Spain: Photographica Australis at ARCO 2002


Artists: Pat Brassington, Lyndell Brown & Charles Green, Brenda L. Croft, Max Doyle, Rose Farrell & George Parkin, Anne Ferran, Joachim Froese, Phillip George, Deborah Paauwe, Polixeni Papapetrou, Scott Redford, Michael Riley, Glenn Sloggett, Darren Sylvester, Martin Walch, Anne Zahalka

Photographica Australis was an exhibition of the work of 16 contemporary Australian photomedia artists and partnerships. It was created especially for the Sala del Canal de Isabel II by Alasdair Foster on a commission from the Australian Council for the Arts. The exhibition brought together work by established practitioners and emerging talent, and was presented to coincide with Madrid’s international art fair, ARCO 2002, which that  year featured the contemporary art of Australia.

Seeking to complement rather than duplicate what was showing at the ARCO fair, the exhibition took its form from the spectacular structure in which it was staged – the Sala de Exposiciones del Canal de Isabel II – a 19th-century water tower with five idiosyncratic levels.

Photographica Australis was very well received at the opening when more than 700 people attended. These included a group of major collectors, the VIP guests of ARCO, who noted how impressed they were by the exhibition. Indeed later in the evening one of Spain’s top contemporary art curators declared that it was the first group show she had ever seen where there was no weak work.

The exhibition featured on the front page of ABC, the main newspaper in Madrid with coverage by four TV companies, including CNN.


Upper: View of Photographica Australis installed in  the Sala del Canal de Isabel II for Australia at ARCO (Madrid 2002)
Lower: Part of the Michael Riley installation presented on the spherical top floor of the  the Sala del Canal de Isabel II


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  • The majority of the texts on this site are by Alasdair Foster and represent his opinions. However, in order to facilitate a useful diversity of views, some texts have been invited from artists and colleagues around the world, while others appear as independent comments. These opinions and comments are not necessarily those of Alasdair Foster or Cultural Development Consulting (CDC). All data and information on this site is provided on an as-is basis. While every effort is made to be as thorough as possible, neither Alasdair Foster nor CDC make representations as to accuracy, completeness, currency, suitability or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions or delays in this information or any losses, injuries or damages arising from its display or use.
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