The ambition to collect and build a fantastical exhibition out of and about projects that have become impossible had a pilot iteration as part of the Australian Exhibition at the 2019 Prague Quadrennial. The intention was, in 2020, to build upon this and build an immersive exhibition that captured an imagined but unrealised future.
Plans, of course, were swiftly changed when the 2020 pandemic hit. Not only did the idea of an immersive exhibition become an unobtainable fantasy, the plethora of projects which had suddenly become impossible was daunting and ground-shaking. Projects of all sorts and scales were being cancelled and there was an urgency to document these rapidly fading moments, many of which were quickly disappearing from websites or being buried in the groundswell of ‘online’ offerings.
To record every project disrupted, reorientated or obliterated by the pandemic was itself, of course, an Impossible Task. But by reaching out through communities and employing creative detective work, The Impossible Project Team unearthed impossibilities of all types, scales, and creative philosophies.
The Impossible Project was released online throughout October and November 2020 and featured as part of Performance Space’s Liveworks with LIVE DREAMS which provided a platform for six artists to explore the possibilities of impossibility in their works. The project remains online where it is both an archive and a creative exposition of creative process, prediction, and inhibited realisation. Alongside disrupted projects The Impossible Project also commissioned artists to create their own Impossible Tasks and document them to share and Anna Tregloan undertook Impossible Sketches which attempted to capture works which had been cancelled into a new form - a task which was intrinsically impossible.
The Impossible doesn't end (or give up). In 2021 work began on new iterations of the project with continuing commissions for artists to set themselves impossible tasks and the development of an participatory version (first presented in draft form at Powerhouse Museum MAAS as part of their Powerhouse Late program). In 2023 The Impossible Project digital archive was acquired by the Powerhouse to become part of their collection and included in the 'A Line A Web A World' exhibition.
Created and presented by Anna Tregloan
Erin Milne (Bureau of Works), Producer
Elizabeth Chua – Curatorial Assistance
Meghna Damodaran – Design Assistance
Fiona Hulton – Marketing
Acknowledgement of outstanding advocacy, Victorian Greenroom Awards, 2020.
In the collection of Powerhouse MAAS.
The Impossible Project Edition #1:
Online and as exhibit and softcover book.
Prague Quadrennial of Performance Space and Design,
The Impossible Project Edition #2:
Participatory Project and screening.
Powerhouse Up-late, Powerhouse Museum.
Lecture and collaborative presentation.
LiveDreams, Performance Space, Sydney.
On screen presentation.
A Line, A Web, A World.
Powerhouse Museum, Sydney.
This project has been supported the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body; the NSW Government through Create NSW & the City of Sydney. It was developed at the Powerhouse Museum through its NSW Creative Industries Residency Program.