Potentially the most urgent issue of our time is that of the Anthropocene. There has been much discourse engaging with the intersection of our planet’s new epoch and that of creative practice. Artists are straddling a range of different methodologies for how to confront the issue; from environmental considerations in their actual material practice; front-line activism, to a layered approach to all the components that make up or ‘live in the shadow’ of the Anthropocene, such as capitalism, territories, globalisation, toxicity, technology, sovereignty and more. Alicia Frankovich is an artist who is engaging with; challenging and questioning these collective realities; including the Anthropocene; and where it, as an epoch connects and inter-relates to other facets of society.
Frankovich is interested in bringing our attention to the nuances present in this age; for example our connection to technology and what that foundation means for what and who is viewed as human, alongside the inherent value systems that support the conditioning of what is normal in terms of human life.
This new intersection of ideas is titled ‘Exoplanets’ and will be on show at Monash University Museum of Art, curated by Monash’s Hannah Matthews, and is largely a commissioned staging; alongside a temporal exhibition experience from Frankovich’s recent major solo show at the Kunstverein für die Reinlande und Westfalen, Düsseldorf, ‘OUTSIDE BEFORE BEYOND’, 2017. Aesthetically, Frankovich’s practice has a strong connection to ideas of movement and this spatially aware approach to practice will be experienced at an interpersonal level when navigating the space. Audiences can expect to see works that fall between the mediums of sculpture, video, animations and instruments.
Frankovich was born in New Zealand and now lives and works in Berlin and Canberra. She obtained a BVA in sculpture at AUT in Auckland in 2002 and graduated from Monash University with an MFA in 2016; making this exhibition a homecoming of sorts. The artist has travelled and exhibited widely; in 2012 she was short-listed for the Walters Prize, New Zealand’s premier arts prize and in 2018 was a finalist in the Kunstpreis der Böttcherstraße in Bremen. Frankovich has undertaken various residencies at the ISCP, New York; Kunstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin; AIR, Antwerp; Firestation, Dublin; and Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne. These networks are important to the artist’s practice; and help to create deep and nuanced channels of exchange between Australia and the world.
Indeed, what Frankovich argues is true; humanity is a wealth of multiplicities; and even at the individual layer we may perform and adopt multiple identities to navigate through the space of life. Crucially too; now not only are these performed, but also projected and visible within wider culture in a way that wasn’t possible in the past due to homogenous projections of reality.
Tess Maunder is a writer, curator and researcher based in Brisbane.
Monash University Museum of Art
6 October to 15 December, 2018