Conference | The Forever Now – Collections in the 21st Century | Museum of Contemporary Art


How has increased focus upon and work with collections led developments in contemporary curatorial methodology and practice? How are collections of contemporary art being developed in the present? How does the development of collections impact upon the work and careers of artists?

Earlybird Registration includes 12 months MCA membership –  closes 7th August 2016.

This conference is presented as part of the opening celebrations of the MCA’s newly transformed collection galleries, first launched in an expanded form in 2012. Bringing together artists, curators, academics and commentators from Australia and abroad, The Forever Now will examine how contemporary art collections shape our pasts and anticipate our futures.

Collections traditionally constitute the basis of the museum. However, the period in which collections of contemporary art have been built is also when art museums have given increasing emphasis to constantly changing programs: to temporary exhibitions, new projects and ephemeral activities that work with a different speed and economy than the long view cultural investment of the collection.

Whilst the audience-focused temporary programming emphasis continues, recent years have seen greater attention paid to the collection within museum programs. These include its visibility and interpretation on digital platforms; its use as a foundation for, or hand in glove with, temporary exhibition programming; its deployment outside the walls of the museum; or as the dynamic hinge in relationships between museums and their artist communities.

Entitled The Forever Now: Contemporary Art Collections in the 21st Century, this 2 day and a half essential conference features three keynote lectures, panel discussions, case study sessions and artist performances.


    • Frances Morris (Director, Tate Modern)
    • Jenepher Duncan (Curator, Contemporary Australian Art, Art Gallery of Western Australia and former Director of Australian Centre for Contemporary Art and Monash University Museum of Art)
    • Natasha Conland (Curator, Auckland Art Gallery)
    • Stephen Gilchrist (Lecturer, University of Sydney )
    • Thomas J. Berghuis (Director, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Nusantara, Indonesia)
    • Tom Nicholson (artist, Lecturer, Monash Art, Design and Architecture at Monash University)


Thu 1 Sep, 6–8pm
Keynote: Frances Morris (Director, Tate Modern)
MCA Foundation Hall

Fri 2 & Sat 3 Sep, 9am–5pm
Day 1 & 2
Veolia Lecture Theatre, Level 2

Full program will be announced in early August


Exclusive offer available until 7 Aug
All early bird full conference packages include a complementary 12month MCAMembership
Early bird 3-day package: $315/$240* *MCA Members, Students and Concessions

Starting 8 Aug
Regular 3-day package: $355/$280* *MCA Members, Students and Concessions
Tickets for the keynote address only will be released in August

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