Exhibition at Mona Museum Explores the Origins of Art

The Australian museum will place culture under a microscope.

Is art adaptive? Has it, in some way, helped humans to survive and procreate? Has the impulse to create and appreciate art been passed on through evolution?

The Museum of Old and New Art in Tasmania, Australia (Mona), asks and reckons with these weighty questions in its upcoming exhibition, “On the Origin of Art,” in which four groundbreaking scientists enter a new curatorial laboratory. After considering the questions posed by Mona, scientists Steven Pinker, Brian Boyd, Geoffrey Miller, and Mark Changizi will posit hypothetical answers, and perhaps more questions, within their individually curated spaces in the museum.

12
View Slideshow
0/0
Rob Kesseler, Acacia , (2015). Photo courtesy of Mona ©Rob Kesseler.
“On the Origin of Art” at Mona
Rob Kesseler, Acacia , (2015). Photo courtesy of Mona ©Rob Kesseler.
Ernesto Neto, Humanóides , (2001). Photo courtesy of Mona ©Ernesto Neto.
“On the Origin of Art” at Mona
Ernesto Neto, Humanóides , (2001). Photo courtesy of Mona ©Ernesto Neto.
Madhya Pradesh, India, Chandella period, (c. 800–1315), Architectural relief depicting two celestial female figures (Surasundaris),. Photo courtesy of Art Gallery South Australia, Adelaide and Mona.
“On the Origin of Art” at Mona
Madhya Pradesh, India, Chandella period, (c. 800–1315), Architectural relief depicting two celestial female figures (Surasundaris),. Photo courtesy of Art Gallery South Australia, Adelaide and Mona.
Jacopo di Cione, Enthroned Madonna and Child with Saints , (1367). Photo courtesy of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra and Mona.
“On the Origin of Art” at Mona
Jacopo di Cione, Enthroned Madonna and Child with Saints , (1367). Photo courtesy of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra and Mona.
Berlinde De Bruyckere, PXIII ,(2008). Photo courtesy of Mona ©Berlinde De Bruyckere.
“On the Origin of Art” at Mona
Berlinde De Bruyckere, PXIII ,(2008). Photo courtesy of Mona ©Berlinde De Bruyckere.
Aaron Curry, Daft Dank Space , (2013). Photo courtesy of Almin Rech, David Kordansky Gallery, and Mona ©Aaron Curry.
“On the Origin of Art” at Mona
Aaron Curry, Daft Dank Space , (2013). Photo courtesy of Almin Rech, David Kordansky Gallery, and Mona ©Aaron Curry.
Daniel Crooks, Static No. 12 (seek stillness in movement) 2009–10 , (2010). Photo courtesy of the artist, Anna Schwartz Gallery, and Mona.
“On the Origin of Art” at Mona
Daniel Crooks, Static No. 12 (seek stillness in movement) 2009–10 , (2010). Photo courtesy of the artist, Anna Schwartz Gallery, and Mona.
Ryan McGinley, Anne Marie (Iguana) , (2012). Photo courtesy of the artist, team (gallery, inc.), New York, and Mona.
“On the Origin of Art” at Mona
Ryan McGinley, Anne Marie (Iguana) , (2012). Photo courtesy of the artist, team (gallery, inc.), New York, and Mona.
Aspassio Haronitaki, details of Who Says Your Feelings Have to Make Sense , (2016). Room installation on four walls: X-ray photographs on mirror and wallpaper. Photo courtesy of the artist and Mona.
“On the Origin of Art” at Mona
Aspassio Haronitaki, details of Who Says Your Feelings Have to Make Sense , (2016). Room installation on four walls: X-ray photographs on mirror and wallpaper. Photo courtesy of the artist and Mona.
Marian Maguire, Ko wai Koe (Who Are You?) , from the series The Odyssey of Captain Cook, (2005). Photo courtesy of the artist and Mona.
“On the Origin of Art” at Mona
Marian Maguire, Ko wai Koe (Who Are You?) , from the series The Odyssey of Captain Cook, (2005). Photo courtesy of the artist and Mona.
Andy Goldsworthy, Japanese maple leaves stitched together to make a floating chain, Ouchiyama-Mura, Japan, (1987). Photo courtesy of Galerie Lelong, New York, Haines Gallery, San Francisco, and Mona.
“On the Origin of Art” at Mona
Andy Goldsworthy, Japanese maple leaves stitched together to make a floating chain, Ouchiyama-Mura, Japan, (1987). Photo courtesy of Galerie Lelong, New York, Haines Gallery, San Francisco, and Mona.
Unknown artist, Lobster , Japan, Meiji era, (c. 1880). Photo courtesy of Art Gallery South Australia, Adelaide and Mona.
“On the Origin of Art” at Mona
Unknown artist, Lobster , Japan, Meiji era, (c. 1880). Photo courtesy of Art Gallery South Australia, Adelaide and Mona.

Through the presentation of visual works, these unlikely curators will translate their own scientific methodology into a cultural one, all while reevaluating the conventional role of museums and art as the determinants of culture. Artists on view will include Andy Goldsworthy, Ryan McGinley, Daniel Crooks, and Ernesto Neto.

Bound to neither time, nor culture “On the Origin of Art” will present a collection of 234 objects from 35 countries that aims to guide viewers in exploring the biology of humanity’s ongoing artistic drive. The Mona hopes that in doing so, visitors are liberated to view the works through an unusual lens, thinking  scientifically about the phenomena of art-making, as opposed to focusing solely on its cultural facets.

Free tickets for Mona’s opening weekend are currently available on their website.

On the Origin of Art” will be on view at the Museum of Old and New Art, Tasmania from November 5 2017- April 17, 2017.


Follow artnet News on Facebook:


Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.

Share

Article topics