Two graduates from the Queensland College of Art have been chosen to exhibit at Documenta 14, the world’s most prestigious contemporary art event.
The blockbuster exhibition is held every five years in Kassel, Germany and features the best contemporary artists from around the world.
Dubbed the ‘art Olympics’, it attracts more than a million visitors over 100 days, including collectors, gallery and museum directors and international press.
Both of the indigenous artists are known for their politically charged artworks, which are on display in Athens and Kassel.
Dale was born in the Central Queensland town of Moranbah and is a descendant of the Bidjara, Ghungalu and Garingbal people.
After moving to Brisbane, he enrolled in the QCA’s unique Bachelor of Contemporary Australian Indigenous Art, graduating with honours in 2013.
His work uses traditional and contemporary craft forms to explore political and cultural themes. His pieces have been exhibited in galleries across Australia, including GOMA, the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Art Gallery of NSW. He will also feature in the upcoming Indigenous National Art Triennial at the National Gallery of Australia.
Gordon was born in Cloncurry and is a descendent of the Waanyi people. He completed a Master of Visual Arts at the QCA in 2012.
His politically charged work is instantly recognisable, and uses iconic symbols and bold comic-like characters in a vibrant palette of colours.
QCA Director Professor Derrick Cherrie said their selection for Documenta was a major coup.
“To be selected for an event like Documenta is an outstanding achievement, and is recognition on the global stage of the unique artistic voices emerging from Australia,” he said.
“This is a rare event in Australian art history and one that deserves the highest acclaim.
“Contemporary Australian art by Indigenous artists like Dale Harding and Gordon Hookey offer a window onto the distinct and challenging histories of Australia.
“As the premier platform for contemporary art, Documenta, even more than the Venice Biennale, has an enormous impact on the global art market.”
QCA Fine Arts lecturer Dr Julie Fragar will lead a global study exchange to Kassel during Documenta, where students will undertake study at the Kassel School of Art and Design and explore the exhibition.
The ‘museum of 100 days’ will be held in two cities for the first time – running in Athens until July, before decamping to Kassel until September.
Documenta was founded by artist, teacher and curator Arnold Bode in 1955, in an attempt to rebuild Germany’s art scene after WWII. It is now regarded by many as the world’s most important contemporary art event, featuring performance, sculpture, painting, film and photography.