Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Forget art 6 where's the cheese?

I've been making a point of avoiding all semblance of cutlure 'cept for the cheese - while on holidays in Paris

also managed to avoid sun as well.

got a link tho from ruark Lewis about the website for banalities

check it out: www.http://www.rainerlinz.net/NMA/articles/perfecthouse/



Monday, November 28, 2005

Au Revoir, Salmiaki

Today was my last show for 3 months.
I'm heading off to the snowy banks of the Seine to work on my pristine pearl like complexion (at least the bits between the freckles).

Tim Hilton will be doing the show next week - followed by Lucas Ilheim until March - when Mayhem will return in the flesh.

while away - i'll keep updating this site from some internet cafe.

In Paris - I'm going to check out some grafitti art - which is saving the Ville lumiere from being a turgid 20th century hell hole (It's not great for modern art) - I guess all the great music must have finally sppread to people's eyeballs.

Afterwards - I'm heading to London for 10 days. I'll be YBAing out my eyeballs and can't wait for the TURNER! gosh!

then'm going to Finland for a fortnight - to hang out with some extremely cool installation & dollaborative video artists....I'm packing my parka and I can't wait!

OK for the record - I've decided to skip reviewing the art school shows. NAs had skateboards. Lots of people got drunk at all openings. Lots of art was seen. SOme of it is still up. SCA postgradute show is opening tuesday 6th December. some amazing COFA masters student has a show in KUDOS. It opens tomorow night.

on the show I discussed slowly and sensibly - (tried) the show by Fiona Hall and Fiona McDonald. titled "Strangely Famliar" its been on for all of november at the UTs gallery - level 4 of the design building in Harris street. In a word? GO. It closes this weekend. Its great.

Longer words? - ricky has done SOOOO amazingly well wiht the curation - because the works by boht artists acutally form a specific collaborative installation hich trasnforms the space. fiona Mcdonlands work is especiially goood - as an an art of immersion. Stepping inside her works - through the curtain on one side and flanked by the walls, chair, lamp on the other - her 'comfort and terror' juxtapositions were.... deeply affectively charged. - Prints of fighter planes arranged as snowfalkes across geographical topograhic maps - for me - worked far more strognly when the images themselves became bigger than a paper or art object - but architectural. and Fiona halls work is, just, incredible.

here's the blurb:

We comfort ourselves as best we can. We feather our nests and are kissed by consumption. We are flying toward something we do not know and yet someone, somewhere, always knows where we are.

The art of Fiona Hall and Fiona MacDonald will turn the gallery into an environment where we see the aftershadows of the collection and the complicated folds of capitalism. The setting is a haunted domesticity. The walls are draped and wallpapered, shopping bags frighten us and all our money seems able to blow away. But this is not a simple horror. We experience the paradoxical pleasures of seeing money made into an exquisite home and flows of consumption becoming a sail across the sea or a flight on a breeze. Curated by Ricky Subritzky.

Strangely Familiar: Fiona Hall and Fiona MacDonald runs to 2 December and is open Mon - Fri 12 - 6pm

UTS Gallery, Level 4 702 Harris St, Ultimo Sydney NSW 2007
T: 02 9514 1652
E: utsgallery@uts.edu.au

Opening this week is an entirely different collaboration - by community artists and activists: Deb Wall, Ali Golding and Vikki Golding. Ali Golding is well known as a local Elder and Reconciliation Leader, and Deb Wall received an OAM for her work in commnity development and multicutlurlalism.

The two have worked together in reconciliation and community development for over a decade, and both have campaigned for and mentored koori artists at the Redfern Community Centre. In this exhibition they are bringing together a variety of work that shows their activities, loves and passions and celebrates aspects of friendship and collaboration.

Called ‘In-dwelling’ to stress that artistic work basically comes from a spark within the self, the exhibition will include photographs, paintings and hand-made pottery. Deborah calls it ‘an evolving signature, a discovery, a search for deeper meaning’. Aunty Ali sees it as an expression of her culture and spirituality. For Victoria, it is like a ‘coming together’of raw ideas.

The exhibition opens this Thursday, 1st December, 7-9 pm, Alpha House Glint Gallery,
Level 1, 226 Union Street, ERSKINEVILLE (South Newtown) and runs until December 15th. the gallery will be open
11am-5pm wednesday to sunday - just for this show only.


Sunday, November 20, 2005


It’s easy to hide behind the security of our televisions, observing the spectacle of conflict and war. How easy is it to hide from the eternal struggle within? George Tillianakis, Sari Kivinen and Naomi Oliver are Project Degenerate and are stepping outside a culture of fear and hiding, taking an inevitable step forward, towards a collaborative resolve to their inner conflicts. Project Degenerate: To be blacklisted is a four-act process of figurative cleansing, performed as an experimental hybrid of cabaret and performance art.

Since being awarded the Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre and University of Western Sydney Emerging Arts Scholarship in 2004, George Tillianakis has taken performance art onto a new platform, and with each new work breaks new ground by challenging himself and his audience. Now he is returning to Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre but this time Tillianakis is not alone, he will challenge the audience with his collective.

“The inner-war must be faced before ultimate implosion.” GEORGE TILLIANAKIS, 2005

Project Degenerate: To be blacklisted allows three degenerate punks to move forward and cleanse themselves of the overwhelming fears and anxieties commonly experienced by Western Sydney youth, faced by a world of drugs, crime, stereotypes and prejudice.

Project Degenerate will be performed at Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre over four nights, commencing Wednesday 23 November, in a series of cabaret style performances that will rip apart our perceptions of alcoholism, war, television and casual sex.

Be prepared from Wednesday 23 to Saturday 26 November at 7pm, where the stage will transform as a metaphorical journal. The collective, Project Degenerate, will recite spoken word and music while the audience leers with naughty eyes at the forbidden scripture, waiting in suspense for the unexpected to happen.

The 100-minute performance has four acts and a 20-minute interval. The degenerate Westy punk revolution is here.

WHO: Adults 16+
WHERE: Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre
WHEN: Wednesday 23 – Saturday 26 November
TIME: 7pm with a 20-minute interval
COST: $5
BOOKINGS: Call 02 9824 1121 or Email reception@casulapowerhouse.com

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


Click on the title above
this kind of intimidatory shit is what terrorism really is

One of the tings I love about Australia is the furtjer you go from any where that could possibly serve as a terrorist target - the more obsessive and paranoid people are about it.

In the past month - I've overheard long anti terrorism conversations in Sandlfly, Huonville, Werris Creek and Glen Innes. Are these places even on Google Earth?

Up a Tree

Radio 2ser monday 14 nov 2005

if we coulda got thru to her, we woulda talked to
margaret who is up a tree in tassie. seemed she had no
reception tho.

instead, we talked about:

here at first draft
organised by terminus projects
Brian Fuata, Shane Haseman, Koji Ryui, Huseyin Sami
6-8pm ONLY , Wednesday the 2nd, 9th and 16th of
Firstdraft Gallery
116 - 118 Chalmers Street, Surry Hills 2010

( i have written up a similar thing at my blog:


if i had time i would have raved about:
Friday 11 November, 6.30 pm – 7.30 pm
Ania Walwicz, Amanda Stewart, Ruark Lewis and Rainer
Linz mark the historic events of ‘The Dismissal‘ 30
years ago, in an experimental sound-based performance.

which was bloody great!


and then we had a chat with tim hilton, from the wild
boys, who played his track "i hate you" and discussed
the wild boys "lives of the artists" launch this wed
wild boys
wed 16th nov 6-9pm
newtown hotel
174 king st newtown
tim hilton / robert lake / richard gurney / trevor fry
/ guests inc shirley valentine / liam benson etc
launch – lives of the artists issue 10 (spring issue)
(usually edited by liz pulie )
dress code: dress up!
edited by wild boys
(previous shows at mememememe and phatspace)
music by Lakey and Mikofanclub djing and trashy music
special perforMANCE by cover star of the issue –
shirley valentine
hoola hoop performances,
cd launch “camp tracks” put together by robert lake
video work being screened, and tim hilton's
photographic work as featured on his flickr site.
Special pink cocktails: wild boys drink.


and we promo'd the upcoming show at the ACP:
Beyond Real Part 2: Making a Scene
Opening Thursday 17 November 2005 6.00-8.00pm
Exhibition runs: Friday 18 November - Saturday 24

Curated by Alasdair Foster

Visual Puzzles, Arcadian idylls, gothic nightmares,
dysfunctional families, wistful dreams. The artists in
the concluding part of Beyond Real create whole new
worlds - sometimes strangely familiar, and others
totally alien.
While some images are created through digital
manipulation or darkroom trickery, many involve the
creation of elaborate settings that are then
faithfully recorded on film. With the camera no
longer wedded
exclusively to notions of neutral documentation, the
exhibition explores photography's other romance with
worlds beyond the real.

FLOORTALK 1.00pm Saturday 8 October – FREE Breaking
free from notions of the truth of photography, the
artists in this, the concluding part of the Beyond
Real exhibition, create worlds of fantasy and
illusion. Discussing the joys and challenges of such
an approach will be some of the contemporary
Australian artists included in the exhibition.

basic email netiquette:

Next week - lucazoid and mayhem do a big chinwag about the state of the arse err arts

Thursday, November 10, 2005

A (scatalogical) Valediction for an Alma Mater

Right now I should be writing up a nice paper on interdisciplinarity for some seminar I've got on tomorrow. Hell -tho! Procrastination is such a fuel for for blogging!
In the paper that will be I considered disucssion the french word for discipline which is fomration - much nicer, it sounds malleable and constructive whereas discipline sounds so repressed and well behaved.
this leads onto the segue of this blog posting whihc will have very little to do wiht the show on monday.
Lucas will be talking about art and I'll be up a tree in the tarquin in Tasmania. Stay tuned


Next week, the silly season cranks up big time. Its a sweaty, smothering, plastic cup, chateau cardboard boozy midsummer night's slurrrrr.. Spring shows have flowered every where and the art schools are having their end of year pissups... err soirees, err,,,,, shows. its a sweaty sinky boozy time between Spring exhibitions and the Christmas season (read end of ratings periods). ahhh the christmas shows - when the artworld becomes like a bing crosby album, or a $2 shop. Two of my favourite things. Its a fine time.

