Australia’s ACMI appoints new Director of Exhibitions and Collections

Paul Bowers will start as ACMI’s new Director of Exhibitions and Collections from 21 August 2017.

The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) is the leading institution supporting the medium of moving image in contemporary art in the world. Its recent announcement brings to the organisation a new set of skills that will help in continuing to expand its vision.

Paul Bowers, Director, Exhibitions & Collections, ACMI. Image courtesy ACMI.

Paul Bowers, Director, Exhibitions & Collections, ACMI. Image courtesy ACMI.

ACMI (Australian Centre for the Moving Image) announced on 18 July 2017 the appointment of Paul Bowers as Director of Exhibitions & Collections, following Russell Briggs, who held the position since 2012 and will go on to become Director, Engagement & Exhibitions at the Australian Museum.

The appointment comes at what ACMI refers to as “an exciting time of renewal for the world’s leading moving image museum”. In the 2017-2018 state budget, ACMI has received a reinforced support form the Victorian Government with a funding for the first state of its renewal of AUD5 million over two years. ACMI is developing designs for a multifaceted renewal, which will include a transformation at both physical and technological levels, ensuring that ACMI remains at the forefront of 21st century museum practice.

Paul Bowers is an established museum professional, who was Head Exhibitions, Collections Research and Exhibitions Division since October 2013 at Museums Victoria, leading strategic audience-centred developments across three sites. He led and facilitated the development of the Pauline Gandel Children’s Gallery, expanded Melbourne Museum’s family programmes, and established a new experience for teenagers at Scienceworks. Previously, Bowers was based in the United Kingdom where he held positions such as Head of Exhibitions & Design at the National Railway Museum in York and Project Director at the Natural History Museum in South Kensington, leading renewal projects and programme development.

Yang Fudong, 'The Coloured Sky : New Women II', 2014, video installation, 15m:48s. Co-produced with ACMI Melbourne and Auckland Art Gallery Toi O Tamaki. Collection de la Fondation Louis Vuitton. © Yang Fudong. Image courtesy the artist, Galerie Marian Goodman ; ACMI Melbourne and Auckland Art Gallery Toi O Tamaki. Photo: Aurélien Mole.

Yang Fudong, ‘The Coloured Sky : New Women II’, 2014, video installation,
15m:48s. Co-produced with ACMI Melbourne and Auckland Art Gallery Toi O Tamaki. Collection de la Fondation Louis Vuitton. © Yang Fudong. Image courtesy the artist, Galerie Marian Goodman ; ACMI Melbourne and Auckland Art Gallery Toi O Tamaki. Photo: Aurélien Mole.

While under Briggs’s leadership, ACMI’s exhibitions and collections team delivered a dynamic programme of touring and homegrown shows, and began an important era of digitisation and opening up of the collection to the public. Bowers will bring added skills in audience development, and in leading new strategic programmes for expanding audience and collection knowledge. Under his tenure, the Melbourne-based museum’s renewal will also flourish.

ACMI Director & CEO Katrina Sedgwick was quoted in the press release, welcoming Paul Bowers to ACMI:

[…] Our exhibition and collections teams have been going from strength to strength, and as we begin the first stage of ACMI’s renewal, Paul’s extensive experience, his strategic and wholistic understanding of the museum sector and his audience facing, progressive approach to the development and presentation of award winning exhibitions will be a real asset to our leadership team.

A leading world institution for the moving image, ACMI supports artists working in the medium not only with exhibitions and its collection, but also with important and unique commissions, such as the Ian Potter Moving Image Commission that enables mid-career Australian artists to produce an ambitious new moving image work demonstrating a major development or shift in their practice, and the recently established Mordant Family VR Commission, which supports the creation of an artwork featuring Virtual Reality.

C. A. Xuan Mai Ardia

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Related Topics: museums, directors, moving image, video art, events in Australia, news

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