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Free Activities and Events at the Museum of Contemporary Art in August

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by Lionel (subscribe)
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Published August 6th 2014
Museum of Contemporary Art Australia
Photo courtesy of Museum of Contemporary Art Australia


Located near the historic Rock precinct of Sydney is The Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA). While many locals relax by the harbour outside the stripped classical government edifice dating back to the 1950s, some may be unaware of the relative importance of the galleries within. MCA is the nation's only museum to collecting, exhibiting and interpreting contemporary art from all over Australia and around the world. It is frequently involved in world-class touring exhibitions with peers including Tate Modern in London and Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia
Photo courtesy of Museum of Contemporary Art Australia


The museum also offers new, exciting and inspiring programmes for locals and visitors. Best of all, admission is FREE including some of the exhibitions and events this August. So bring your friends and family and make a few minutes, hour or even a day with MCA.

Daily Guided Tour

MCA organises FREE daily guide tours on 2 exhibitions namely Volume One: MCA Collection and Annette Messager: motion/emotion.

Annette Messager, installation view, 'Casino', French Pavilion, 51st Venice Biennale, 2005
Annette Messager, installation view, 'Casino', French Pavilion, 51st Venice Biennale, 2005


Volume One: MCA Collection reflects the breadth of Australian contemporary art over the past 20 years through over 280 works by more than 170 Australian artists including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists. Annette Messager: motion/emotion is Annette's first retrospective exhibition in Australia. She is an internationally renowned French artist whose works include drawings, artist's books, photography, sculpture and installations.

The volunteer guides will provide you with a deeper understanding of the art, artists and their hidden stories. Each tour is about 45 minutes and you can choose to join any based on the schedule. The meeting point is the MCA Foyer.

Weekdays: 11.00am and 1.00pm
Thursday: 11.00am, 1.00pm and 7.00pm
Weekends: 11.00am, 1.00pm and 3.00pm

Spotlight Talks

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia
Photo courtesy of Museum of Contemporary Art Australia


Between 3pm to 3.10pm, you can pop into MCA for a FREE talk by one of the MCA's hosts about an artwork that moves them. The talks are running on 8, 11-15, 18-22 and 25-29 August. Check with the Information Desk for the location of each talk.

The United Nations (UN) International Day of the World's Indigenous People
Museum of Contemporary Art Australia
Photo courtesy of Museum of Contemporary Art Australia

This FREE event proclaimed by the UN General Assembly highlights the second decade of the World's Indigenous people. A special performance will be led by Gumaroy, an award winning poet, Yidaki (didgeridoo) Master and Aboriginal man from the Gamilaroi and Wakka Wakka nations. Join in the celebration of this UN International Day from 1.30pm to 2.30pm on 9 August in the MCA Galleries.

Artist's Film Picks: Annette Messager

MCA's Artist Film Pick series kicks off with movies chosen by internationally acclaimed French artist Annette Messager.

Still of Jeanne Moreau, Henri Serre and Oskar Werner in Jules and Jim (1962)
Still of Jeanne Moreau, Henri Serre and Oskar Werner in Jules and Jim © 1962 by Raymond Cauchetier


Here is her collection of favourite films to share with everyone above 15 years each Saturday. Be seated by 2pm to enjoy the FREE movie.

9 Aug: Jules et Jim (1962)
16 Aug: Lola Montes Dir (1955)
23 Aug: La Règle du Jeu Dir (1939)
30 Aug: Hiroshima Mon Amour Dir (1959)

Genext - Annette Messager: motion / emotion

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia
Photo courtesy of Museum of Contemporary Art Australia


Genext offers teenagers from 12 to 18 years the chance to meet, explore and create with established artists and peers from 6pm to 8pm on Sundays at MCA. Teens will get exclusive access to Annette Messager's exhibition on 10 August and an exciting programme for the night including food and drinks, performance workshop run by guest artists Hissy Fit, art-making and interactive experiences, live bands, and New Media Festival screenings with prizes such as Samsung Galaxy tablets to give away. Visit the website to reserve your space.

Subversive Stitching

Annette Messager, The Pikes 1992–3 © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2014
Annette Messager, The Pikes 1992–3 © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2014


MCA is organsing a FREE workshop inspired by the art of Annette Messager. Textile enthusiast MCA Artist Educator Nicole Barakat will help participants create wearables and other surprising experimental forms by embroidering, deconstructing and reconstructing domestic items such as dolls, soft toys and clothing. All materials are provided and you can enjoy this hands-on experience from 5pm to 6.30pm on 14, 21 and 28 August. Contact MCA at phone: 02 9245 2400 to check booking and location of workshop.

Curators' Insights Tour

MCA Chief Curator Rachel Kent introduces the work of 'Annette Messager: motion / emotion'
MCA Chief Curator Rachel Kent introduces the work of 'Annette Messager: motion / emotion' / Photo courtesy of Museum of Contemporary Art Australia


Come and chat with MCA's Chief Curator Rachel Kent on Annette Messager and her artworks between 1.30pm to 2pm in the MCA Galleries on 23 August.

Kids Story Time in the Library

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia
Photo courtesy of Museum of Contemporary Art Australia


The last Thursday of every month is Story Time in the MCA Library on level 2. Kids from ages 3 to 5 can join this FREE workshop on 28 August between 10.30am to 11am. They can listen and read along to selected books illustrated and inspired by Australian artists. Bookings are recommended and limited tickets are available at the Library.

Sunday Family Fun Day

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia
Photo courtesy of Museum of Contemporary Art Australia


Every last Sunday of the month is Sunday Family Fun Day at MCA. Visit MCA for family-friendly gallery tours and art-making sessions on 31 August. Kids age 4 years and above will enjoy making disguises inspired by the playful and peculiar world of renowned French artist Annette Messager. Simply collect your Gallery Explorer from level 3, get some inspiration from Annette's exhibition with strange stories, oversized objects and curious creatures, and then head off to the Creative Studios to design your own tactile and textured mask. While the event is FREE, a donation of $5 per family is welcomed.
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Why? Spend August with Free Activities and Events in Museum of Contemporary Art Australia
When: Mon – Wed: 10am-5pm / Thu: 10am-9pm / Fri – Sun: 10am-5pm
Phone: 02 9245 2400
Where: Museum of Contemporary Art Australia
Cost: Free
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