I'm returning from Tassie expressly to head on out to the SCA show. It opens on Tuesday the 14th and I've got friends finishing masters and loyalty defeats the ignominy of paying $2.00 for splashes of seriously shite goon, served up wiht a sermonizing line " under VSU this service won't exist" (stop it - you're turning me liberal).

Next Thursday (24th) - there's the annual darlo double up of COFA and NAS - both swilling away their fine young things. NAS has better alcohol but much longer speeches. COFA has alcohol comparitive to Frank Watters, but much shorter peeches and an opening night ambiance compariable to wild warehouse parties back in olden days of surry. (god bless you, F-Block).

I should of course be reviewing the art. i'm not. Hell, who cares about the art? I always thought art school was about having a crazy time and getting trashed. Art is not brain surgery. If you spend 3 years making total garbage no one is going to die!

For me, art schools are interesting - not fomr the exceltional quality of theiry star graduands (fortunately the sheer nausea inducing quality of this phrase is enough to repress my pointed barbs) but from the amount of fun that people seem to be engaging in. If Georgio Morandi came out of an art school you'd be bloody worried. Misery and solitude was the crucible of his genius - thats not what you want at art school. Art school should (here I am sounding like an old bat and I'm not even 35) give people a reason to live, and a glimpse of the possibliity of living well. People learn how to make shit mean something when they're fucked up and alone in the real world.

Anway Formation. I'm an alumnus of National art school. I drank my way through in the late nineties just as it was becoming independent. I did a painting major and didn't do any paintings - just lots of manifestos, junk assemblages, performances, soft err sculptures, and other random stuff - and I could feel like a rebel. I also scored another degree with no additional Hecs debt. I also made an incredible bunch of really close friends who I still know to this day. the fun and the friendships is what sustained me afterwards, shit poor and shit bored and often quite depressed and deciding to learn how to paint. the type of professional formation I had - was -to stick to what i believe in.(even when i don't know what it is) Push the envelope. Don't take anyone's shit. OK take some poeples shit. this is all sounding banal - and i guess most of it gets covered in bohemia 101 - but I still reckon its got a place.

I know lots of people from my old art school - stretching back across decades. A long lineage of dodgy daubers and drunks, plus the odd success story, we see each other around and nod and patter - for me it was the informal networks of community that I really have benefitted from since leaving at art school. My closests friends were whingeing bitter cantankerous foot stomping yelling terminally late for class fuckups - we've kept in contact since and kept going since. Lots of the nice girls and nice boys haven't - coz chasing success can get boring in a milieu where the odds stacked against success are so high. Not as boring as the art . go down glenmore road and shudder. Or the gunnery on a bad night.

I don't think NAS is unique for creating a fun filled sanctuary for crazy boho types. theres some GREAT stuff happening at SCA at present - and COFA has supplied most of the BYT's of the artist run initiative, contemporary art, primavera circuit etc.. I had friends going through COFA at the same time as me at NAS and they had just as many crazy parties as we did.. I dunno if there was the same split between the official art school stars and the seriously silly bohos, but I'd be scared if there wasn't. If poeple's art school activities and trasngression is a nice seamless segue into official avant-gardism - thats quite frightening. As my friend Fabian From the Academy of Young Urban Fuck-ups said - fucked up people don't win prizes.

OK Here comes the seriously preachy bit. I believe that learing how to make art involves learning how to fail, again and again and again. Creativity is the right to create somehting new, unforseen, unexpected and incomprehensible. This involves risk, incomprehension and incompetence. Learning to live with failure and not as a single hamlet style damning moment - but as a regular state of stumlbing - make sthe pssibilities for living and risking life - a lot more interesting. Vale the ludic theory of human life. There's a bit more - I'm scared society is beccoming dictatorial and moncultural - where the space to be non productive, to do stuff because its pointless?

I like to see shit art. I like to see shit art in art schools. Lots of it. Art that is shit in ways I can't even imagine. 20 year olds and the state of the universe. Serously offensive bad porn 'that's like so ironic' and is like, so NOT. I LOVE Bad paintings. Especially if they refer to the deacde just past. we need more bad chunky primary coloured expressionism, espceialy next to the beige, and more malevich, with some textured glitter/klimt stuck in and more bad pop, and a bit of dodgy jungian shit just to help the goon come back up. Bad metal sculpture, and bad performance art. Lots of bad performance art, and lots of self obsessed 19 year old skinny art school girls stuck in the lacanian mirror phase but citing nan goldin. there are always rare special flowering wonders - but they deserve to be nurtured in a ruch hummus of strange crap.

Art schools are interesting if they can foster communities of people who are successful at not succeeeding - at living in an undisciplined, cantankerous fucked up barely functional way. I don't think there is any successful pedagogical model for doing this - and I think the less of a pedagogical model there is - the greatest change of success there is. I've inwardly shuddered at the moved towards streamlining and profesisnalism at my old stomping grounds, as I shudder at the increasing numbers of 4WD's parked outside and the freaky Bellevue blonde helmets among the students - and even though I'm doing doctoral research on art education - I really don't know what the fuck an Atelier model actually means - beyond fairly vapid francophonic citations that were bandied about the Slade in the late nineteenth century. (Trust me, I've got the references). In increasingly regulated, managerial performance outcome driven model of infomration economy management it'd be surprising if any art school can get away with much that hasn't been codfiied as a core learning requirement. But I reckon there is safety in numbers. The more art schools that can survive, defining themsleves against each other in bitchy, crazy little fights left over from the seventies (the painting vs new media bitchfights - ya gotta love that one) ,or even the fifties (welded steel vs everything else three dimensional) the more space there is for interesting and odd things to ferment. the scary sedition laws wil make it harder than before to create anything a bit ambiguous, suss or playful - we'll all either be forced into the serious subversive martyrdom camp or the sell-out successful non confrontational camp - and thats a great pity - art should confuse and mix shit up on many levels.

Anwyway - this is an extremely long winded way of getting to the point of this post - which is that rumour has it that the National Art School is going to be merged with the College of FIne arts - or 'aquired' by the latter. Its a bit of a shame - and not only because lots of the NAS staff have seen COFA as their Nemesis ever since the bad old days of the Mackie Merger that left the remnants of the old NAS stuck as a sculpture and design deparmtnet in TAFE. If it goes through the furr flying should be pretty intense - but probably not very pretty or productive for staff or students. COFA has done extremely well in surviving the yoke of UNSWinc. , they have a vibrant and diverse culture of research and practice across a numbe of fields - and I frankly wish I was going there now. But its not NAS, and it wouldn't be interested or able to kep NAS as a distinct school - and the site would too easily be subsumed into the profit imperatives of Kensington. So I'm a bit sad, a bit cross that Bob Carr has broke another election promise immediately apon retirement - (an independent art school? what?) and a bit scared about whatever else may come unstuck.........

Am I the only one who gives a sincere disinterested* shit?

* I'm not a paid employee of any art instututions in sydney at present - though I'm open to any offers

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Squatting Mayhem

Art and Mayhem has been airjacked by roving cultural pirate Lucazoid. Mayhem has been kidnapped and tied to a tree in Tasmania.

If you missed the show - here's what Lucas mentioned.

Mayhem will return as soon as she finds a ladder long enough to scrampble down.

We had jim singline on the radio, talking about 2 ventures he's been involved in:

mays lane
MAY LANE, ST. PETERS | SYDNEY | (02) 9550 4232
open 24 hours
“mini graff” is the current artist
(she makes milk crate stencil work with small icons
showing the many uses that milk crates can be put to).
a very fine stencil artist.

and Jim is one of four artists (together with Mickie Quick, Hana Shimada, and Melody Willis)who are hosting
the newest and most innovative venture in town: entitled "Sydney"
2 doors down from fatimas
302 cleveland st surry hills
1-6 saturdays
sydney is the home of jimmy sings mix tapes and reggae
dancehall imports:
each week, a new mix tape is launched on saturday
arvo, with cool drinks...


interesting times at the mca:
until 27 nov
special event:
Friday 11 November, 6.30 pm – 7.30 pm:
Ania Walwicz, Amanda Stewart, Ruark Lewis and Rainer
Linz mark the historic events of ‘The Dismissal‘ 30
years ago, in an experimental sound-based performance.

Admission: $12/$10 concessions/$8 MCA Members &
Bookings essential: 02 9245 2484 or email

deborah kelly http://www.bewareofthegod.com/
for a pic of her amazing projection:
Accompanying Interesting Times are two off-site
projects. Sydney artist and activist Deborah Kelly’s
project Beware of the God appears outside of the
museum in a variety of forms, including Avant Card
postcards (distributed throughout Sydney), a fence
plaque (available in the MCA Store), a projection
event (dates to be advised), animations in 9 CBD
underground train stations, and a website,
The animation and website are also accessible in the
George Street Foyer on Level 2 of the MCA.

george gittoes,
Wednesday 9 November, 6.30 pm
screening and question and answer session from the
films soundtrack to war and rampage (miami)
Rated M15 + coarse language
Dendy Opera Quays Cinema
Admission: $25/$20 MCA Members and Ambassadors/Dendy
Club Members
Bookings: 02 9247 3800 ($2.20 booking fee applies on
telephone sales)

there's plenty of other good work in this show, my
fave's included: (but i didnt have time to talk about)

Ricky Maynard -photos of sites in tasmania, especially
massacre sites, with small stories accompanying them –
eg about tassie aboriginal men digging up the bones
from a women's burial site and transferring them to a
secret place so that the museum couldnt steal them.
understated and disquieting

Robert Boynes –
silkscreened paintings, put together from grungy
degraded photographs. people in the streets, at
underground train stations.


other issues discussed included:

the sedition law: there is still time to make a
submission as there will be a senate enquiry into
these proposed amendments in the coming weeks.
for all the info visit nava website: visualarts.net.au
or civilrightsnetwork.org

sedition comedy night:
organised by new matilda,
Sunday 13 November, 5pm, at the Sydney Theatre at
Millers Point, hosted by Wendy Harmer with Andrew
Denton and starring Max Gillies, Gerry Connolly, Wil
Anderson, Eddie Perfect, Wharf Revue (Jonathan
Biggins, Phil Scott, Drew Forsythe, Genevieve Lemon),
and the boys from the Chaser.

