Jaime Tsai: System of Objects

Wednesday 6 September

1–2pm, Black Theatre


Curator Dr Jaime Tsai discusses her new exhibition, System of Objects in a panel discussion with Dr Shane Haseman, Dr Michael Hill and Dr Georgina Cole, who contributed essays to the exhibition catalogue.

System of Objects is an exhibition that explores the logic of collection and display. How might consuming from a hierarchy of commodities determine our sense of individuality and our social position? What roles do carefully arranged artefacts in museum taxonomies, or the repetition of certain art objects in collections, exhibitions, and media coverage, play in the acquisition and justification of knowledge? These object ‘systems’ invisibly structure everyday life, perpetuating inequalities, and concealing prejudice and desire. In this exhibition, the vibrant and diverse collections of eight artists – Vicky Browne, Maryanne Coutts, Christine Dean, Amala Groom, Deborah Kelly, Kate Scardifield, Fiona Hall and Patricia Piccinini – are shown alongside artefacts from the National Art School archives, and ‘objective’ categorisations and wall texts are abandoned in favour of new modes of looking, interpreting, and knowing.

Jaime Tsai is an art historian who is a lecturer in modern and contemporary art at the department of Art History and Theory at NAS. She completed her PhD at the University of Sydney on the French-American artist Marcel Duchamp, and specialises in surrealism and its legacies. She is a frequent guest lecturer at the Art Gallery of New South Wales and the Museum of Contemporary art, has published in journals and catalogues, and has curated a number exhibitions of Australian art.

System of Objects is open in the Rayner Hoff Project Space, 6–16 September, Monday to Saturday.


Image: Kate Scardifield, A trace of one’s own passing, 2016 artist’s fingers, bronze, dimensions variable. Photo: Robin Hearfield. Image courtesy the artist and ALASKA Projects