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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

MCA Artbar: Nirin

The MCA's after-dark art party is going digital for the first time ever — with boundary-pushing performances and tunes by First Nations artists.
By Cordelia Williamson
June 23, 2020
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MCA Artbar: Nirin

The MCA's after-dark art party is going digital for the first time ever — with boundary-pushing performances and tunes by First Nations artists.
By Cordelia Williamson
June 23, 2020
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in partnership with

The MCA's after-dark, adults-only art party is back — but not as you know it. While usually we'd run amok in the Circular Quay museum, this time we'll be having art-filled fun from our couches. Yep, for the first time ever, Artbar is going digital — and it won't cost you a dime.

The one-night-only event is a collaboration between the MCA and the 22nd Biennale of Sydney, which is currently exhibiting across multiple Sydney venues. Much like the citywide arts festival, this season's Artbar is titled Nirin and is celebrating First Nations artists, connected by themes of ceremony, ritual and tradition. It's going down this Friday, June 26 and will kick off at 7pm with a Welcome to Country by artists Julie Bukari Webb and Corina Norman from the Blacktown Native Institution.

Caroline Garcia by Jacquie Manning. All images courtesy and © the artist.

You'll also learn how to cut some serious shapes in a digital dance class led by self-described "culturally promiscuous" interdisciplinary artist Caroline Garcia and catch a gig by the Tamil drummers from the Parai-Yah! Project (STARTTS and Tamil Arts Australia). You'll get to visit Tongan Australian artist Latai Taumoepeau's studio and take virtual tours of the Biennale exhibitions at the MCA, too.

There'll also be a live set by female DJ MzRisk, coming straight from the MCA rooftop terrace to your living room. All up, expect a night full of art, music and performances, which will foster the ideas of ceremony and tradition in experimental and boundary-pushing ways.

To attend this late-night art shindig from the comfort of your home, you can register for exclusive offers and first access here or head to the MCA website. You can also join its Facebook event to keep up with the latest and join in conversation as the event's happening. The live-stream will run from 7–10pm.

MCA Artbar: Nirin is running from 7–10pm on Friday, June 26. For further details — and to tune in — head to the MCA website.

Top images: Blacktown Native Institution Site, Dharug traditional owner Shanaya Donovan at the opening of BNI handover, 2018, image courtesy of Landcom, Sydney and DSMG, Sydney, Photograph: Joseph Mayer; MCA, Photograph: Liam Cameron; and Latai Taumoepeau, 'The Last Resort', 2020, Photograph: Zan Wimberley, courtesy of the artist.

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