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July 7 – 9 September, 2018

Architecture Makes Us: Cinematic Visions of Sonia Leber and David Chesworth

  • Sonia Leber and David Chesworth

Publication generously sponsored through the Gordon Darling Foundation.

Architecture Makes Us is a major mid-career survey of the cinematic video works of Australian artists Sonia Leber and David Chesworth, presented by Centre for Contemporary Photography (CCP).

Bringing together six major video works by the collaborative duo, Architecture Makes Us explores craggy geographies, territorialisation, surveillance, exhausted systems and future philosophies. In this landmark survey commissioned by CCP, Leber and Chesworth offer a rich exploration of the way society is impacted by the geographical, technological and the architectural influences that surround us. These works point towards the architecture of our world in the broadest sense, examining structures both physical and invisible. Leber and Chesworth have been collaborating since 1996, and have been shown in key international exhibitions including the 56th Biennale of Venice (2015), the 19th Biennale of Sydney (2014); and a parallel exhibition as part of the 5th Moscow Biennale (2013).

For Architecture Makes Us, CCP has commissioned Geography Becomes Territory Becomes, 2018; an 8-channel video installation exploring the island fortress of Suomenlinna, Finland.

Through these rigorous, politically engaged, and at times humorous video works, Architecture Makes Us encourages a deeper look at one of Australia’s most lauded mid-career artistic duos. Architecture Makes Us is the fourth mid-career survey curated by CCP, following major exhibitions focusing on the work of Anne Zahalka (2008), Simryn Gill (2009) and David Rosetzky (2013).

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.

Architecture Makes Us includes an accompanying publication featuring texts by Naomi Cass, Giles Fielke, Fiona Gruber, Pippa Milne, Nikos Papastergiadis, Amelia Winata and Kate Warren. Designed by Joseph Johnson.

Sonia Leber and David Chesworth

Sonia Leber and David Chesworth are known for their distinctive, highly-detailed videoworks that emerge from the real, but exist significantly in the realm of the imaginary. Developed through expansive research in places undergoing social change, their works are speculative and archaeological, responding to architectural, social, and technological settings.

Leber and Chesworth’s work has been included in numerous group exhibitions including ‘The Last Reader’, annex M, Megaron, Athens (2018); ‘The Score’, Ian Potter Museum of Art, Melbourne (2017); ‘Looking at me through you’, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Sydney (2017); ‘I don’t want to be there when it happens’, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney (2017) and Perth Institute of Contemporary Art, Perth (2017); ‘Call of the Avant- Garde: Constructivism and Australian Art’, Heide Museum of Modern Art (2017); ‘The Real and Other Places’, Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne, at Photo Shanghai (2017); ‘The Documentary Take’, Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne (2016); ‘Borders, Barriers, Walls’, Monash University Museum of Art (2016); ‘56th Venice Biennale: All the World’s Futures’ (2015); ‘19th Biennale of Sydney: You Imagine What You Desire’ (2014); ‘Melbourne Now’, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (2013-14); Melbourne Art Fair Video Program (2014); ‘Cooperation Territory’, 16thLine Art Gallery, Rostov-on-Don, Russia (2013); ‘Stealing the Senses’, Govett-Brewster Gallery, New Plymouth, New Zealand (2011); ‘In camera and in public’, Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne (2011); ‘Madrid Abierto’ (2007); and ‘+Plus Factors’, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne (2006).

Leber and Chesworth have been commissioned to create site-specific works for public spaces in Australia, Wales and Slovenia. Solo exhibitions include ‘Zaum Tractor’, Fehily Contemporary, Melbourne (2014); and Gridchinhall, Moscow (2013); ‘The Way You Move Me’, Fehily Contemporary, Melbourne (2012); ‘Space-Shifter’, Detached/MONA FOMA, Hobart (2012); Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (2011); and Conical, Melbourne (2009); and ‘Almost Always Everywhere Apparent’, Mildura Arts Centre (2008); and Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne (2007). Throughout the preparations for this show, the artists were grateful for the support of a NAVA Visual Arts Fellowship, funded by Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund.