Exhibition digital catalogue (PDF, 4.2MB)
Take a journey through time to explore dimensions of Canberra's
future and past. A major Centenary exhibition that examines time,
place and identity through the interplay of art, science and
Director's foreword: To dream of life outside our time
2113: A Canberra Odyssey is an exhibition that celebrates the power of recording places imagined... here the place is Canberra and the time stretches over 300 years.
In Canberra's Centenary year, we have had many opportunities to think about the great 1913 design competition. It proved critical to the creative 'imagining' of our city. A highlight of 2013 has been our chance to engage directly with Walter and Marion Griffin's unique and exhilarating submission to that competition. It is now on display at the National Archives
of Australia. Its beautiful renderings and plans, uplifted by their democratic and crystalline vision, convey, for many of us, a big slice of this
This exhibition finds its starting point in 1913, with the Griffins' gift to us. Their gift proved to be an idea for a city of the future, which still has the power to inspire us 100 years later. Witness, the exhibition's centre-piece which is a beautiful model of the Griffin submission, carved in recycled timber by Fernando Pino. The model has been commissioned with the generous support of the ACT's Land Development Agency and under the care of the Canberra Museum and Gallery (CMAG) it will continue to connect us, for generations to come, with the story of Canberra's conception.
This exhibition will stimulate us to travel, not only with the Griffins' dream, but with the dreams of others as well. It invites us to explore the visions of local academics, artists and designers. These dedicated Canberrans have collaborated to reflect on what it might be like in our city 100 years on, in 2113.
We can also turn back in time to our city's 50th Jubilee. There we discover the work of planners and artists who created their own visions of Canberra's future development. We are grateful for the important conservation which has been undertaken to present and preserve these works with the support of the Village Building Co.
The riches of this exhibition include a presentation of our Indigenous peoples' perspectives of our region through time; experiences of landscape and community from the 1800s; and even views of an extraordinary Canberra, imbued with a vigorous spirit life!
This ambitious exhibition was conceived and has been expertly curated by CMAG's Senior Curator of Social History, Dale Middleby. She deserves congratulations for delivering such an intriguing opportunity for us to experience and dream about this place. Great thanks should also flow to the very many individuals and organisations who have so generously and enthusiastically contributed their time, ideas and creative labour to realise this exhibition. They include the Academy of Interactive Entertainment, ABC TV, ACT Government, Australian National University, AR Studio and Canberra Institute of Technology. A comprehensive list of collaborators can be found on the 'Acknowledgements' page of the catalogue.
I invite you to enjoy this fine exhibition as you press forward to the Canberra of one hundred years hence.
Director, Canberra Museum and Gallery
and ACT Historic Places
2113: A Canberra Odyssey is generously supported by