Primavera at Museum of Contemporary Art Australia by Mariam Arcilla
⬤ Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) 8 Sep - 4 Feb 2024
I recently had an oddball dream-within-a-dream where I slept catatonically for five months and missed the Primavera 2023: Young Australian Artists exhibition entirely. The cause of my sleep-in was an alarm clock by my bed that morphed from a twenty-four-hour time-teller into a hypnotic spiral. It twirled its clock-hands back and forth through time, to the point where the Snooze button switched to the word “Overtime.” Then I woke woke up. And today, I’m at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) fighting the urge not to touch the Elmo dolls or wallpaper of flowers at Primavera, just to convince myself that I’m awake, walking in the present.
In her Primavera catalogue essay, Talia Smith, who serves as this year’s curator, evokes a spiral-like concept of time as being distinct from the linearity of Western time. For Smith, who is of Cook Island, Samoan, and Aotearoa/New Zealand European heritage, time is an intertwined continuum that tangles together past, present, and future. She states: “We are always walking alongside our past and future ancestors.”