MUMA’s new exhibition Life inside an Image, presented in association with Melbourne Festival, brings together seven contemporary artists from six different countries whose work engages with significant cultural collections including the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersberg,
Content: Monash University Museum of Art
the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford and the British Museum in London.
The exhibition explores the function of the museum in relation to the camera. Museums, like cameras, preserve, frame and index the world. Both attempt to arrest beings, objects and environments into conditions of stasis. In so doing, museums also translate objects (whether artworks, ancient tools, mineral samples or taxidermied animals) into documents, official texts that evidence natural and cultural histories. Like photographs, they bear witness.
Orbiting around the presentation of a new major work by Irish artist Gerard Byrne, Life inside an Image considers the museum as an image-capturing technology. It offers a selection of still and moving-image works by artists Matthew Buckingham, Gerard Byrne, Melvin Moti, Fiona Pardington, Elizabeth Price, Amie Siegel and Judy Watson, each of whom has worked closely with a museum collection or artefact in order to disrupt old, and unearth new narratives.