Speakers are: Tom Keneally, Chas Savage, Spencer Zifcak (New Matilda), Jose Borghino (New Matilda), Dave Madden and Jeremy Heimans (Get Up).


i ran out of time to mention terminus projects 6-8pm this wed night at first draft, chalmers st sydney, this week brian fuata presents "in the daytime I am, in the nighttime I am, - three spectacles about menial work" a "happening"!

Illuminart - projections in Marrickville

Illuminart 2005 : LAST SCREENINGS!

This email is to let you know about your last chance to see Illuminart

ILLUMINART is a series of mobile audiovisual projections, around the
streets of Marrickville. Artwork has been contributed by 25 local
artists & media makers, and is projected onto buildings and streets
around the area. Artists include Loris Quantock, Jan Blake, Matthew
Syres, Jude Hotchkiss, and many more - turning local architecture into
art, and creating a bit of surprise to the locals....

Our initial plan was to hold Illuminart over 6 nights during October,
and as so many people have been interested in it we have decided to
have two more nights' presentation.

The second will be our FINALE event with food & refreshments, as our
opportunity to make it a bigger event, and to thank all the
contributors and artists. Come and join us for a fun evening at Stone


7:30 PM - at the ever popular wall near old Thanh Huong... we love this
spot because all the locals pass by on their way to the restaurants, or
going home from the train. It turns a drab corner into a lively meeting

8:30 PM - WALL IN McNEILLY PARK - if you would prefer to sit in
comfort, this is a good spot. Lots of comfy grass! Look for us at the
western end of the park, right near the corner of Jersey and Moyes Sts.

9:30 PM - WALL OPPOSITE BRADDOCK PARK - Just for 45 minutes, this
street will get interesting... come and join the locals on the grass in
the park, south end of MEEKS RD.

FRIDAY NOVEMBER 18th: ILLUMINART FINALE (the day after the Arts

This the FINAL SHOWING of illuminart 2005
eggo options catered for too)

7:30 PM - 9:30 PM at STONE VILLA
19 Railway Rd, Sydenham - about 50 m west of the Princes Hwy

The BBQ and refreshments by donation will be provided by the artists of
Stone Villa,
BYO picnic blankets or cushions, there's plenty of grass for sitting
and parking nearby.

Illuminart will be screened at 8:00 PM
With more images and music to follow....

For further information about Illuminart:

Monday, November 07, 2005

Fun in Brisbong

If anyone is heading up north - this looks like fun

:::::Artist-Run Space and Curiosity Chamber::::::
:358 George Street Brisbane QLD 4000
::::::::e: info@whitehousespace.net
::::::::::::::W: www.whitehousespace.net

Greetings White House Lovers and Haters!

The White House is reeling and shaking after the bizaare architechtural
and psychological trauma that was Mutantric Love Hotel, only to come
back and hit you in the face with more cerebellum-stretching activity.
November is all about domination, with two exhibition openings and the
opening of a very special addition to the White House....

Hoarders of The Absolute runs from the 11th to the 13th of November,

Hoarders of the Absolute is a collaborative exhibition that will
evolve, mutate, decompose and combust over a 72 hour period. 7 artists have
come together to create a living, breathing organism that will be fed
with light, sound and large inanimate objects. The exhibition will
feature ongoing live and live-in performances, comprised of large kinetic
instruments, 16mm film and video projections, and marathon knitting
events, streamed live via the web for the three running days
(www.whitehousespace.net/hoarders). Come and witness the unnatural shifts and
macroscopic spasms that will stretch time and space and set it alight like a
heap of slow motion carcrashes. Featuring : Joel Stern, Cerae Mitchell,
David Spooner, Patrick King, Sally Golding, Madeleine King and Jacqui
Vial. Curated by Madeleine King.
Opening Night: November 11 6-9pm
Continues November 11, 12 and 13, 11am-6pm

Toytakeova runs from November 18 - December 2

'Toytakeova' looks at our relationship with consumption and the
inexplicable anxieties associated with a culture focused on unattainable
desire. The White House will become a temporary Toy Shop for the weird,
wonderful, curious and repulsive objects spawned from the bent, twisted
hands and underslept eyeballs of a selection of Australia's most
outlandish toy and object creators. Malformed and psychotic farm animals,
murderous kewpie dolls, genetically regressive plush creatures and
haywired robotic minions are preparing for the invasion. Mr Toys Toyworld this
surely ain't.
Featuring: Anita Fontaine, Kirsty Boyle, Alicia King, Michael Swift,
Van Sowerine, Alice Lang, Troy John Emery, Karina Averlon Thomas and
Simon Scheuerle. Curated By Laura Krikke.
Opening Night Friday 18th November, 6-9pm
Continues till December 2, open Friday, Saturday and Sunday 11am - 6pm

And thats not all. We won't give the whole game away, but there is more
- we're soon to be opening a little curiosity chamber within the big
curiosity chamber - a little shop of horrors called 'The Cell', where
artist's work, music, comics and rarities will be on sale or handed away
for free. We'll keep you up to date as to the opening day, but its
definetely going to be worth a peek for some of the most obscure, unsellable
but undeniably loveable stuff on the planet....

AND REMEMBER - our website is constantly being updated, you may even
find a photo or video of yourself loving and hating the White House.

Till next time, with love -

Mad.E.Zilla, Mad.Alpha, Jesse and Abraham.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

I can't believe you are saying this to me!!!!

I'm outta town and stuidously avoiding visual stimulation in the country.

At first I thought I'd be like Lucas in Kellerberrin and write critically and intelligently about nothing (no disparagemetn intended - space is a great subject)

But I've come here preceisely in order to avoid 'being' anywhere - to avoid engagemetnt & resopnse with anything beyond my books and papers.........

After a solid seven day cramming crunch I stepped out yesterday to a local cafe.

country cafes a great. the coffeee is finally drinkable (it only took 2 centuries) and they have plenty of space to sit around and cheap meals. I bought lunch and beverages for me and mum and had CHANGE from $15.00!!!!

I was distracted by the art on the walls. Immaculate watercoloursof RODEO scenes, and those weird rustic genre scenes all ingreys and beiges - that I grew up with.

Barbizan meets Banjo patterson

Its VERY VERY HARD after looking at cetain types of paitnigns NOT to be infected - and end up painting that way myself.

I end up wanting to do nice blue hills on the horizon and immacaulte glowing trees, and soft streams and babbling brooks - and stretching skies..... and then I think SHIT!!!!!!

BAD ART IS CONTAGIOUS - so I tried not to look too long.

I liked the watercolour rodeo scene though........gems are everywhere.

OK so this is probably uninformative for sydney readers.

Despite being very far away - with crap mobile reception and a only dialiup ocnnection between me and the wrold - I still hear of stuff.

I missed the dyke porno plates at MOri and have chewed through my piollow with teeth gnashing regret

TOngiht he's got something new - opening - but h err... the white invite didn't give me much of clue.

(that was a really uninformative sentence).

Tomorrow there is an opening at 4A. Think free cognac - but there's probably some art as well. Sorry i've shown my dileetante lieangins or the baject alcoholism of my infromant. I'll blamd the latter. I am a credible cutlrual connosieur aren't I?

Friday - is a new street billboard at MAYS in PEtersham. Think free beer. Good beer. Mays is a graffittie encrusted lane just off May street in St. Peters. Hop skip and a jump form the station - the printers & graphic designers have donated their wall to a monthly turnover of STREET ART - and the local brewery have chipped in to suport the monthly soirees that launch the latest street paint patina.

Dog bless them both!

It compensates for the gloom of the fading graffitti hall of fame in Alexandria and the spreading beigefication or Erskineville (Felix the Cat WHERE ARE YOU?????)
this week is BIG

while in inner west - why not stroll down the hill to marrickville bowling club?

SNo Galleries is nearby and they've got something TRes interesante. SNO are one of the nice things that marke marrcikville interesting...........and they've gota nopening on friday of work by Andrew Leslie & Vicente ButronOpens

see cute and paste below
The next SNO exhibition opens this fri 4th November, so all are welcometoattend our BBQ and refreshments and artists discussions (yes, even ifyour arealist). The showroom is located in a wharehouse at 11 Faversham StreetMarrickville. Note: The SNO 'Showroom' lies directly behind the bowling club up fromtheservice station, and adjacent to the 'dim sim' factory and laundry.SNO 11, features two of the famed and truly mysterious SNO groupcommitteemembers. Andrew Leslie, originally from Perth and who has worked withtheAC4CA association brfore moving here, has made new 'light works' andreflective relief objects that make use of the the gallery walls - as acanvas. Vicente Butron, one time founder of 'Kerb Your Dog' magazine and CBDgallerywill show one of his 'Limited Actions', this is primarily a text basedworkin progress as I understand it - also, a series of print/materials.

I've gotta get back to the books so I'll close wiht these snippets.

I'll be raining it back to won next monday - but unsure when I'll arrive. the follwing week I intend to be in some TREE in TASMANIA. Yep in the itnerestes of art - I'm dreaming of a live crosssover like they do with the melbourne cup.

In the interests of diversity and continuity - I don't want to leave listereners stranded in a culturla wasteland - so Lucas is filling for the next few weeks.
check it out.

