Friday, July 29, 2005

The grey voice and the S word

Textuality DOES matter

I was nearly turned off attending the Tin Sheds show on drawing last week because of the title.
The grey voice
the white block
the tin shed
the empty phrase
the boring cliche
the lite bite

But. It was friday night and I'd had two really appalling gin and tonics at manning bar. You think it would be impossible to stuff up a G&T - but some people are up to any challenge.
Consequence of sipping G&T tona wintry sunset even when crap: love of universe, open to anything
So I toddled over the footbridge and past the nice lawn and corrugated iron of old.
Ignoring the scary alluminium, grey rendered concrete and greyish painted glass panels. Anti windows. God I hate them. I should be able to give a more appropriate and considered critique, but affect drowns out any intellectual processes. they are gross. postmodern gulag.
thank dog it was dark - coz i could pretend the formbidding grey facade was a consequence of the dusk, and I pressed on past that nice brick fence thing into the courtyard of wilkinson.
A table of wine - minus the acrid stench of chateu foiemorte that usually wafts over any free offerings. Instant and intense delight at the sight of a samll white chihuahua attempting to demonstrate the KArma Sutra on a much larger white poodle.
It was a good night already.

enter through heavy glass doors. light. bright light (yellow spotties). and lots of space.

The previous times I've been to apres tin sheds - I've been struck by the gloom and the grey. boxy chambers of dimlit video installations, or quiet tasteful work that highlighted the muted GREY tones of the floor. And the celing always feels too low.

this time - they've read their louis kahn. and their baudrillard.
In the absence of windows or natural light - they've done a cutesey kimble efect with halogen. the body hums, the body is warmed, the mind is soothed, strangely.
or maybe coz it was dark i didnt' notice.

Step in, note open spaces to my left, white spaces to my right. a large central partition - rolled back so their is a vestibule effect. Ease to the right - to recognisable faces - and note the video on the central panel. a guy thumbing a pencil. oh god reminds me of experimental drawing with roger crawford. ponderous. then he eats it. cute.
glimpse behind me while chatting at Leo Cussens drawings. He did these big printy texty things. They reminded me of these gourmet jellybeans I tried once. Instantly delightful, but forgettable.
Strolled past Adam Cullens bad boy graffitti. Can you really still be a bad boy - once your a successful sydney artist and esteemed teacher? Who is he rebelling against? Or is it just a cutesy little cover for the fact he likes drippy paint and bright colours? I'd like to see him rip up one of his works at a christies auction. that'd be bad. yawn
Drawn to back wall.
note. it's GOOD to be able to see the back of the gallery from the front - still enigmatic with partition - but less porvoking of claustrophobia.
some nice bigframed prints. nice textures, feet creep forward, brow furrows and eyes get ready to peer....... At the letters of K A F K A repeated, transmogrified (felt I should use that word), toyed and tripped around. I yawned. Oh God, how posey. Ruark liked it - but he's a text man. Hell I'm a text woman - but - and - err - you know - lke Kafka was this word I hear uttered by all the realy cool goths at uni as some sort of mantra for their angst. It destroyed the word "KAFKA" for me forever. Maybe these pictures would work in the narrow stairs at the gunnery, leading up to NAVA, MGF and all the other bureacr...... - oh ahem "arts advocacy organisations". Yeah. or like in that weird pre jobsearch office - (some dodgy outsourced centrelink project) just near haymarket. (they'd look better their than in the dodgy teal offices of centrelink). But - they are so nice - that I couldn't stop my minds eye imagining them in some fucknuckles renovated warehouse style terrace - acoompanied by posey fucknickles saying they are 'sublime'. Sorry Jaqueline Rose, You have great skill and taste and I want to think you meant well. I reckon FRANZ would have preferred you used the word COCKROACH - and then you could have tken it through a couple of ethcing states - and let it metamorphise.
shit. I just hit on a costume idea for a "s" themed party this saturday night. I was going to go as a big turd, but I reckon - I'l go as a sumblime accident. Coz the NEXT press release or catalogue essay I read with the "S" word in it will turn me into a homocidal maniac.

