A Spectacular World-Premiere Experimental Digital Exhibition About Nature Is Taking Over Melbourne's ACMI
Art collective Marshmallow Laser Feast will unveil 'Works of Nature', which features five major pieces that muse on the natural world.
September 07, 2023
The Australian Centre for the Moving Image might be all about celebrating screen art — peering at films and TV shows, stepping into virtual reality and showcasing the talents that've made such a huge impact, for instance — but that doesn't mean that the Melbourne-based venue doesn't appreciate nature. The world around us can look stunning projected as large as a cinema can allow. David Attenborough has turned his documentaries about the planet into their own spectacular genre, too. And the natural realm can provide experimental artists with quite the playground to ponder, as Marshmallow Laser Feast: Works of Nature is set to unveil.
This just-announced world-premiere exhibition will see art collective Marshmallow Laser Feast unveil a showcase of works that muse on trees, black holes, cells, breathing, space, science and more. Hitting ACMI from Thursday November 23, 2023–Sunday, April 14, 2024, Works of Nature spans five major pieces that aim to deeply contemplate and appreciate humanity's role in nature, and just nature overall. And, these aren't tiny pieces — all digital, they're aiming to inspire awe in both their size and content.
This is the London-based MLF's first major showcase in Australia, adding a stint Down Under to appearances at the Sundance and Tribeca film festivals, the Istanbul Design Biennial, Lisbon Triennial and the V&A and Design Museum in their hometown.
That impressive history is matched by a significant lineup of names involved with MLF's immersive Works of Nature pieces. Cate Blanchett (The New Boy) lends her narration, director Terrence Malick (A Hidden Life) executive produces, while Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood (Licorice Pizza) and fellow acclaimed composer Jóhann Jóhannsson (Last and First Men) are among the talents providing music — the latter's work continuing to entrance after his passing in 2018. Daisy Lafarge provides poetry, while Jon Hopkins, Meredith Monk and Howard Skempton also contribute tunes.
Whether you're a Melburnian or have a trip to the Victoria capital in your future, you'll be able to see the meditative Evolver, which uses Blanchett's voice to journey through the human body, breath, the origins of cells and the cosmos — and Distortions in Spacetime, which heads to a black hole's edge. Or, there's the large-scale Sanctuary of the Unseen Forest, a video installation about the Amazon's kapok trees.
Thanks to The Tides Within Us, oxygen is in focus again via six static pictures. And with We Live in an Ocean of Air, MLF explore how that last word in the piece's moniker connects life on earth.
"ACMI is thrilled to bring the work of Marshmallow Laser Feast to Australia for the first time. This exhibition reflects the power of large-scale moving image works and creative use of projection technologies to produce immersive experiences that demonstrate how our bodies and the natural world are so intrinsically connected. Works of Nature is an unforgettable experience that can inspire us to work towards a better future," said ACMI Director and CEO Seb Chan, announcing the exhibition.
"Our artistic practice is a constant journey of discovery into the world beyond the limits of human senses. Our passion for ecology, astronomy, and technology has driven us to collect tree data in the Amazon, explore the sound of black holes and scan the entirety of the human body in microscopic detail, then transforming these explorations into transcendent, immersive experiences," added Ersin Han Ersin, MLF Partner and Director.
"We are excited to share our work with ACMI's audiences and to engage in a conversation about the beauty of the natural world and the wonders of the universe."
Marshmallow Laser Feast: Works of Nature will display at ACMI, Federation Square, Melbourne, from Thursday November 23, 2023–Sunday, April 14, 2024 — head to the ACMI website for further details, plus tickets when they go on sale in November.
Top image: Marshmallow Laser Feast, 'Distortions in Spacetime', 2018, courtesy of the artists.
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