Tony Schwensen

Tony Schwensen

Tony Schwensen’s practice charts the territories of social exclusion, tedium, humour and existential absurdity. By drawing these elements together he creates a space for dialogue, and questions underlying dissension between politics and contemporary life. Through a rigorous conceptual practice, Schwensen highlights the repetition of history, its life and death. Schwensen’s sculptures, performances, and writings identify and criticise the impossibilities of freedom and the ever-present impositions of subjugation. At once robust and meditative, cruel yet elegant, serious yet often humorous, Schwensen’s practice is an indispensible and unique examintaion of society, teasing out its discrepancies and writing them back into the discourse. Since Schwensen’s relocation to Boston, USA in 2007, his practice has focused predominantly on the notion of American Exceptionalism.

Tony Schwensen was born in Sydney, Australia in 1970, and relocated to Boston, USA in 2007 where he currently lives and works. From 2008 - 2016, Scwhensen was a full time lecturer at the Performance School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. He has exhibited work since the late 1980s across America, Asia, Australia, Europe, and New Zealand in numerous significant exhibitions including: Just Not Australian, Artspace, Sydney (2019); International Festival of Radical Performance, Museum of Contemporary Art, Tehran, Iran (2017); Resistance in the age of Global Capital, Kolkata International Performance Art Festival, Kolkata, India (2017); How the Body Traces Language and Culture: Profiles of Performativity, Dhaka Live Art Biennale, Dhaka, Bangladesh (2017); Borders, Barriers, Walls, Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne (2016); Indicating Boundaries, 4th International Live Art Conference, University of the Arts, Helsinki, Finland (2013). Schwensen's work is held in public and private collections internationally, including Estamps des arts Collection kabinet, Musee d’Art Moderne et Contemporaine, Geneva, Switzerland; Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia; and Museum of Old and New Art, Hobart, Australia.

Selected works

    Monument to Progressing Thought (After Homer Simpson)

    Tony Schwensen

    Monument to Progressing Thought (After Homer Simpson) 2003

    Creationism Triptych I (the hamurphy seat) or you imagine what you desire or I see no changes or arbeit macht frei (My sensibilities reside in Alamogordo)

    Tony Schwensen

    Creationism Triptych I (the hamurphy seat) or you imagine what you desire or I see no changes or arbeit macht frei (My sensibilities reside in Alamogordo) 2013

    The Indelible Stain of the White Australia Policyor the gates of Manus Island or for all the lucky cunts in the lucky country

    Tony Schwensen

    The Indelible Stain of the White Australia Policy or the gates of Manus Island or for all the lucky cunts in the lucky country 2015

    Border Protection AssistanceProposed Monument for the Torres Strait(Am I ever going to see your face again?)

    Tony Schwensen

    Border Protection Assistance Proposed Monument for the Torres Strait (Am I ever going to see your face again?) 2002

    Elegy to the Australian Republic (Motherwell Avoids relegation)

    Tony Schwensen

    Elegy to the Australian Republic (Motherwell Avoids relegation) 2003

    Prototype for Artistically Designed Steel Slats( Proudly Made with All Immigrant Labor in the USA) #17

    Tony Schwensen

    Prototype for Artistically Designed Steel Slats( Proudly Made with All Immigrant Labor in the USA) #17 2019

Exhibitions

  • APPARITION

    APPARITION

    Maria CruzAnthony JohnsonLucina LaneTodd McMillanSarah MoscaJonny NiescheHuseyin SamiTony SchwensenGemma SmithNicola SmithJelena TeleckiBrendan Van Hek

    21 May - June 20, 2020

  • RONDO

    RONDO

    Julie FragarDavid HainesLucina LaneTodd McMillanElizabeth PulieHuseyin SamiKoji RyuiGemma SmithTony SchwensenJelena TeleckiBrendan Van HekJustene Williams

    1 - February 29, 2020

  • Contemporary Recalcitrants

    Contemporary Recalcitrants

    Christopher HanrahanAnthony JohnsonElizabeth PulieTony Schwensen

    21 June - July 20, 2019

  • Silver Jubilee

    Silver Jubilee

    Julie FragarMatthys GerberTodd McMillanChristopher HanrahanSarah MoscaJonny NiescheJohn NixonElizabeth PulieKoji RyuiHuseyin SamiTony SchwensenGemma SmithJohn SpiteriBrendan Van Hek

    2 May - June 15, 2019

  • Victory Tour Boogie Woogie

    Tony Schwensen

    Victory Tour Boogie Woogie

    29 June - July 22, 2017

  • Historical Revisionism Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Embrace Australian Values

    Tony Schwensen

    Historical Revisionism Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Embrace Australian Values

    27 May - June 20, 2015

  • 20 200

    20 200

    Hany ArmaniousMatthys GerberJohn NixonMikala DwyerMaria CruzAnne-Marie MayA.D.S. Donaldson & Andreas ExnerSylvie FleuryKerrie PolinessJohn ArmlederOlivier MossetAndreas Reiter RaabeGail HastingsTony SchwensenPaul SaintGerold MillerDiena GeorgettiMelinda HarperRuark LewisJohn SpiteriJan van der PloegJulia GormanJames LynchDavid GriggsElizabeth NewmanRobert PulieSimon BarneyPeter WüthrichTim SilverMary TeagueHuseyin SamiRachel ScottOscar YanezElizabeth PulieStephen BramRose NolanKoji RyuiGemma SmithSimon DennyMatt HinkleyJohn NicholsonChristopher HanrahanJulie FragarJustin TrendallMoya McKennaRon AdamsSandra SeligJamie NorthTodd McMillanJonathan ZawadaJustene Williams

    13 March - April 17, 2014

  • Creationism Triptychs (Notes on Idiocracy)

    Tony Schwensen

    Creationism Triptychs (Notes on Idiocracy)

    20 June - July 13, 2013

  • Exasperations

    Tony Schwensen

    Exasperations

    2 - August 22, 2009

  • Fat Corner (Buoys/Beuys)

    Tony Schwensen

    Fat Corner (Buoys/Beuys)

    20 June - July 19, 2008

  • Ten

    Ten

    John ArmlederSydney BallMaria CruzJulian DashperA.D.S. DonaldsonMikala DwyerSylvie FleuryDiena GeorgettiMatthys GerberJulia GormanMarco FusinatoAnne-Marie MayOlivier MossetJohn NixonAndreas Reiter RaabeTony SchwensenJan van der PloegJustene WilliamsPeter Wüthrich

    29 November - December 6, 2003

  • Errors of Judgement

    Tony Schwensen

    Errors of Judgement

    26 July - August 30, 2003

  • Road to Love / Can't Live Without Plastic

    Road to Love / Can't Live Without Plastic

    Elizabeth NewmanSophie CoombsGail HastingsGeoff KleemErna LiljeRobin NeatePaul SaintTony SchwensenRonnie van HoutJustene WilliamsAnne OomsDiena Georgetti

    7 February - March 30, 1996