Anri Sala: The Last Resort

Art, Galleries Observatory Hill Park , Millers Point Friday October 13 2017 - Sunday November 5 2017 Free
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Anri Sala: The Last Resort
Photograph: Creative Commons
Observatory Hill Rotunda, Sydney

The Berlin-based artist will be taking over the 105-year-old Rotunda at Observatory Hill with the world premiere of a new public art project

The Last Resort is the latest in the popular Kaldor Public Art Projects series, originated by arts patron John Kaldor in 1969 as a way of bringing international public art projects to Sydney.

Five years in the making, Kaldor Public Art Project 33 will see Berlin-based Albanian artist Anri Sala transform the historic Rotunda at Observatory Hill with an installation inspired by the site and by Sydney’s colonial history.

The Last Resort will feature 38 snare drums, suspended from the ceiling of the pavilion, with reflective mirror skins facing down. Following an automated program, or 'score', the snares will tap out an altered version of Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto in A Major, in sync with a recorded track.

A site visit in 2012 inspired Sala’s project: the artist became fascinated with the history of Dawes Point as a site of First Contact, and the conversations between lieutenant William Dawes (an astronomer with the First Fleet) and young Indigenous woman Patyegarang that led to the first European record of local Aboriginal language.

Sala chose Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto in A Major (K. 622), written in 1791, as an emblem of the European Enlightenment – a movement directly related to colonial expansion, with its mantra of science, rationalism and progress.

“I look at [The Last Resort] like a musical artefact that we have thrown in the ocean," says the artist. "The winds, the waves, the water currents take it one way and the other and it eventually reaches somewhere, though not as it originally started out, as it is transformed by the journey."

Check out our guide to the best outdoor art in Sydney this season, and our hit list for the best art to see this month.

Venue name: Observatory Hill Park
Address: Upper Fort St
The Rocks
Price: Free
Event website:
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