Artspace announce first wave of Australian artists for 52 ACTIONS series

Sydney’s Artspace has announced the first wave of Australian artists, creatives and collectives set to participate in their new 52 ACTIONS series, launching this month.

The selected Australian artists and creatives will receive $1,000 for the development and presentation of new work and will see the creation of 52 artworks including live performances, photography, video, sound and text-based work, interventions and digital public programs. Each week for a year, a different creative will present a new commission shared globally across Artspace’s digital platforms. The first selected practitioners include Abdul Abdullah, Brook Andrew, Bankstown Poetry Slam, Archie Barry, Johnathon World Peace Bush (Jilamara Arts), Rainbow Chan, Erin Coates, Ruha Fifita, Henri Papin (Meijers & Walsh), Hayley Millar-Baker, Jason Phu, Stelarc, Tyza Stewart, Shahmen Suku | Radha, James Tylor and Kaylene Whiskey.

Kaylene Whiskey, Do You Believe in Love, 2019, acrylic on linen, 167 x 198cm. Courtesy the artist and Iwantja Arts

The project expands upon 52 ARTISTS 52 ACTIONS, Artspace’s year-long Instagram project that ran from 2018-19, inviting 52 artists and collectives across Asia to respond to important concerns in their local contexts. Utilising the digital framework established by 52 ARTISTS 52 ACTIONS, this new iteration centres around the social and cultural importance of artistic practice and art as action in times of uncertainty and transformation.

Artspace’s Executive Director Alexie Glass-Kantor said, ‘We’re very excited to be launching a new iteration of our 52 ARTISTS 52 ACTIONS project. Designed originally to explore how artists across the broader Asian region could utilise online platforms to create politically engaged art outside of the institution, it makes sense to revive the format at a time when we find ourselves locked out of institutions entirely. This time around we shift the focus onto Australia, highlighting the practices of 52 artists across the country. Through this expansive new commissioning series, we are not only aiming to provide stimulus for Australian artists, but to offer insight into artistic practice here as we move through a period marked by uncertainty.’

James Tylor, Grey Leaf Saltbush, Instagram post for 52 ARTISTS 52 ACTIONS, January 2019. Courtesy the artist and Artspace, Sydney

52 ACTIONS will launch on Monday 18 May 2020 with James Tylor, the last artist to contribute to 52 ARTISTS 52 ACTIONS, as a way of connecting back to the original project. Tylor’s multidisciplinary artistic practice focuses largely on Indigenous and European colonial history and its continual effect on present-day issues surrounding cultural identity in Australia.

52 ACTIONS will be staged on Artspace’s website. The project will also be broadcast through Artspace’s Instagram (@artspacesydney) as well as the 52 ARTISTS 52 ACTIONS Instagram (@52artists52actions).