John Kaldor’s very first project is credited as a ‘defining moment’ in Australian contemporary art. Edmund Capon once said that Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s 1969 massive Wrapped Coast ‘moved the experience of art from hallowed halls to the less likely venues of the coastline and city square’.
Over the years, Kaldor Public Art Project has presented a series of inventive, provocative works. Gilbert & George’s 1973 The Singing Sculpture launched the career of these now eminent British artists; responding to the political tensions of the time, Gregor Schneider’s 2007 21 beach cells juxtaposed Bondi Beach with the experience of Guantanamo Bay and Australian immigration detainees; and last year’s 13 Rooms brought together some of the biggest contemporary artista in the world, including Marina Abramović, Damien Hirst and Roman Ondák, in a group exhibition of ‘living sculpture’.
This year, Kaldor is looking for YOUR VERY GOOD IDEA – the company’s 45th site-specific project will be created by an Australian artist. The project requires the artist to have three years + experience, but there is little limitation when it comes to scale and budget…
Here’s the lowdown from Curatorial and Communications Coordinator Emma Pike:
Why the turn to Australian talent and why have you elected not to choose the artist?
The success of 13 Rooms, which was very different from any other project we have previously presented, inspired us to try a completely new angle. Also, it’s been 30 years since Project 8: Australian Accent (1984), where we took 3 young Australian artists – Ken Unsworth, Mike Parr and Imants Tillers – to America. It’s time to shine light on the talent we have in Australia once again.
Kaldor will fund and produce the work – so what’s a ‘reasonable’ budget?
We will fund the entire production of the work and all associated costs of presenting it as a Kaldor Public Art Project, which includes promotion and an extensive education program. We don’t have a ‘reasonable’ budget in mind, as all our projects differ greatly in this respect. However, if a conceptually strong idea is submitted and the budget seems excessive, we will be in touch with the artist before the selection panel sees their proposal.
What are three key things the panel will look for?
- An original idea at the cutting-edge of contemporary art practice
- An ambitions idea, but one that’s not impossible
- Clever use of the proposed site – artists should think about the relationship between their work and the site, as well as how easy it will be for a large number of people to experience the work.
YOUR VERY GOOD IDEA is open to all mediums and will be judged by a panel of local and international curators: from Australia – Alexie Glass-Kantor (Artspace), Nick Mitzevich (Art Gallery of South Australia) and John Kaldor himself; and internationals Nick Baume (director and chief curator of Public Art Fund, New York), James Lingwood (co-director of Artangel, who does similar work to Kaldor in London) and Jessica Morgan (Tate Modern’s curator of International Art).
Deadline for submissions is 9am, Monday 26 May. More on the Kaldor site.