I'll keep updating this and be back squarking on air on the 21st.

BTw - I've cut and pasted this extremely depressing thing form NAVA.

Oh god - I think I want to emigrate.

I am writing to alert you to the potential impact of the Sedition Clause inthe Anti-Terrorism legislation proposed for introduction into parliament inthe next few days (for draft legislation see www.chiefminister.act.gov.au).NAVA believes that this will jeopardise both artists' and artsorganisations' freedom of expression and action (see attached media releasesent yesterday). The government has not demonstrated a need for these newsedition laws. These changes should not be made, and certainly not withoutproper public discussion.If the government intends to proceed with the laws then the new offencesare too wide because they affect unfairly and in breach of freedom ofexpression (recognised at international law). The government must limit theambit of the new offences to protect artists, journalists and othersinvolved in the visual arts.NAVA urges you to take immediate action by writing to, ringing or arrangingto meet with any or all of the parliamentarians listed below (and attached)to tell them that changes need to be made to the legislation in order toprotect artists' and other people's rights to freedom of expression.Even if the legislation is introduced into the lower house of parliamentthere is still time to negotiate changes.We have sought the advice of the President of Australian Lawyers for HumanRights as to exactly what changes should be made. This advice is includedhere for your reference.Proposed Amendment to the Anti-Terrorism Bill 2005 Omit sub-sections 80.2(7), (8), (9) Insert after 80.2(6) the following: ³80.2A Exemption Sections 80.1 and 80.2 do not apply to anything said or donereasonably and in good faith: (a) in the creation, performance, exhibition or distribution of anartistic work; or (b) in the course of any statement, publication, discussion ordebate made or held for any genuine academic, artistic or scientific purposeor any other genuine purpose in the public interest; or (c) in making or publishing: (i) a fair and accurate report of any event or matter of publicinterest; or (ii) a fair comment on any event or matter of public interest ifthe comment is an expression of a genuine belief held by the person makingthe comment.² Change clause 80.3 Defence for Acts done in good faith, to require the onusof proof to rest with the prosecution rather than the accused." (The provision is based on s.18D of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975exemption from racial hatred.)As you know, NAVA rarely asks its members to take this kind of direct actionbut we consider this such an important issue that we are contacting you toask that you act quickly to let the decision makers know of your concerns.Thanks in anticipation for your support of artists' and arts organisations'rights.Best wishesTamara--------JON STANHOPE¹S WEBSITE:http://www.chiefminister.act.gov.au <http://www.chiefminister.act.gov.au/> FEDERAL LIBERAL PARTY Senator the Hon Helen CoonanMinister for Communications, Information Technology and the ArtsSenator.coonan@aph.gov.auminister@dcita.gov.au Senator the Hon Rod KempMinister for the Arts and SportSenator.rod.kamp@aph.gov.au The Hon Philip Ruddock MPAttorney-GeneralAg@Ag.gov.au Mr Petro Georgiou MP Member for KooyongP.Georgiou.MP@aph.gov.au The Hon Bruce Baird MP Member for CookBruce.Baird.MP@aph.gov.au Mr Russell Broadbent MP, Member for McMillanRussell.Broadbent.MP@aph.gov.au The Hon Judi Moylan MP Member for PearceJ.Moylan.MP@aph.gov.au Mr Paul Neville MP Member for HinklerP.Neville.MP@aph.gov.au Mr Malcolm Turnbull MP Member for WentworthMalcolm.Turnbull.MP@aph.gov.au The Hon Dr Brendan Nelson MP Member for BradfieldB.Nelson.MP@aph.gov.au George Brandis, Senator for Queenslandsenator.brandis@aph.gov.auMarise Payne, Senator for New South WalesSenator.payne@aph.gov.au FEDERAL LABOR PARTY Kim Beazley, Leader of the OppositionKim.Beazley.MP@aph.gov.au Peter Garrett, Parliamentary Secretary for Reconciliation and the ArtsPeter.Garrett.MP@aph.gov.auNicola Roxon Shadow Attorney-GeneralNicola.Roxon.MP@aph.gov.au STATES/TERRITORIES MINISTERS NSW: The Hon. (Bob) Robert John DEBUS, MPNSW Minister for the Arts, Attorney General, Minister for the Environment,and Minister for the Arts bob.debus@debus.minister.nsw.gov.aubluemountains@parliament.nsw.gov.au ACTJon Stanhope, Chief Minister, ACT, Minister for the arts, heritage and indigenous affairs,Attorney-Generalstanhope@act.gov.au NTMs Marion Scrymgour MLA,Minister for Arts and Museumsmarion.scrymgour@nt.gov.au The Honourable Dr.Peter Howard Toyne,Minister for Justice and Attorney-Generalelectorate.stuart@nt.gov.au QLDHon Rod Welford MP,Minister for Education and Minister for The ArtsEducationAndArts@ministerial.qld.gov.au Hon Linda Lavarch MP,Attorney-General and Minister for JusticeAttorney@ministerial.qld.gov.auAttorney@qld.gov.auCorporateCorrespondence@qed.qld.gov.au SA The Honourable Mike Rann MP,Premier, Minister for the Artspremier@saugov.sa.gov.au The Honourable Michael Atkinson MP,Attorney-GeneralAttorney-general@agd.sa.gov.au TASLara Giddings, Minister for the ArtsLara.giddings@development.tas.gov.au Judy Jackson, Attorney Generaljudy.jackson@justice.tas.gov.au VICThe Honourable Mary Delahunty,Minister for the Artsmary.delahunty@parliament.vic.gov.au The Honourable Rob Justin Hulls,Attorney Generalrob.hulls@parliament.vic.gov.au WAThe Hon Sheila McHale MLA, ,Minister for Culture and the Artssheila-mchale@dpc.wa.gov.au The Hon Jim McGinty, BA BJuris(Hons) LLB JP MLA,Attorney General; jim-mcginty@dpc.wa.gov.au STATES/TERRITORIES OPPOSITION NSWMrs Jillian Gell Skinner, MP,NSW Shadow Ministers for the artsnorthshore@parliament.nsw.gov.au Mr Andrew Arnold Tink, MP,Shadow Attorney-Generalepping@parliament.nsw.gov.au SAMrs Joan Hall MP, Shadow Spokesperson, Artsmorialta@parliament.sa.gov.au Hon Robert Lawson MLC,Shadow Attorney-Generalraelene.zanetti@parliament.sa.gov.au WASue Walker, Shadow Minister for the Artsswalker@mp.wa.gov.au Bill Scott, Shadow Attorney-Generalbscott@mp.wa.gov.au VICAndrea Coote,Shadow Minister for the Artsandrea.coote@parliament.vic.gov.au Andrew McIntosh,Shadow Attorney-Generalandrew.mcintosh@parliament.vic.gov.au TASMichael Hodgman,Shadow Minister for the Artsmichael.hodgman@parliament.tas.gov.au Jeremy Rockliff, Shadow Attorney-Generaljeremy.rockliff@parliament.tas.gov.augreens@parliament.tas.gov.au QLD Stuart Copeland, Shadow Minister for the ArtsCunningham@parliament.qld.gov.au Mark McArdle, Shadow Attorney-GeneralCaloundra@parliament.qld.gov.au ACTRichard Mulchany, Shadow Minister for the Artsmulcahy@parliament.act.gov.au Bill Stefaniak, Shadow Attorney-Generalstefaniak@parliament.act.gov.au NTJodeen Carney Shadow Attorney-Generaljodeen.carney@nt.gov.au Terry Mills, Shadow Minister for the Artsterry.mills@nt.gov.auelectorate.blain@nt.gov.au ------------------------------------------



Thursday, October 20, 2005

Taste, Distinction, Stuff that's on

I've been reading Bourdieu's Distinctions - whihc should make me a better art reviewer.

In the 1960's more of PB's highbrow art consumers preferred George Brassens to Petula Clark. crikey the world has changed. The main song I know of Brassens are raunchy little numbers like "Suis Pornographe "and the one about the rustic wench who breastfeeds a kitten. Petula Clarke meanwhile got immortalised by the ORB - in a tres tasty soundbite..............

Distinctions makes me think of the Boris Vian song "Je Suis Snob" and I end up lulling myself to sleep.


there'as a lot happening - despite my somnolence.

NAS drawcard opens tonight - I had a sneak prevew on tues and like the small canvases - its a good way to play a match the style wiht the artist.........

I think they may be sponsored by ABOLUT vodka??????

Dougherty have also got a landscape show - with students and staff....... field trips to the desert are totally good thing for artists. Kind of like bootcamp but worthy.

then there was that scary helicopter boyzone desert tirp a few years back...... I eat my words.

On mondya I murmured somehting incoherent about a reguee show this weekend.

heres the info:

3 exhibitions, 2 openings, 1 workshop - 'Room for Refuge' in conjunction with the 'Where to Now Forum'
Refugee Week 2005.

Where to Now Forum
speakers include Phil Glendenning, Phil Griffiths, Cheikh Kone (former Port Hedland detainee, writer) Susan Metcalfe (UNE) and many more,
October 22, 10am – 4pm
UTS Markets Campus (Rooms C129-31: Entrance D, end of Quay St.)
Gold coin donation
more info, phone Mark on 0422 078 376

Room for Refuge exhibitions:

Designing refuge: design protest and the refugee movement and
Out of Place (Works by Louise Cox and My Le Thi)
both open October 22, 5-8pm, with Sierra Leone Cultural Dance Group, Nick's Entertainment and Okapi Guitars
Addison Rd Gallery, 142 Addison Rd, Marrickville

Designing Refuge - hands on Workshop 29 October, 1 - 4pm
Addison Rd Gallery, 142 Addison Rd, Marrickville

people, places, situations: response
‘The Hearth’ foyer exhibition space
University of Sydney, Faculty of Architecture
148 City Rd, Darlington
Official Opening: Saturday 29 October: 5 - 8pm
Exhibition: 24 October - 5 November
Opening hours – Monday to Saturday 8:30am - 6pm
further information and updates: http://www.arch.usyd.edu.au/web/general/whatson.html

Room for Refuge is supported by a wide range of groups including the Refugee Council of Australia, NSW Refugee Action Coalition, Society for Responsible Design, Marrickville Council, Architecture for Humanity (Sydney), SONA.

