Murray River Punch 2003

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Fluxus art extends back to the 1950s and is still a vibrant movement. Its research is concerned with the shift in art making from object production to artistic action and concepts and often takes the form of performance. In the last few decades this tradition of performance has also merged with various political issues such as environmentalism. Ely’s research investigates the combination of these areas using Fluxus style performances to raise awareness of the degradation of natural environments. ‘Murray River Punch’ involved environmental research into the contaminants present in the Murray–Darling river system, as reported by a State Rivers and Water Supply commission. It was performed in the style of a cooking programme, where the artist made a cocktail with ingredients drawn from the pollutants in the rivers. The performance involved the audience by offering the finished cocktail for drinking and the distribution of recipes. ‘Murray River Punch’ was innovative for its time in bringing together the humour of Fluxus with the real world issues of degraded environments. It demonstrated that environmental art could use humour and performance to engage audiences. The significance of Murray River Punch is evidenced by the following: Performance: 1980 George Paton and Ewing Gallery, Melbourne University; Women at Work festival. 1981 Experimental Art Foundation artist in residency, Adelaide. Documentation: 1983 Continuum, Survey of Australian Art, G Art Gallery, Japan. 1994 25 Years of Performance Art in Australia, touring exhibition QLD, NSW and VIC. 2003 This was the Future: Australian Sculpture of the 1950s, 60s, 70s and Today, Heidi Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne. 2008 Heat: Art and Climate Change, RMIT Gallery, Melbourne.
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Ely, Bonita Ann
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Stanhope, Zara
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Creative Work (non-textual)
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download Murray River Punch recipe.pdf 2.26 MB Adobe Portable Document Format
download Murray River Punch performance image.tiff 955.6 KB Tag Image File Format
download Murray River Punch performance image cheers.tiff 448.47 KB Tag Image File Format
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