for the record. I like the sturm und drang concept of the sublime. Imagine you are abseiling and have almost lost your footfall and you are hanging off a precipice. you feel strangely aroused. Or looking into the mouth of a volcano and you wet your pants. Or you are sitting right on the edge of a precipice, or in a coastal cave - surrounded by the ocean - and a massive wave ALMOST knocks you to your death. SUBLIME is not a washed out green. Sublime is feeling a profound sense of your own mortality and minuteness and impotence and connection to somehting far more powerful and profound than yourself. Most art does not have anything to do with this, and is probably closer to the fluzzy exstacy of watching an aeroplane sunset while listening to the British Airways stereo while fluffy on G&T's and xanax. It's delightful and unsettling but it is not sublime.

OK back to the grey voice. Australia now has her own sigmar polke. At least according to Louise weavers nice peices at the tin. And I wrote elsewhere about Shirly diamonds post bridget riley's interference lines - whihc were nicely tucked around the corner from John Mawurndjuls rarrking and postrarrk rarrking. Roger Benjamin - explained this more nicely than me- so I won't rave too much. go see it.

On matters grey - first draft had some nice grey shadows drawin aroudn little plastic animals, painted white and stuck on white card. placed on plinths in the "sunroom" of FD - they were really quite delighful. I thought of Kahn and light and sun. I hope helena leslie has a great life.

First draft - also has a great colaborative piece by Olivia Prunster and Peta Sirec. Called video nasty - there's a monitor on the side showing them playing dressups and doing a fun and silly video clip - but the whole wall is then covered with LOTS of really bright enamel/oil paintings based on stills from the video. full marks for synaesthesia. full marks for colour. these are fun and punchy works. And reinforced by the big painting of themselves in boxing gear. If you want a fun original painting for the price of a couple of CD's - go and buy one! or a few!

While at first draft - its worth going out the back to the toilet. no. I mean the video room. There is a REALLY FUNNY piece - and I'm not sure who did it. (I think you guys need remedial lessons in floorsheet writing - surely you can get a grant for it? I'll teach you for a really small fee too - much less than your PELS fees in the MA curatorship course - that I believe many of the directors have don or are doing) The video out back has made all these whacky kaleidoscopic images of split an mirrored scenes from 1980's excercise videos. this would have been a bit painstaking to achieve - but is worth it -and very very funny.

I'd better stop. I'm going to mori gallery tonight to chekc out some DON'T LOOK NOW video art extravaganza. I hate sinny on friday nights - but its free and its art.

btw - next weke show is all about paint


Other stuff I saw last week - were the bright pain

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Hey! Its Free, Man

Sorry for Corny title it was kind of irresistable.
Last night I attended the opening and award ceremony of the Freeman TRavelling art scholarship - which gives $5,000 to 4 'emerging' artists to travel overseas. $5,000 is actually a really usueful amount for the average emerging - apart from being the equivalbet of the average annaul income of most artists - its enough for a plane ticket and some basic accommodation - and so spreading $20,000 between four people - achieves a lot more in social capital terms than a whopper of $25,000 like the whitely (entries due firday 5th august - for any painters under 30) or the lempriere ($40,000).

But I'll pause my sermonising and discuss the art.

I just had a fun rummage around my house to find the floorsheet which gave the details of the 2005 winners. Oh god. Its lost. Time to scrape the barrel of my brain.