For further information on the exhibitions, workshop and forum go to www.room4refuge.info



Monday, October 17, 2005

Grey Skies Soft Brain

Outide the sky is grey and the leaves look even greener than usual

solarphobic me should be delighted - but somehow the lack of sun makes it harder to shake myself out of my doona.

My brain right now is profoundly fuzzy

I've seen hardley any art lately and feel like I've lost interest in everything

OK Tibits I saw last week

Agnes Wales on Wednesday
Went and saw maggie preston. Tres Noice
In decades of scary antipodean beige (Why DO ALL australain paintings from the the mid 20thC look like they're are covered in a film of fine sandstone - or dodgy winton aluminium chloride chalk filler?) she used strong bright clear colours .
but in 1946 something shocking must have ahppened coz her landscape paitnings that year were total shit. I dunno why in a retrospective - curators can't admit that even prolific geniuses have their off days/weeks/years.
It oculd have been her diet. The sho included her reciptes for paint and her recipes for cooking (boil carrots for 2 hours - I kid you not)

ARt in the City on Thursday
Big plastic photos in hyde park. HArd to get excited about. The 'quick and the dead' montage (showing a bondi markets stall stuck among the graves at waverley cemetery) REALLY irritated me - same with the' east and west' (a full body black burka clad chick strolling outside red brick veneer house with uberkitsch black spear throwing loin cloth sculpture) - I would have stuck with the freaky sculpture. - or called the thing 'an ode to the tigers' and pretended it was taken in Balmain but thats just me.

am I BAD for not plugging the free public art fest that was on the weekend? NAS had life drawing by the archibald fountain,pine street were getting punters to do their own paintings, and restos were selling takeaway food out of cute canvas huts. I'm not particularly opposed to such things, just not really excited by them........... Hear hear for the city for running such fun stuff - It beats the crap out of the government sponsored offerings of the inner west - but, oh but........

It's not original but I reckon there is a link between art and life. Boring people with boring lives tend to produce boring art. this includes the art brut/douanier sydnrome as well. I feel the difference between exceentricity and insanity is the boredom factor. ONCE poeple get locked inside their brain and some tedious cycle of paranoic word salad circuits they become BORING - there is no capacity for suprise or insight into what they are saying. Mostly this is a very thin grey wavery line and it changes within people quite a lot.

Basically if ART becomes some discrete space where bland people can relive the unsaid circuits of their dreary repressed lives - without actually challenging the contents of those lives - or it becomes some internalised fantasy world of the mind - (bad tripper art) then it becomes BORING. Art as a mental excursion, as a form of recreational tourism - a kind of weekend or chemical pose - which is detached from and unwilling to articulate and challenge the social conditions of peopl's daily LIVES - is bland wallpaper guff.

By this I'm not trying to insist on a fervent social realism in art -hell no. Most poeple live life in an unreal sense - with flights of fantasy, tradition and confusion thrown into the maelstrom of confused fumblings with the every day ......... interesting people usually emdiate this in an explicityl creative and interesting way - juxtasposing stuff or making explicit the odd mental collages that often occur inside mos tof us anyway.

Boring poeple tend to have a more seamless compartmentalisations of part of their lives. Seamlessness is part of the social veneer of successful professionalism, successful consumerism, successful fashion, successful kitchens. Walling off sections of experience or emotion from other parts of our lives is BLAND - and poeple who do this as part of their daily lives produce walled off, discrete BLAND art.

Mayhem is into rupture, seams, crevices, cracks and scratches where detritus accumulates and creates its own ruptures on the slick superficialities of hypermodernity. Such eruptions hearken back to dear old modernist baudelairean space - the past in the present etc. For me - art is what happens when the detritus of life's muddle articulates such ruptures.

I reckon, just as boring emotinally dead people produce boring art - boring, socially dead cities produce boring simulacras of culture. Having said that -PAris is a pretty interesting and fun city but PArisian contemporary art is pretty damn shite - at least the stuff in galleries - the graffitti scene is tres cool. (more on that in 2 months time). So for Sydney - bright light and fun. Bright light and fun art for bright light and fun people - pity the public transport is shit and real estate is astronomical so the only way to make art is ..... by having 3 extra jobs and working in discrete hyperspaces of digital media.........

I'll stop grumbling before I morph into Bob Ellis.

KNOT Gallery

My little homily above about art, sanity and life was a segue with a purpose. Knot Gallery was hosting a week long mind fest in honour of mental health week.

We had "mental health icon" Wart on the radio last week to plug the 4 day fest. Wart has been involved in Pine street Community art centre and is the articulate and acceptable face of 'mental health consumers'. Wart featured in the Javier Tellez installation at the MCA biennale. She has hennaed red hair, plastic spectacles and ciggie, and is able to perform and articulate a number of roles, artist, mental health consumer, mental health spokesperson, performer, community organiser, and mental illness survivor. The euphemisms are a bit much, but the cultural role of insanity is a s a kind of a reified weird lurking beast beneath the seam of culture - and is surrounded by fear and misaprehension on all sides. People who are seen to have traversed the varying shades of sanity, eccentricity and madness suffer a weird fate of iconisation and exclusion. Gosh that Jeanne D'Arc film was a good thing to show. Wart is part of a group that produced 12 and a marionette, and they have stuck tog ether as a group of cultural producers. The visual art on display at KNot - by members of the group was for the most part unremarkeabe, amateruish, kitsch and not unlike some of the stuff in Bondi -but the nice bit - was how they organised an art project fundraiser for Breat Cancer helpline. EPople getting togehter to create, display and sell art for a specific social purpose has a nice organic aspect to it that warms the cockles. I'm releived they didn't have a Tim Storrier bra on show. I bought a peeking duck bra.

The only depressing thing about friday was the location of the venue. KNot is in a crumbling edifice on ELizabeth Street near central. It looks like something out of Ruth Park, and is refreshingly free of the renovator craze that has defaced most of Sydney. At its best this part of surry hills reminds me of the daggy bits behind central station in Brusses, the city that the 80's forgot. Only brussels has pharmacies, supermarkets, and REALLY GOOD beer, kebabs and chips for cheap. Oh, and public lighting. Central sydney is the where nomanzone that looks like it has been abandoned by humanity. Weird gated residential blocks. Weird gated office blocks, lots of cars, scurrying pedstriants and gangs of train bound youf looking bored and edgy, and gangs of grey clad storm troopers loking bored and edgy. A portal to hell. Wandering around - I thought of bits of La Zone" in Paris - the weird outer suburban fringes of caravans, gypsies and concrete. But La ZOne has better lighting, better cafes and better supermarkets. OUtside of Knot I got hungry and STUPIDLY thought I'd wander up the strip to cleveland street. Bad bad bad food, overpriced and no where to sit, no where to shit. Pubs full of sport and and screaming men. Footpaths empty. Hell world. I finally settled on the worst kebab of my entire life. From the big place on the corner DON'T EVER GO THERE! The meat - was like a weird mashed amalgam of bad TVP, spinach and mushrooms. It was black and soft wihth a wafting bouquet of rotting mince. I scraped it into the bin. Incredulous. I moaned and wished I was back in St. Peters at the MAYS launch of mickey quick's latest wall art. In the gated brick veneer australand dogbox paradise of newtown, a funky graphics art company is supporting funky aerosol art, sponsored by a funky local microbrewery. Aaaaahh the joys of upwardly moblie bohemia! Soft blond beer, soft bright graffiti, soft bum on soft asphalt, and my soft brain smiling at familiar faces giving street cred to the soulless yuppies in their high rises around us. Precarious and pathietic as it is, in future weekends, I'm staying local.

The nice bit of this surry hills foray is running into someone on the bus on the way home. She'd been making stencils coz she's having a graffitti war in the back lanes of Surry Hills. So there's life in hellzone at least, just not in the kebabs.

Monday, October 03, 2005

this is not art Batty Hurts

Last Week I Went to Bathurst for the supercheap 1000. I reckoned it would be a good way to avoid that youf avantgarde cutting edge culturefest - THIS is NOT art. with a name like that I feel compelled to go "OK, if you're not art then I'll ignore you" . the supercheap 1000 seemed right up my ally. We took the bog mobile for a lap round mount panorama and checked out all the dudes in dayglo setting stuff up. Banners, metal stands, portaloos, kangaroos.

Unfortunately I got my dates wrong coz the big race is next week. So I had to settle for the preview at the Warpstanza gallery cafe. FANGO was a play on "Fanging" a term apparently derived from the late great Fangio. Fango is a group show by local artists, Shane Summerton,Jock Alexander, Karen Golland, Adrian Symes, ChristianPrusiac, and some guy called Pete. Ity was light on, bright fluffy stuff. Photos and paintings of cars including the model I lost my virginity in, and some aesthetic chomro bits, plus some carwindow frames for some works on paper, which reminded me why the naughties have features 'the return to traditional skills'. Bad drawings get a bit tiresome at times. I liked Karens serious stripes and less serious cars attached wittily to the tops, sides and undersides of the racing boxes. SO much so, that I asked the dude from the local paper to snap me in front of them. My other big face was the video come installation. The video wasn't that great. (the curse of unedited rushes!), but I liked the installation of sculpted character cars and story boards with an etymology of "fang".

the whole opening thing made me wistful for days of sydney being more than a real estate speculative hole. the warpstanza remindes me of AD163 - the old gallery cafe in Glebe - with big couches and bad chai and lots of crannys with stuff - I used to hang there for hours and have done so at the warp as well. Warp is a bit of a cultural node. They have openings, concerts on sunday arvos and thier own TV station. the local media was there too. "Arts out west" - runs as a 15 minute segment on Prime TV (rural channel 7) which is about the same as I get on 2SER. In the bruhaha of the latest ABCTV arts non event - maybe we should just approach chennel 10 to do a segment on their news - surely we could find a buxom blond presenter - or dress up mike parr?

