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Liquid Sea

14 March 2003 8 June 2003

Through the work of historical and contemporary artists from around the world, Liquid Sea explores the symbolic nature of the sea and water in art today. From the sublime to the metaphoric, this exhibition draws inspiration from the sea, as well as utilising the MCA building and its unique site on the waterfront of Sydney’s Circular Quay.

The exhibition featured a range of works incorporating sculpture, photography, video and digital media, including a major, new site specific work by acclaimed Australian artist Joan Brassil.

The relationship between art and science is illustrated in the exhibition through active collaboration between artists and the wider scientific community. Glasgow-based artist Christine Borland draws on her experiences working alongside scientific practitioners and researchers while historical material, including rare underwater documentary footage from the early 20th century by acclaimed French filmmaker Jean Painlevé, adds a further, rich dimension to the exhibition.

American artist Doug Aitken presented his new immersive installation, New Ocean Cycle. Video works by Irish artist Dorothy Cross draw connections, as one critic notes, between ‘the world beneath the waves and the murky depths of memory’. The sea also forms a recurrent metaphor in the films of British artist Tacita Dean. Japanese artist Hiroshi Sugimoto presented one of his best known photographic series – Seascapes and Italian photographer Elisa Sighicelli presented Icebergs, made during a residency in Iceland.

Participating artists: Doug Aitken (USA), Christine Borland (Scotland), Joan Brassil (Australia), Dorothy Cross (Ireland), Tacita Dean (Germany/UK), Joyce Hinterding & David Haines (Australia), Elisa Sighicelli (Italy) and Hiroshi Sugimoto (Japan). A performance by artist Zhu Ming (China) will take place in the first week of the exhibition. Historical works by Leopold & Rudolph Blaschka, Louis Boutan, Jean Painlevé and Jules Etienne Marey will be presented as part of the exhibition.