Two of the finalists are fairly recongisable faces around town so it was nice to see them score a bit of dosh.
Lea from NSW had this GREAT video - that firstly looked like some vague ephemeral sublime yawn viola takeoff - and then revealed itself slowly as .............. THE VIRGIN MARY HOLDING AN i-book!!!!! Full marks for wit - I'd love to see that in the blake - or on a big screen in the broadway mac shop ......cna't wait to see what she does after going to india!
Jasper from NSW had really nice enamel paintings on cardboard boxes - that gave industrial chic a whole new twist.
I think the glass artist was called Emily? She was wearing an interesting lycra dress. Her works were much more satisfying - really nice rouge profound (gotta throw in the french bits) vessels with nice extruded forms draped over them. Very soft and warm - which is quite an achievement for hard cutty stuff.
some chic with great hair and great teeth form the NT - had really nice colour photograms of baskets. (photograms are done by placing objects on photographic paper while it is being exposed). These were simple, effective, interesting - so I liked them. And the fifth person's worlk obviously didnt' mark me at all. Sorry. It might have been on the wall near where Lea was standing - and I was obviously too dazzeld by the i-virgin and those nice red sculptures to have eyes for anything else.

As for the freedman alumni - David Griggs did his usual scary bogan stereotype work. Ann Graham tried to tie it into his travels with Thai refugees - and the video with the motorbike scene had a kind of redolence - which was offset by the plush brown carpet, multpiple ornamental bongs/candelabra - and those crazy drawings. Griggs sets my teeth ON EDGE. Its a nice feeling in a way - that kind of recognition shudder........

Renee So - had a nice knit in the foyer. couldn't resist that glibness - I think I'd prefer to see multiples of her work - or an installation - just so the play of english textiles and asian themes gets a bit more air time.......... coz a solo piece can barely carry the weight of al that she's doing - especially when its in the same room as the above.

Tim Silver - had some nice anygoldsworthy fork/hand/leaves photos. Nice. (I don't mean that pejoratively either).

My favourite was lucas Ihlein - coz I was able to make something and take it away with me and I'm still reading it and its amazing. He made an auto assemble zine of his kellerberrin blogs. ANd he embellished the intallation with a foot operated stapler, thumb lasts and minties. He was imacualte in a kellerberrin fire brigade suit. His writing is really wonderful - and nice on pages to (check out bilateral if you wanna see the e version).

He also made a nice point about the venue - aksing for a union members and non members price. The venue is at Sir Hermann Black - 5th floor in the wentworth building on city road at Sydney uni. Its owned by the union. It will close when VSU comes in, and the uni will lose Nick Vickers (who has been a great resource for countless art history students as well as artists and curators in sydney) - and the excellent collection - whihc festoons the halls of ivy and sandstone - will - now my cynical soul tells me - sold off bit by bit - to fund managers fees, contractors fees and all manner of dodgy shit. SO THANK YOU MR. NELSON for destroying the cultural heritage of every single alumni of sydney uni whose fees enabled such a great collection to be assembled in the first place - and who now won't get any say in how it gets dispersed........ (I have it on good advice that most coalition members - prefer good old prints of heidelberg rather than anything from the previous century anyway).

on that grumpy note I'm tempted to leave you.

Tonight - I'm double dipping - checking out a friends opening at the Alliance Francaise (whihc I swore I'd never set foot in ever again after my own traumatic experience with the previous director) - and then hurredly scurrying off to SQUARE DONUT at KUDOS. Its meant to be some installation thingy. Kudos has it. It will also go under VSU. Bugger.

Other diary entries for this week - include TAP gallery's 16th aniversary opening on wednesday. they aslo have a full day funrdraiser on saturday. Life drawing all day for $25. TAP are kind of like a Grunge version of Knot. (I kid you knot). Maybe more like global -only minus the Thenardier aspect. SOme of their exhibitions are FRIGHTFUL - but still worth supporting. Bad art is always better than no art. Bad art is even better than beige art. Bad art made by really boring wankers who smoke too much pot and read jung and use really crap pallets and wield acrylic paint as if it is oil laced with gel medium is still much much better than dusty masterpeices sold and resold and circulating in the blind corridors of art investors and coalition members. BURN THOSE LINDSAYS NOW!!!!