We went and checked out hill end and considered joining the exodus of artists out west - for about 5 minutes. I reckon I'd get sick of home renovations and 4WD trips to bunnings in abut 3 weeks. Also - I got kinda scared by the shows at Bathrust regional - of local interesting serious artists ......... whose work looked complacent and derivative. Oh hell is there that much difference from Sydney?

ON matters rocking - the fossil museum really made me happy - especially in the light of Jonathohn Vencores piece at 4A.

Right now its really hot, and too hot to type and even the artlife is on holiday this week. (I can't wait to head north for a european winter).

In the meantime - art galleries are air conditioned and mostly free. I'd recommend the following:

MCA - Primavera
Museum Station - Ricky Maynard /Deborah Kelly (ain't seen it yet)
St. James Station - Ricky Maynard /Deborah Kelly (ain't seen it yet)Artspace - try the dark cavern - or just sit and watch the utopia project. Looking at all those old victorian hippies in thick jumpers can be comforting.
AGNSW - MArgaret Preston and free films

wot else is on?

AT LAIRD MACKENNY'S opens 6-8pm Tuesday 4 OctoberKudos Gallery6 Napier St. Paddington. Three artists; Jacqueline Byrnes, Jacqui Drinkall and Sandra Scheffknecht transform the gallery into ‘Laird MacKenny’s den’ – an ‘ode’ to morbid beauty where the human face and figure is re-imagined through prostheses and mutation.

My eyeballs are frying
I'm going to stop

Sunday, September 25, 2005


My brain is still very fluffy from the night before, so this will be a misspelt missshapen fluff.

oh well.

I'm getting Joy Lai in this week to talk about her wor which is at 4A at the moment.

Her work consists of big photographs of skin printed onto banners. I'll save the words for the audio verson.

The 4A opening was a multi roomed extravaganza. There's lotsa stuff on and the new partitions are cute.

The street level space is a room of mirrors and alfoil.


Its a great installation of Lachlan Warners hollow buddhas and mirrors. Lots of bright red easter egg foil on the walls and a real cool take on Yves Kleins blue man in blue easter egg foil. The infinity mirror set up is the best. I remembered the first time I got drunk in a Thai restaurant and felt incredibly happy.

silver, foil, light.

Upstairs I ran into Joy's big skin banners curtaining the space. Through the transparent curtain I could peek through to Main Tans projection/sculpture things.

I reckon there was a nice formalist synaestheisa with the ice katchang (mixture of stuff conveyed by a mixture of stuff - if only martell could find a cocktail version of kachang) but a little less swayed by the other two pieces......... Bags and fish were nice tho. I'm really into the latest fad for plastic bag art.

At the other end, the top floor gallery is split into two small rooms. I didn't "get" Nell's work at all, but what I REALLY liked, was how it inspired all these comments from the punters.... "$2,500 for THAT!? ..... my six year old could do better!!!"

Oh! how many years since I heard this one! for joy! for joy! - all you need to do to ge tthe old duchampSHOK social vibe pumping again is to write on a black cushion with some fabric paint. Her crosses of polaroids of roadside crosses were nice - and this could have become a nice cohesive installation wiht the brushes - but the weird vipassana piece on the back wall, plus the video - didn't add to a sense of cohesion - more confusion. And I am a bit 'over' the sweeping arabesque lines. They evoke Byron Bay, Brett Whitely and dolphins - so should be used with complete abandonment or not at all.

I'm saving the best for last. Our houshold has been sniggering all weekend over this one. Jonathon Vencore's fossils. Nicely arranged in a small red walled room in cute little sample boxes. He's invented a new geology for every day bits. this was very camp, and a bit abject and hence right up the mayhem alley of delight. There's a whole heap of sculpted/resined rocky bits, with titles like "Anusite", "Littlite", "Dentatite", "Erectite", "Bunnite", "Pantitie" "Rimmite". And punters got to match the titles to what was in fornt of the eyeballs. Yum Yum, and I enjoyed explaining why the rimmite looked like a bunch of tongues to some young things.

Crikey - its hard being a critic. Here I am showing that my critical judgement IS largely dictated by my peurile sense of humour. I am also really obsessed by looking at rocks. I can't explain why. Nor can I explain that the one time my mum and better half bonded, was by spending SIX HOURS staring at and sorting geology photographs - after a solid xmas dinner. I think rocks are kind of exquisite and mineral - but also have this evocative quality that feeds into my own anothropomorphising tendences. So I reckon Vencore (note new buzz words) has mobilised this affective register rather well.

Thursday was a biggie for art openings but I managed only two. Before 4A I'd been down at Artspace avoiding pies. I'd killed time before the show wandering out along the cowper wharf. My god its an odd part of sydney, wiht bolted marinas - and Cafe Otto - which was full of scary loking dudes in suits. No women. I kid you not. Is this the new colombian?

ahem. Back to the gunnery. Inside.
Mari Velonaki's animatronic installation pulled the punters into the biggest queue - as eveyrone lined up to enter the space two by two. Its a good piece whihc consists of two wheelchairs moving around and writing letters whihc get spat out like ticker tape on the floor.

sublimely cute

I used the s word with caution and a delicate hint of irony, coz I'm always prickly aobut pompous write ups. But the following link does have nough of the eyeball informtaion wihtout too much dross....... http://www.artspace.org.au/2005/10/velonaki.html

I paced up the other end of artspace and eyed off the beverages on offer, and decided to decline. Strolling into Eugenia Raskopolous's 'there are no words" I was tempted to agree, and wished I'd imbibed a bit more. But then i left again and decided that I'm open for any challenge.

Her website bit has some nice words about filling up the dark cavernous bit of artpsace with more dark cavernousity.

We're in a region beyond speech, where there are no words, where there cannot be any words. There is only affect; consciousness gagged, choking down on a response which it will never articulate as such.

My own response, was to start looking at the exit sign glinting in the foyer to the toilets. This was probably not a great sign. It was light and polychrome. Her intervention was dark and gloomy. I'm afraid of the dark and quite claustrophobic.

I'm going to call that bit of artpsace - the dark cavern. Coz it is a dark cavern, and evokes emeories of artpsace as an old artists squat. It alos reminds me of an old squat in ultimo. Explosed beams, old bricks, DAMP. DARK. I go in there and can help but imagine old mattresses, bad goon and candlelight, so I'm always impressed when people can transform the space into something else (like Monica Bengoa) , or as the case of the lempriere - fill it with enough bright young things as to distract one from the gloom......

Anyway I saw something at artpsace a few years ago in the dark cave - which had all these projections onto double sided screens - and it was quite intriguiging and engaging. Eugenia's piece reminded me of that - but was less fulfilling. It's HARD to take people into the space of nothing especially when there's lots of other fund stuff happening around. I was reminded of the sensation of being at a warehouse rave without enough chemicals and I left.

Fortunately utopia was not far away. Telervo and Oliver Kalleinen have spent 3 months workign with old hippy communes in Australia, making stories based on experiences creating Utopian communities. As I live in the idyllic surrounds of an artists dystopia myself, I was pretty keen to see what they came up with. the main film is really interesting whacky coumentary amking that is somewhere between Australian Story and Lars Von Trier. I like the juxtaposition of projections of jumperclad old hippies and the black clad cool crowd of artspace. I like how the Kalleinen duo managed to make something unusual and odd, but not evoke a perjorative voyeuristic sensibility. There's the same sort of sympathetic engagement that Lucas's Kellerberrin blog had............. refreshingly free of cringe.

I reckon the Kalleinen's real genius was in creating the complaints workshop in BIRMINGHAM. Imagine that? Getting a whole bunch of whingeing poms to whinge into art. "Compalints
choir" is heartwarming chuckle material. Get info at http://www.ykon.org/tellervo/ or go and see the film at artspace - in the room near the counter.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Shlepping, Sllippeng, Sleppign, Spilleng

Dear All

I thought the gestured frantic unsepllchekced typos style was kinda kool - and kinda kept me real and in tha hood of yer average art consooma.

I could diverge more into my own theories of the marked text and typography and post literacy spelling. but I won't. Its a bit 90's after all.

A few comments have alluded to my stylized screen dyslexia.

I do type in a rush
I am unco and slapdash
I do like to leave a gestured, stuttering style in my writing

but if people are sick of reading through a skein of mispellings, then I could carefully make some amends.

anway. to the news.

Monday: listen to 2SER!

Tuesday: "The Space Between" at KUDOS gallery next to the greek orthodox church on Sth Dowling St, paddo

Wednesday: "To think we almost made it" at First Draft which is on chalmers street near central

Thursday: EAST: Sherman and Artspace
CITY: "Out of Place" at Gallery 4A
INNER WEST: "Ambient Abstraction" at SNO galleries in marrickville

Friday: "Insidious" at Sir Hermann Black Level 5 Wentworth Building on city road at Sdyney uni

Saturday: "Tour of Beauty" meet at Ivan Dougherty disobedience show before 2pm and join the bus......

Gallery 4A finally reopens its renovated doors this week, with a big new group show.
I love to signpost contemproary art spaces by their vicinity to PIE CARTS. 4A is across the tram-tracks from harry's special at the capitol theatre, and the show opens on thursday night and runs for a month.

I haven't seen the new show but the invite shows a close up of brown rippled skin. Apparently (according to my neighbour who told me this before coffee) It's one of the pieces from Joy Lai, and the originals are big multi metre numbers. Yum Yum. The show is called "Out of Place" and the other artists are NELL, MEIN TAN, JONATHAN VENCORE and LACHLAN WARNER.
4A is an extremely interesting space and has really good quality shows of interesting, elegant work - which is chellenging without doing the head bludgeoning bit.

You've all Missed the Lempriere. You'll have to do the regular trudge to see the finalists in their natural habitats. Some are even still at ARI's like MOP.

There's a new show opening at Artspace on thursday night as well. One of the rooms has pieces by a finnish couple TELLERVO KALLEINEN and OLIVER KOCHTA-KALLEINEN, who've been exploring alternative documentaries with communities. They know dimitri vilenski well - and so should show something political and interesting, one hopes. Check out

ON things political. UZE MUST giddown to Dockerty (the big gallery next to COFA) this week for disobedience. (http://www.cofa.unsw.edu.au/college/news/default.php?n=306) Its is the one chance Australians have of seeing Tony Negri (on video but beta than nothing). Also THIS SATURDAY Squatspace are running the Redfern/waterloo tour of beauty. Thiss should be fun but tickets are already sold out! - but go down & check out the show anayway. You can beg to be invduded on the next bus tour: http://www.squatspace.com/redfern

Before I continue with more interesting informative stuff, I need to do a grumpy rant. I've been bedridden for over a week, and unable to go ut to shows and art generally. Things got so bad, I have had to resort to the weekend SMH for entertainment. I know it isn't particulary original to whinge about John McDonald, but his columns really really got me down - especially this week. Here I was lying in bed, champing at the bit to get out and see all the nice stuff that gets reviewed in 50 words byt the other herald scribes - and longing to indulge my eyeballs in some contemplative goo - and all the big mac can come up with is a fairly tired whinge about patricia piccinini topped wiht a bit of retrogawgaw fluff about Mr. Squiggle.

It's not just the predictably and poorly disguised reactionary subplots of most of his reviews (fortunately he is slowly moving on from the 80's anger against the postmodernist art cospiracy) - coz in a way I still think that most art opens itself up to a type of infectious pluralism. (Oh god I'm gabbling theory) - I'm trying to say that most art has more going on than a simplified political spin could put on it - its AMBIGUOUS and CONFUSING and this is what makes it interesting............. s if he says something is crap then people can go and take a look and think well maybe it isn't crap (or vice versa)

What really shits me is that I suspect that the big mac decides what he'll write about and then come up with an angle to pitch it to the SMH readership (or their subeditor) and that this process probably takes about thirty seconds. Once having decided on 'the line', he then fluffs out a nice little illustrated sermon..... and .... and..... well, I'm all for moralising about art, it makes more far more interesting reading than "golly gosh, well thats new and COMPELLING" but, I'm finding it a bit too sturm and drang lately. I reckon the big mac needs to go forget the rage against the althussarians, and go read some Deleuze - and contemplate Deleuzes take on Nietsche. Then he should try a couple of bulbs, and a pie and then go to the MCA. And, you know, CHILL.

There are REALLY AMAZING AND GOOD THINGS HAPPENING in art that is being shown in sydney right now. Despite the moribund influences of studio closures, a horrible government, crap dole and charles billich, there are a lot of spaces where you can see interesting stuff - for FREE. There is also shitloads of boring stuff. Streetloads of it, and there new dimensions of boredom being plumbed every day in the interests of curatorial exigency, but I find it a bit whinely and neurotic to be constantly bagging boring shit. JM's point about Piccinini was , you know, OK. Arguable, but, since when was RosOx9 ever a hotbed of challenging contemporary culture? Maybe i've missed something but I thought it was meant to be like the collins&kent of contemproary art - one of those places that display THE BIG NAMES. so people can go there and see officially verfiable,silver stirling hot art market property right now. You don't need to have an opinion or engagement with it at all. I guess this explains the weird architecture (its not a really cruisy place for hanging out and picking your nose; believe me I've tried). No. One goes to the ox to be seen seeing what there is to be seen. The art content is just a side line, one might as well discuss the font on their floorsheets.

I just wish I could read art reviews on paper that are longer than 100 words. And I wish the beastly sermon on saturday could be given to someone who ENJOYS the art a bit more. I don't think this is incompatible with having a critical judgement - but I think (hope believe) that art writing can be done - which enables viewers to engage with and articulate their own responses. Maybe this is too much for the herald. Hell, it certainly is. But JM isn't the antichrist or a terminal fuckwit. He does actually make a point of visiting galleries and geetting to know artists and their work - so why not use the gig he's got to write something that might help more people enjoy art more?

Back to the news.

Wednesday night has a show opening at firstdraft with a scary curatorial statement.

this looks so interesting I'm scared its another slot style plot to undo me. But I'll chuck it in & Uze can make up yur own minds.

To Think We Almost Made It

A magnificent exhibition of such unwavering doubt and investigation
that it is presented only through sheer will and unqualified

Artists Craig Bender, Christopher Hanrahan, Andrew Liversidge, Rob
McLeish, Todd McMillan, Tom McMullan & Tillie Baker, Nigel Milsom,
Michael Moran and Vicki Papageorgopolous present statements as
questions, create beautifully detailed yet frightfully banal sets,
perform destructive actions, compile misguided thoughts, engage in
entropic searches and sing country songs. It hasn’t yet be discerned as
to why. If they knew that, there probably wouldn’t be a point.

Mind you, it has yet to be ascertained as to whether there is a point
or not; but then again, you’ve got to do what you can with what you’ve

Curated by Michael Moran.

Opening night drinks: Wednesday September 21 2005 6-8pm
Exhibition open: Wednesday September 21 to Saturday October 8 2005
Firstdraft opening hours: Wednesday-Saturday 12-6pm

I wish it to be noted that I found this press release informative, thorough and correct.

Thursday looks like it will be one hell of a night with openings left right and centre. Grab yerselves a booze bus and get going.
SNO studio/gallery is an interesting space of mid career artists doing lots of stuff. They've gone retro this month with a special show with the legendary Syd Ball.
The show is called "ambient abstraction" with Syd Ball, Lyn Eastaway, Slavatore Panaterri and Justin Andrews.
If you like abstract pating or wanna see more of the good stuff - then this should be interesting.

11 Faversham Street, Marrickville Thursday, Friday Saturday 1-6pm (phone for

On friday - Sydney Uni Sir Hermann Black has a show by SCA students.The show is called INSIDIOUS: six
contemporary artists responding to the environment.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Snot A Lot

Couldn't give a rave on radio this week

I've lost my voice

I have beeen away from the computer for a few days.

I aslo missed the opening of disobedience (bugger) and Banalities for the perfect house (bugger).

Disobedience has a big bus tour thing on the 24th (organised by suqatspace)
the artlife did a promo: http://artlife.blogspot.com/

beofre collapsing I did see a couple of things that made me feel really happy.

One was Zanny Beggs "uniform " installation at mori. she's stretched a whole heap of tiny little canvases with bits of pretty cloth and arranged them up on the wall. the form a pixelaated image of a face -whihc only gets resolved when you Step right back.
Regina walter's big spectacl;e chain stalactite was nice wiht the other drawings. I didn't 'get the video" and everything looks forlorn in the hangar.
Luke Parkers "twin hanging" was a scarey sombre little piece in the back room. Its about the twin hanging of 2 boys in Iran for un husbandlike behaviour. He has some lightboxes with poignant text.

Before collapsing I also went to the MCA Primavera artists floortalks. Primavera made me rool happy this year coz it has a lotta painted stuff.

I was happy to see Monica Behrens crazy pop stuff stuck in a room - and bemused by her 'stupid as a painter' primitivist act. "Yeah, like I'm sooo hungover ...and yeah .... like this is how I kinda do stuff". Keeping it real, and playing dumb against the MCa edcuational staffs query about 'still life being traditional' - so that curator Felicity Fenner - could provide the authentic interpretation of Monica's work.
sorry that last sentence made NO sense.
the paitnings are big bright smooth oil paitnings of big kitsch objects. Like steaks, sausages, McMansions, prawns, a tin of Mr Sheen. Behrens' has arragned them into scenarious she calls still lifes and them painted them. they are cool. I wish she'd acknoweldged Gordon Bennets use of Mr. sheen to stand in for John Howard.

Tom Muller has to fight against my own fearful prejuedice agsaindst that old buzz word "mapping". His work was also minimalist, and geometric. Runways, weather. Dry. He spoke about the passport project tho.

Fiona Lowrys works are spooky and intense but scarily reminicent of Howard Arkley (its the spray can thing), and Madeleine Kelly's floaty weird images are...floaty weird images.

Yukultji Napangati has a whole heap of wormy scenes on the gorund floor whihc segued into another room of indegenouss abstracts by Pedro Wonaeamirri. The latter had lots of rarrking. I don't know much more aobut them than the colours and forms (yet).

Danie Mellors big shield room is absolutely fabbo. He's cast a whole heap of shields (that reminded me of Ned Kelly's armour) and painted them with iconographic hints of lost languages. THIS is mapping. There's a nother whole wall - of ceramic boomerangs too. This is a great opener for the show - and really accessible and engaing on fomral, emotic intellectula and aesthetic levels... But I wondered later about the tastefulness of the MCA - whihc hosted a DINNER in the gallery rom. Seeing a whole heap of plates and cutlery reflecting the formal arrouangements of Boomerancs and shields on the wall kind weirded me out.

Jemima Wyman - has convinced me that I need never pick up a paint brush for the rest of my days. She has done a MASSIVE DAYGLO ENAMEL PANORAMA of Cradle mountain in Tassie. And dried the enamel layers so bits of it shrunk and shrivelled. Its really really really yummy, and engaging and insane.

I was invited to be part of the panel for Michelle Usher's 'feedback' discussion on her installation. The discussion was kinda cool - but the objective/subjective split had me stumped a little (these are the disadvantages of having a degree in scientific epistemology - those terms dont mean much - and popper plus merleau ponty then means complete confusion...... fuck!)

