Artist talk: Patricia Piccinini

Artist talk: Patricia PiccininiArtist talk: Patricia Piccinini


Patricia Piccinini will talk in particular about her works in the exhibition The Coming World: Ecology as the New Politics 2030–2100The Comforter and Litter—and the way that these works fit into her practice. She will also discuss new works and her studio and museum practice and processes.

Patricia Piccinini will speak about her practice, which is focused on bodies, nature, and relationships: the relationships between people and other creatures, between people and our bodies, between creatures and the environment, between the artificial and the natural. She is particularly interested in the way that the everyday realities of the world around us change these relations. Perhaps because of this, many have looked at her practice in terms of science and technology, however, it is just as informed by Surrealism and mythology. Her work aims to shift the way that people look at the world around them and question their assumptions about the relationships they have with the world, especially the natural world. Donna Harraway has described her as “a sister in technoculture, a co-worker committed to taking “naturecultures” seriously… [and] a story teller in the radical experimental lineage of feminist science fiction.”

Piccinini is especially interested in things that fall outside of our traditional ideas of normal or beautiful, or that step across the boundaries that we erect between things. How does contemporary technology and culture change our understanding of what it means to be human? What is our relationship withand responsibilities towards—that which we create, and with the natural world that surrounds us. While ethics are central, her approach is always ambiguous and questioning rather than moralistic and didactic.

Ideas rather than methods are central to the way Piccinini works, although drawing plays a central generative role in everything. As an artist, she works with whatever mediums seems best suited to evoking the sorts of thoughts and emotions she is interested in playing with: sculpture, installation, photography, video, drawing—from intimate drawings to gigantic public sculptures such as The Skywhale.


Patricia Piccinini (b. 1965, Freetown, Sierra Leone) graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne in 1991. She founded The Basement Project gallery (1992–1994) and was appointed Enterprise Professor of Art at the University of Melbourne in 2017. Solo exhibitions include: Arken, Copenhagen (2018); Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane (2018), CCBB (Rio De Janiero, Sao Paulo, Belo Horizonte, and Brasilia, 2016); Arter, Istanbul (2013); and Artium, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain (2007). In 2003, she represented Australia at the Venice Biennale, and she has taken part in biennials in Vancouver (2018), Kaunas (2013), Taipei (2009), Havana (2003), Sydney (2002), Liverpool (2002), Berlin (2001), and Gwangju (2000). She lives and works in Melbourne.


Free admission with advance registration.

This talk will be in Russian and English with simultaneous translation.

It is accessible for deaf and hard of hearing visitors and will be interpreted into Russian Sign Language.