The all-new Museum of Contemporary Art Australia

Posted filed underAustralia, Contemporary Art, Museums.

Sydney’s harbor museum MCA will reopen on March 29 as the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia with the show “Marking Time”. Few contemporary art museums can boast of having both a breathtaking view and a superb location in the heart of a city. But the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) here is doubly blessed.

Arts Beat reports: “First constructed for the Maritime Services Board in the 1950s with a faux 1930s façade, the museum is located in Circular Quay, in the heart of Sydney Harbor. “Its location has been central to its success,” said Elizabeth Fortescue, an art critic for the city’s Daily Telegraph newspaper. “And that will attract some people who think that contemporary art is not for them.”

Since August 2010, the MCA has been undergoing a makeover worth 53 million Australian dollars, or about $56 million, and has gained 50 percent more space. It will reopen March 29 as the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia — a name that reflects its status as the only contemporary art museum in the country with a permanent collection.

Though part of the museum reopened in December, despite the construction crews banging away, with a show by the Mexican-Canadian electronic artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, the grand reopening will feature both an internationally focused show and one that highlights works by Australian contemporary artists. “Marking Time,” which will examine how artists visualize time, will run until early June and feature 11 artists including Tatsuo Miyajima from Japan, Elisa Sighicelli from Italy and the aboriginal artist Gulumbu Yunupingu. The American-born artist Christian Marclay’s video piece “The Clock,” a 24-hour montage constructed from thousands of images from cinema and television edited together to create a single time piece, will be on display in a separate gallery.

The other show, “Volume One: MCA Collection,” will feature works by more than 150 Australian artists collected by the MCA and will highlight the diversity of Australia’s contemporary art scene over the last 20 years.

“The thing that is fantastic about the MCA is that there has been this incredible focus on international practice but it has never lost sight of local activity and local production,” said Shaun Gladwell, a Sydney-born, London-based artist whose works will be featured in the show. “Having a larger institution will be a major asset for the city.”

Read on at Arts Beat.

Photo by Alex Davies/Museum of Contemporary Art : A view of the installation ‘‘People on People,’’ by the electronic artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer.