Shapes of Knowledge – Objects of Longing

In February 2019 Monash University of Modern Art launched the exhibition Shapes of Knowledge.

The exhibition brings together eight projects from artists, collectives and organisations from across Australia and the globe to reflect on the different platforms, spaces and timeframes in which knowledge is produced and shared. One of these projects is Kym Maxwell’s Objects of Longing exhibition and performance piece.

Gandel Foundation supported Kym Maxwell’s project, which was created in collaboration with students from Dandenong Primary School in Victoria (pictured).

“Conceived by Melbourne artist-educator Kym Maxwell, Objects of Longing is a multi-disciplinary project with students at Dandenong Primary School that investigates the relationships between play (personal collecting) and cultural production (institutional collections).

Taking place over two school terms to allow for a broad engagement across various learning platforms (site visits, class work, workshops and assessments), Objects of Longing began in Term 3 2018 with a facilitated workshop at MUMA where Grade 3/4 students visited behind-the-scenes at the museum with curators and educators to learn about what museums collect and why.

Following the excursion, students undertook a series of artist-led workshops back at school. These activities encouraged the students to research, develop and communicate their ideas about collecting and the role of collecting during playtime, with some students undertaking the task of being researchers, collectors, cataloguers and documenters in a temporary Museum of Anticipation. The creative outcomes of this stage, including artworks from the MUMA collection, student material responses and collecting paraphernalia, are exhibited as part of Shapes of Knowledge at MUMA. In addition, during Term 4 in 2018, these same students participated in a series of workshops to develop a theatre piece based on the activities and outcomes of their work in Term 3. In collaboration with artists Daniel Jenatsch (sound), Georgina Criddle (writer) and Rebecca Jensen (choreographer), Maxwell and the students devised Objects are a Limbic System Embrace the Logic, a 30 minute live work that was performed to family and friends at Dandenong Primary School in late 2018.

The cast of student performers will travel to MUMA in late February to present their play to new audiences alongside Kym Maxwell’s inclusion in the Shapes of Knowledge exhibition. The play captures the students’ imagination and creativity in a delicate and magical configuration of dialogue, movement, costumes and props.”

The Shapes of Knowledge exhibition will run from 9 February until 13th April 2019.  Details can be found on the MUMA website: ked0 Li