It is interesting that whenever something ‘new’ comes along we are quick to make comparisons. Its hard not to. We also readily interpret the new as yet another ‘overnight success’. I’ve read several articles drawing various comparisons between the new Moonah Arts Centre (MAC) and other artspaces and organisations about the place, and that’s OK, but I kind of like the expression, ‘it is what it is’, because in my experience that is so often the case. The new MAC is definitely one of those places that is what it is.
So what is it?
MAC is Moonah’s Old New Artspace. Its been around the block once or twice and has established itself as a part of the northern suburbs on a number of levels. Why? Because it is a council run space that has evolved with the people for the people for well over 20 years. Old MAC’s space goes back even further, a gift to the community by the then EZ company in the 1920s, one of two halls in fact, the twin being demolished in the 1960s. The remaining building was for some years the local library, a fact that wouldn’t be lost on MAC’s first Arts & Cultural Development Officer.
The new MAC is certainly new, in fact it is state of the art in every way. It is a purpose built artspace, something surprisingly rare in the artworld today. But before I make any comparisons, before I claim that it is a premium space among Hobart’s many and varied artspaces, let’s look again at what it is. It still is a council run space that will continue to evolve with the people and for the people, because that’s what MAC does. The new building itself is no mere architectural wonderspace, it is the result of many months of community consultation. The architects have listened and responded well.
MAC is not an art institution in the traditional sense. It doesn’t collect, conserve and research in an institutional manner. But it will continue to bring local product to local audiences across a multi-arts platform, it will continue to offer affordable workshops for local people to develop their creativity, and it will continue to be a melting pot for the diverse people of the city. For it is the social fabric and cultural tapestry of the City of Glenorchy that is to be valued above any building or institution. Yet, in the case of the new MAC, it is wonderful to witness a building and organisation that is so decidedly dedicated to the people of this city.
Congratulations to all the people that made this happen.
The art show that believes there is life outside the galleries.
An insightful and humourous journey through an increasingly fragmented cultural landscape – where the Internet and communications have given us a set of cultural choices and influences unimaginable even a decade ago.
Bob and Roberta Smith
Off Voice Fly Tip 2009
Courtesy the artist and Hales Gallery
Photo: Tate Photography
“The main function of the instruments of communication of capitalism is to repeat a message, which is: we live in a finite, immovable and definitive political framework, only the decor must change at high speed. Art questions this message, and reverses it. It is an idea that was actually the core of Relational Aesthetics already, the Marxist idea that there is no stable “essence” of humankind, which is nothing but the transitory result of what human beings do at a certain moment of history. I think this might be the cornerstone of all my writings, in a way.”
Over 30 years of practice as an internationally exhibiting artist and architect, Goodwin has sustained a prolific and award winning practice provoking boundaries between art and architecture. In 1996 Goodwin established the Porosity Studio at the College of Fine Arts within the University of New South Wales where he currently holds the position of Professor of Fine Arts and Design. He teaches part-time via intensive, international and multi-disciplinary studios providing a unique context for the renegotiation of delineations between art, architecture and urbanism. A United Kingdom based series of Porosity studios have recently been fully sponsored by the British Council.
In 2002 Goodwin was awarded the prestigious Discovery Grant from the Australian Research Council to fund the development of his ideas on Porosity – a redefining of public space in cities leading to urban propositions of parasitic architecture. In 2008 he received his PhD for further Porosity research. This research continues today under a second Australian Research Council Linkage grant in collaboration with architecture academic Russell Lowe entitled, Real-Time Porosity: Using Computer Gaming Technology to Map and Analyse Pedestrian Movement in Public and Private Space.
Major prizes include: The National Sculpture Award 1985, The Sculpture by the Sea Prize 2003, Helen Lempriere Award 2004, the Blackett Award for Architecture in 2004, and the Wynne Prize from the Art Gallery of NSW 2011.
Goodwin’s Architectural practice concentrates on parasitic connections between private and public space. Recent works include the Cope Street parasite and the Deepdene Parasite. Goodwin has also completed several public structures including four pedestrian bridges, one of which was constructed for the Olympic Games precinct in Sydney 2000.
His artwork is held in major collections including the Art Gallery of NSW, the National Gallery of Victoria and the Nuremburg Museum.