Ignore the above. go see the work. She built a lean to structure with bits of string, canvas and ccurved cardboard in which she could shelter her work - and provide a context where viewers could enter the subject. she's paid such a nice amount of attention to the detial of setting and framing, and placement of potplants, chairs and the combo of works on the wall, the large scrolls and the small images is really really nice. I'm so glad we a re post post object, and post post dichtomising of media. This is a sensuous experiential and evocative work on so many levels.Makes me glad people are still making art.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Painful art

I'm meant to be doing matters tomal but reading through the comments I feel compelled to write some sort of serious response - especially to Ian & others comments about Parr.

What do you really think I would do if I saw someone get hit by a car????

I feel that I would

A) run over to them first
B) call for help
C) sit with them and bear witness to their suffering and terror - or death

For me, good political art is related to the latter - but oh but, art is related to life, and both (for me) at least are intensely related to FAILURE. (I want to do this -but I can't)

witnessing someone suffering is incredibly difficult and distressing and almost unbearable.

My way of bearing witness - or being with someone, or being with myself is to DRAW. Or to write. But drawing involves an immmediate response rahter than the refractory process of finding words........

I watched a close friend dying in hospital last year. I was sitting in a room with other artists. He was passing in and out of conscioussness and throwing up. He was in agony, and he was dying and there was nothing we could do, except to sit with him, so he wasn't alone. At the same time- he was so evidently alone. He begged us not to draw him. We didn't. At this point there was nothing I could do - suffering is a profoundly intimate experience - and yet also a profoundly social one. Later on I cried in my studio, while touching up paintings of him where he'd posed for me and others at a sketch club. Painting a body that no longer existed. Remembering flesh that was only mine to see and remember, not to feel. I finished the painting and gave it to his girfriend - who'd been the main carer as he died. My memories, sensations and impossible grief - all I COULD do with it WAS make a painting. I'm an artist and that's what artists do. Someone said to me that they regarded the exchanges of life drawing as about love, memory passing between people. we draw from someone that has a history of experiences, and who won't be present once they stop posing, and that won't be present when they die. Drawing is bearing witness.

I can't bear to visit the refugees in Villawood. I don't know how I would meet their face without sobbing. They would lose face and so would I. If I'd had the time, I would have attended Parr's live performance to sit with him and to draw him, slowly and intensely - so to have a discrete version of the exchange that is impossible to have. And yes - I would have like to have done a drawing of him, not to have an image of his performance - but to alow myself an extended moment of engaged spectatorship. I (niaively????) beleive that he did reach the Artaudian moment in these performances.

For a bit of context (this is where my life coalesces somewhat.) you can read about my experiences of activism, art and horrible suffering please see "this is what democracy looks like at:


the hard copy is available at COFA art store in a zine on sale where the cash goes to the NSw refugee action coalition.

I really love Jebni's discussion of Woomera 2002 on anti popper.

For my views on 'regarding the pain of others' (the exprience not the sontag book) see:


For my own visceral experience of pain and paint check out:


Hope someone has time to wade through the above.

ON pain and paint, Last night I attended the opening of my friend Steve Kirby at Legge Gallery.

His 6 small peices were in the back section of the downstairs gallery - and kind of next to the large collage works by Peggy Randall.

Both artists have produced these latest body of works while in physical pain. As I said, Steve is my friend, and I know more about his works and his conditions of producing them, so that's what I'll describe here.

Steve has previously shown works at Legge composed of collaged elements of paintings, all floating on a network of ply joints and floating in a box frame. An example of these is currently in the upstairs store room at Legge.

these latest pieces appear far more as representational paintings. There's one on the back insdide cover of september's art almanac. It looks like a bunch of flowers. Noice????

There is a big cultural schism between art criticism which describes art as a serious of semiotic elements - as representations of something (signifiers if you're a structuralist) or metonyic signposts of a discrete experience (if you're a phenomenological neo kantian) .... and the words of artists who experience art as a set of processes, exchanges with the pieces as residues of those experiences.

Steve is preoccupied with focal points - and what a painting becomes in the space within the focal point where it stops being an image. The difference for me between his last 2 shows - were that the collages - look like this: http://www.leggegallery.com/KIRBY/2004/Kirby4.html

ie large assemblies of pink blobs - objects/colours/abstracts....... they don't look like anything in particular - except something that the viewer wnats to have acloser look at. Once you are close, you can see the incredible array of marks and elementshat have beencreated and assembled together. Inside each fragment is another paitnng and another world that is incredibly suggestive.

the current paintings look like this: http://www.leggegallery.com/KIRBY/Kirby.html
which is ostensibly a view from his kitchen in the morning.

Up close the image looks like some delicate transluscent oil paint laid over a thick soft warm slab of gesso (plaster) which has bubbles in it. The image is disrupted by the surface of marks and the surface on which it is painted on. The varying densities of pigment in the windows is evocative of the abstract characters that Steve takes into his other works.

As I wrote earlier -he also has a bit from the mask of MArrickville Jelly Wrestling hero "The somnambulist". (www.mjwf.org). I'm not just adding this for official "quirky" kudos. The mask - a white disk with portals for eyes - evoke the role of viewing, and act as the figure within the painting - the mnemonic element which reminds the viewer of our own viewing into the scene. My favourite bit in the painting is actually the goopy little blue creature on the left (miraculously disguised in a bunch of lowers).

Steve's paintings are all about these strange little goopy creatures that viewers inveitably imagine when we are confronted with somethieng we can't quite understand. He has a strong intellectual interest in "analogic seeing" whihc is the historical process of how visual culture (everything form astronomy, to microscopy and art) has been informed byt eh processes of identificiation and imagination and anthropomorphism of viewers.

The best illustration of this preoccupation in this show (for me) is in the base of flowers. Steve said the only representaiton element is the shadow - whihc he copied onto the board from a shadow cast by a bunch of flowers. The shadows lookk almost lke a bunch of mayan glyphs on stalks. He repainted the vase and flowers - drawing from the shadow - again playing with the tension between object and image. If you have NO CLUE what I'm on about PLEASE go and look at the work. Stand up close and sniff - and go in the day - so you can see the crystalised glints of the gesso - and then stand back, and then move in again. Welcome to painting.

In these works the lumps, air holes and strange blobs act as a disruptive element for our desire to see an image. the present a type of visual static which is a distraction to the smooth play of verisimilitude. They are portals into this other play of objectness and suggestiveness within the medium of paint and the act of painting itself. What is interesting is to note, is the space inside the viewer - between the point of credibiility of an image and where it seems like mess or chaos, or disruption.

For Steve - this space is actually denotative of embodiment - and it is an extremely visceral and inarticulate space of sensation. Where something we look at is no longer an image and not quite a body - then what is it? "un tache" a stain, an abject remnant - it is extremely abject - something not quite us and not us - sort of evacuated from the body and yet intrinsically corporeal. Looking at something confusing in this way - does produce a deeply physical response. As much as I love these works - I and others EDGED AWAY when we tried to have conversations. They are discomforting, and affecting. They were interesting to be among, alone, but really disruptive to a coherent train of thought. they do evoke the strange spaces of being, of being as a confused collection of sensations and urges (oh dear I'm going Deleuzian).

they are also about pain and phsycial discomfort. I'm hesitant to write this because I'll end up presenting Steve's work like those foot and mouth painters. Hell . Everyone has a body - and bodies are painful annoying fleshy coils of mortality for most people - at least some of the time.

The visual censorship of imperfect bodies in consumer culture is not very far fremoved from the public cencorship of impoerfect images in art culture. I know when I'm teaching oil paitning - that I'm fascinated to watch the gestures of cleaning, containment and wiping that so many (women expecialy) engage in. Lots of my students ARE SCARED OF THE PAINT, and the awkward blobs of goop on their palette. The like to have perfect neat slugs of pure tubal paint that they squeeze out and apply onto the canvas as thin dry bits of colour in between pre drawn lines. They like neat palettes. Many othese paitners have neat houses, neat hair and neet bodies, and clothes purchased regularly washed and ironed. Its easy to mock the bourgeousie but its also amazing to note - when women spend most of their lives, wiping, cleaning, correcting themselves and their spaces that they carry this even into something as innoccuous as paint.

Here I'd like to revive my mank manifesto days and declare that the only form of artistic and personal liberation is through embracing chaos and abjection. (but fuck it was hard maintainign my dreadlocks).

What I'd prefer to emphasise -and what is more pluralistic - is that PAINT is an extremely good and safe space where we can explore a different form of embodiment and being in the world. We can be sloppy, and stupid, and messy and confused and cluttered and awkward. No one will die and you don't lose your day job. In painting we can fail and flail and its OK. For me interesting paintings are the ones where some of this fragility is maintained - not a dumb defiance or art brut - but a kind of aspiring, delighted, intense but not quite there yet, confused strange delerium. IN english paint is eaten up by the word pain. What a great language! I don't see pain as a morbid masochistic indulgencevof the tortured soul of 'the artist' (TM). but a space where life in all its mess and pain can be acted out and communicated to others. For viewers this erxists in the point where we fall in love with a work or can't take our eye off it and don't know why.

I'm starting to think of Cixous ravings about Rembrandt's Bathsheba and wishing I could be in Melbourne. Rembrandt rocks - his surfaces are very very embodied. His work "lives" todya not because he painted every day form teh age of 12 upwards and had a fine skill of a 17th century traditional craftsman (if you want see that do statens museuum fer kinst in denmark and you can trawl through rooms of the stuff - its cold). Rembrandt - especially in his later works -but hell its there in much of them - communicates a rich comfort with his own body - as a desiring, fleshy, goopy, aging feeling thing - his eyes are divine byt so art eh hands and faces - and this affective affinity wiht the complexity of feeling a body is what makes his work magic.

This segue is a prologue for me heading off to the MCA this arvo to be the "official painter" at michelle usher's audience forum for the Primavera artists talks. shebang starts at 2.30 - I'll be there by 4pm i guess. I doubt it'll be one of those painful new media vs old media debates (thabks god the 90's are over) so I'm interested to see what will happen.