Whilst some exhibitions are intended to be appreciated from a distance, Water at GOMA invites you to cross the threshold and get amongst it, literally. Step across a vast, rocky riverbed, navigate your way across a cloud of suspended gymnastic rings hovering above the gallery floor or spy a real life snowman, which in the heat of a Brisbane summer, is a rare sight indeed. Water brings together 40 inventive and thought-provoking works from leading international and Australian artists. Among the exhibition’s many highlights is Riverbed, which has transformed the gallery into a pre-historic or post-apocalyptic landscape complete with 100-tonnes of rocks and water. Created by internationally-acclaimed artist Olafur Eliasson, this is the first time the installation has been created outside of the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark. The intention is to invite viewers to slow down and contemplate their place in the world.
Another one of Water’s must-see installations is an interactive sculpture titled The Fact of Matter by leading US choreographer and artist William Forsythe. As we seek new ways to navigate rising tidelines, the installation–a cloud of suspended gymnastic rings–asks visitors to consider the weight and strength of their body as they lift themselves up above the ground to traverse the space. The work is reflective of the notion that we evolved from water to breathe air and now we must find new ways to work together to meet the challenge of climate change. Also featured is Cai Guo-Qiang’s memorable, much-loved installation Heritage. Inspired by the clear blue lakes of Queensland’s Stradbroke Island, the work will appear in a new arrangement of more than 40 life-size animals drinking around a bright blue waterhole.
Water opens on December 7 and runs through to April 26, 2o20. The exhibition will be accompanied by an Up Late program, artist talks, panel discussions and more, take a peek at GOMA’s website for the full run down of events.
Image 1: William Forsythe / America, b.1949 / The Fact of Matter 2009 / Site-specific installation comprising gym rings, fabric straps, gym mat and truss system. / Dimensions variable. / Pictured: Installation view, William Forsythe: Choreographic Objects, The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, 2018-19 / Image courtesy the artist. Photograph: Liza Voll. © William Forsythe.
Image 2: Olafur Eliasson / Denmark, b.1967 / Riverbed 2014 (detail) / Site-specific installation. Pictured: The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Denmark. / Image courtesy of the artist; neugerriemschneider, Berlin; Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York / Los Angeles. Photograph: Iwan Baan.
Image 3: Cai Guo-Qiang / China, b. 1957 / Heritage (installation view) 2013 / Animals: polystyrene, gauze, resin and hide. Installed with artificial watering hole: water, sand, drip mechanism. Purchased 2013 with funds from the Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Diversity Foundation through and with the assistance of the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art Foundation / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art / © The artist. Photograph: Mark Sherwood, QAGOMA.