art
Trace: Performance and its Documents

Stanley Place
South Bank
4101 Queensland
February 22nd, 2014 - July 27th, 2014

+ 61 (0)7 3840 7303
Sun-Sat 10-5
video-art, photography, performance


It seems obvious when talking about performance that ‘you really have to be there’, to get the story right. While the experience of ‘being there’ adds something particular, it is still possible to experience the work at a remove, whether via a screen, photographic documentation, or even a third-hand retelling of the action. ‘Trace’ draws out relationships between performance and its documents, bringing together new commissions with historical and contemporary works from across the Gallery’s Collection. The exhibition includes works by John Baldessari; Brown Council; Rebecca Horn; Bruce Nauman, Mike Parr; Campbell Patterson; Qin Ga; Carolee Schneemann; Sriwhana Spong; Song Dong; Ai Weiwei; Gosia Wlodarczak; Erwin Wurm; Zhang Huan, and more.

Spanning an array of cultural contexts and varying sorts of performativity – feats of endurance, repetitive actions, shamanistic rituals, vaudevillian acts – the works also range wildly in tone: from sublime to icky to out and out funny. Whether images, texts or objects, ‘Trace’ gives presence to the residues that stop performance disappearing altogether. Alongside the works, this testifies to the continuing relevance of discussions around ephemeral work in the Gallery: it appears, disappears, then reappears in various guises.

Programs and Events

Special Event | International artist talk
Tehching Hsieh in conversation with Russell Storer

6.00pm Friday 2 May | GOMA Cinema
Join eminent New York-based performance artist Tehching Hsieh at GOMA in conversation with Russell Storer, Curatorial Manager, Asian Art, QAGOMA. Hsieh’s visit coincides with the display of the artist’s seminal One Year Performance 1980 – 1981 (Time Clock Piece) at Carriageworks, Sydney. Hseih will discuss this and other projects at this special event. Free, no bookings required.

Best known for a series of five year-long performances he undertook in New York in the 1980s, Tehching Hsieh makes work about time, life and being. His works are notable for their conceptual purity and physical extremity. Born in 1950 in Taiwan, Hsieh’s contribution to performance art has been widely recognised through major exhibitions at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing (2013), São Paulo Biennial (2012), Liverpool Biennale (2010), Gwangju Biennale (2010), Guggenheim Museum, New York (2009), and the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2009).

Trace Live
Saturday 10 May | GOMA
A day devoted to performance, with a range of events and talks taking place in and around GOMA, featuring Australian artists who explore site-specific, performative and ephemeral practices.

11.00am Artist talk: Mike Parr
During ‘Trace Live’, leading Australian artist Mike Parr will present an artist talk reflecting on his significant body of performance work since the 1970s, including selected works exhibited in ‘Trace’. Parr is widely recognised as one of the most significant living Australian artists, known for his ground-breaking, visceral endurance performances that test the limits of his own body. Parr will also present an excerpt of a new performance for visitors to this event.