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2006/ Contemporary Commonwealth

January 2006

The Exhibition

  • International and Australian artists converge on Melbourne today for the launch of 2006/ Contemporary Commonwealth, a collaborative survey of contemporary art presented by the Australian Centre for the Moving Image and the National Gallery of Victoria.
  • The Atrium at Federation Square plays host to the exhibition launch, which is also the official opening of Festival Melbourne2006, the cultural festival of the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games.
  • Minister for Commonwealth Games, Hon Justin Madden and Federal Minister for the Arts and Sport, Senator Rod Kemp, will launch the exhibition and declare the cultural festival officially open.
  • Exploring the broad themes of social and cultural connections in the 21st century, 2006/ Contemporary Commonwealth juxtaposes the ground-breaking works of 11 artists from Australia with 11 artists drawn from countries across the Commonwealth.
  • NGV’s participating artists include Yinka Shonibare (Nigeria / United Kingdom), Bani Abidi (Pakistan), Shane Cotton (New Zealand), Rodney Graham (Canada), Yee I-Lann (Malaysia), Lorraine Connelly-Northey (Victoria), eX de Medici (ACT), Fiona Hall (South Australia), Ah Xian (New South Wales) and Sally Smart (Victoria).
  • ACMI’s participating artists include Isaac Julien (United Kingdom), Berni Searle (South Africa), Brian Gothong Tan (Singapore), Mawuli Afatsiawo (Ghana), Shilpa Gupta (India), Ingrid Mwangi and Robert Hutter (Kenya and Germany), Patricia Piccinini (Victoria), Jemima Wyman (Queensland), r e a (New South Wales), John Gillies (New South Wales), Josephine Starrs and Leon Cmielewski (New South Wales) and John Hughes (Victoria).
  • In selecting artworks, NGV and ACMI curators sought contemporary artworks that most powerfully articulate and encompass visual and intellectual responses to globalisation, which reposition the Commonwealth as a network of changing cultural forces.
  • The 22 artists selected have responded individually to these notions in very different and sometimes challenging ways.
  • In a joint comment, NGV Director, Gerard Vaughan and ACMI Director, Tony Sweeney, said, “Once again, Victoria’s leading cultural institutions have collaborated to present2006 Contemporary Commonwealth, an exhibition which showcases the dynamic forms of contemporary art practice from artists working across Australia and around the world today.”
  • “With Federation Square as one of the live sites for the 2006 Commonwealth Games, we are especially excited to unite our two venues for one important exhibition. We are delighted to be a part of the Games’ cultural festivities.”
  • The exhibition includes painting, sculpture, film, video and installation.
  • The works are on display at ACMI and NGV Australia; both venues are located next to each other at Federation Square. Entry is free.
  • A range of programs, artist talks and screenings are being organised in association with the exhibition. For further information please visit
  • 2006/ Contemporary Commonwealth is presented by the NGV and ACMI as part of Festival Melbourne2006, the cultural festival of the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games. This is the second major collaborative survey of contemporary art to be presented by these two institutions.
  • 2006/ Contemporary Commonwealth is at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image until 21 May 2006 and at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Federation Square until 25 June 2006.
  • Special extended opening hours will occur during the 2006 Commonwealth Games (16-25 March). Both NGV Australia and ACMI will be open 7 days a week, from 10am to 10pm during this period.

Festival Melbourne2006 celebrates the breadth of culture and art from across the nations of the Commonwealth. The Festival is an integral part of the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games, and it is proudly funded and supported by the Victorian and Australian Governments.

Participating artists will be in attendance at the launch and available for interview

Tali Borowski, Media Coordinator, NGV 03 8620 2411, 0417 575 088;
Justin Rogers, Communications Coordinator, ACMI 03 8663 2475, 0412 172 887;


The file below is an Adobe Acrobat PDF file. View it by clicking on it or if you would like to save it to your computer click on the link with your right mouse button and select the Save As... option.

Festival Calendar
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