Cover image of the review
*I’m Still Feeling It,* 2020, installation view, *Overlapping Magisteria*, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne. Courtesy the artist. Photograph: Andrew Curtis

Overlapping Magisteria

19 Dec 2020
5 Dec - 15 Mar 2021

Despite its rather grand title, Overlapping Magisteria at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA) isn’t strictly about scientific taxonomies, whether or not these are understood to be overlapping. It is, however, a tight selection of works that articulates multiple ways of knowing and acknowledges experiences structured by the inchoate and bodily. The twin entrances to ACCA’s galleries are stoppered up with artworks that visually block sightlines into the exhibition and immediately confront viewers with a material presence around which to navigate. After a long, dark, socially-distant winter of gruelling back-to-back Zoom meetings, it is an unmitigated joy to not only be physically present in an art gallery again but also to be drinking in a show as tactile and material-centric as this one.

Curated by Max Delany and Miriam Kelly, the exhibition is the second in ACCA’s biennial Macfarlane Commissions series and is therefore a manifestation of real material support of the financial as well as the sculptural kind. A relatively new player in Melbourne’s art philanthropy circles, the Macfarlane Fund provides thoughtfully targeted assistance to emerging, mid-career and senior artists. The Fund’s partnership with ACCA replaces the gallery’s old “NEW” series, funding five early- or mid-career artists to realise a major new work and giving them the opportunity to test themselves against ACCA’s intimidatingly cavernous exhibition spaces.

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