7 AUGUST: Imants Tillers Seminar

Wednesday 7 August, 10AM - 12PM
Seminar will be chaired by Prof Ian McLean (University of Melbourne).

Imants Tillers gave himself to Conceptual art 50 years ago at the age of 19 while working as a volunteer architect student on Christo and Jean-Claude’s Wrapped Coast at Little Bay in Sydney. Rapidly taken up into the world of contemporary art by leading Sydney critics, Tillers quickly forged an international career as a new generation artist. He led a turn to theory-driven art practice, and in the 1980s became Australia’s foremost appropriation or postmodern artist. He is the only Australian artist to be included in both Documenta and as Australia’s representative at the Venice Biennale, and must be the only famous Australian artist who is more famous in another country, Latvia.

This seminar allowed students to engage with Tillers about his practice as an artist, and followed the premier screening in Melbourne of Thrown into the World (2018) the night before at Federation Hall, VCA. Directed by the Latvian filmmaker Antra Cilinska, the film is an intimate examination of Tillers’s aesthetic explorations of his being and becoming as he navigates his way as an artist between his Latvian and Australian ancestry in a postWestern world.

Imants Tillers is an artist, writer and curator. He has exhibited extensively since the late 1960s and has represented Australia at significant international exhibitions such as the Venice Biennale (1986), Documenta 7 (1982) and the São Paulo Bienal (1975). In 2018, his work was the subject of a major retrospective at the Latvian National Museum of Art in Riga. Tillers came to prominence during the 1970s and has been an influential advocate of conceptual art and postmodern discourse in Australia. He works primarily with appropriation, intuitively combining existing artworks, ideas, literature and 'ready-made' poetry in his imagery.