Michael Stevenson On How Things Behave (still) 2010 HD and 16mm film transferred to DVD 15:43 minutes Courtesy the artist


6 April to 19 June 2011 – Museum of Contemporary Art

Michael Stevenson, a New Zealand artist based in Berlin, has been described as an ‘anthropologist of the avantgarde’. This MCA survey is the first opportunity to review a broad cross-section of the artist’s activities drawn from his perspective over the last 20 years. It includes ambitious installation, object, drawing and film projects realised in the last 10 years, in relation to the artist’s earlier works undertaken in Australia and New Zealand. Stevenson’s practice is based in the documentary and frequently re-tells the historical in exemplary form rendering tenable the possibility for allegory in and amongst historical fact. His earlier works and his sculptures, installations and films, invoke a documentary narrative form.

Delving into questions from within and beyond the art world, Stevenson’s work could be said to engage with certain absurdities that arise when universalisms take hold in insular situations and, especially when these forms arrive in parts foreign, masked in radical and perplexing guises. Stevenson’s practice constantly reveals the fascinating and complex relationship between the specific and the universal.

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