A levitating man, a genetically engineered baby, towering giants – welcome to humanity amplified.
Ahead of this summer’s blockbuster exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia, we sat down with Senior Curator of Contemporary Art, Jaklyn Babington to talk all things hyperreal.
What is Hyper Real? What can visitors see and experience at this exhibition?
Hyperrealism, developed in the 1960-70s, traditionally created sculptures with an uncanny realism to human skin, hair, eyes and blood. Visitors can expect to see a giant pregnant woman standing 8ft tall, uncanny human-esque creatures with a fantastical bent, and some nudity as the human form is explored in all its guises — from the beautiful to the unnerving.
How big is this exhibition?
Hyper Real is a collaboration with international curator Otto Letze from the Institute of Cultural Exchange, and myself, NGA Senior Curator of Contemporary Art. This exhibition brings together celebrated international artists from the US, UK, Russia, China and more. It features 49 works by 30 artists, including a commissioned work by Australia’s Sam Jinks, as well as a new installation by Patricia Piccinini.
What is a crowd favourite of this exhibition?
Hyper Real features numerous works by seminal Australian artist, Patricia Piccinini. Her fantastical human and animal hybrids bring a feeling of surreal unease and simultaneous comfort to visitors, creating new worlds with which to interact. Piccinini was the most popular contemporary artist of 2016 world-wide.
What can families expect?
Hyper Real is a family-friendly exhibition, appealing to children’s sense of wonder and curiosity. Whilst there is some nudity, such as Ron Mueck’s 8ft tall Pregnant woman 2002 — families are able to explore themes of the human experience through the realistic nature of the sculpture. All visitors can respond to the role of technology in art, as well as to the everyday — experience a virtual universe, explore a Second Life world, and be surrounded by a 360 video installation subverting the accepted social norms. From the playful to the poignant, Hyper Real has something for everyone.
A compelling chronicle of the cycles of life and our constant need for connection, Hyper Real explores the fundamental question: ‘what makes us human?’
Hyper Real opens on Friday 20th October 2017 and runs until Sunday 18th of February 2018.
Open 10am – 5pm daily.
National Gallery of Australia
Parkes Place East
Parkes ACT 2600
Hyper Real is a ticketed exhibition. Tickets are now on sale through Ticketek here
For more information:
Heading to Canberra for the Hyper Real exhibition? Abode Woden is conveniently located just minutes from The National Gallery of Australia. Book your stay direct at Abode Woden here.
Inverso mundus 2015
HD video installation AES+F | ARS New York
Courtesy of the artists, MAMM
Woman and child 2010 (detail)
silicone, silk, human hair
Collection of the artist
Eulogy 2011 (detail)
Warwick and Jane Flecknow Bequest Fund 2015
Courtesy of the artist