I'd also strongly recommend VIDEO NASTY at firstdraft. I'll write more about it later.


Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Crapping on the Cremaster - at Artspace

Lucy RAVED about this on monday

here are official details - for Post Barney vidoe art - by Martin Sastre (actually I prefer his take on the new world order )

MARTIN SASTREHOLA AUSTRALIA!the iberoamerican trilogy
The Iberoamerican Trilogy, a recent video project by Uruguayan artist, Martin Sastre, is an ironic and humorous commentary on the international art scene, from the eyes of a Latin American artist trying to establish himself in the mainstream art world. The Iberoamerican Trilogy recounts the future of the planet beginning with the fall of Hollywood and the creation of a new order – the Iberoamerican Axis. When the world finally becomes known by its real name: The Third World.Part 1> Videoart: The Iberoamerican Legend (2002) is a high-art history lesson, in which Sastre blames the death of video art on Matthew Barney – and claims a profitable afterlife for himself. With the aim of restructuring the grand narratives & their audiences, Martin Sastre begins by presenting a frozen narrator from the end of time. The Iberoamerican Legend is the story of a Latin American who tells true lies and exhibits a handful of bizarre fetish / cult objects for an era that doesn’t know what to worship anymore.Part 2> Montevideo: The Dark Side of The Pop (2004) set in the year 2092 follows a teenage prodigy who is sent to Montevideo by the ‘European Centre of Intelligence,’ to find out the secret behind Martin Sastre’s success. As everybody knows behind every success there is always a secret, a pact. In following the route of this Uruguayan artist the teenage investigator discovers a deserted capital city, a forgotten place in far South America that could be hiding more than a simple secret of success, an occidental experiment that could be a vision of the future European Union.Part 3> Bolivia: The American Videoclip (2004) recounts the Iberoamerican era: the third world in the year 2792, soon after the natural disasters unleashed by the wars for natural resources, when the world was divided into large political blocks: BOLIVIA: The Iberoamerican Confederation of Nations; CHINORUSSIA: The The Chinorussian Empire with its twin capitals of Moscow and Beijing; INDIA: The Kingdom of India; The African Economic Community: Including its European colonies; Sub America: Small independent republics without natural resources which were previously part of the United States of America. And other smaller countries including – The KINGDOM OF ENGLAND; The PRINCIPALITY OF SWITZERLAND; The HELLO KITTY EMPIRE: The former Japanese Empire; The KYLIE and MURIEL ISLANDS: previously known as Australia.
Martin Sastre was born in Montevideo in 1976 and lives in Madrid. In the last four years Sastre has become one of the most known video artists from South America, having participated in the XXVI Bienal de Sao Paulo, Brazil 2004 and the VIII Bienal de la Habana, Cuba 2003. His most recent solo shows include: 'Diana Lives', Grande Scuola di San Teodoro, Rialto Venecia, Italy; 'Martin Sastre, American As Well' Site Gallery, Sheffield and Stills Gallery Edinburgh, UK, and 'The Iberoamerican Trilogy', Art in General, New York.He is the honorary President of The Martin Sastre Foundation for the Super Poor Arta web-based project to build a new South American Art Field.

Art Space aslo has the ingtriguing - post paint paint based concept piece by STEPHEN LITTLE + NIKE SAVVAS called a Million Suns
I couldn't reproduce the purple prose here - it got the award for spewerama trie hard lyricism - but I rekcon the work itself is OK.

the other piece is Sweet Barrier Reef by KEN YONETANI - the workd are kind of minimalist but the intent is great - but got blasted away by Sastre. I'll go back for a pie and a ponder next week

Sweet Barrier Reef focuses on the event of bleaching coral. Coral bleaching refers to the process leading to coral death. River waters containing high levels of suspended sediment (nitrogen, phosphorus and herbicides) cause coral death and bleaching. This sediment often comes from harvesting sugarcane, and is known to be one factor leading to bleaching in the Great Barrier Reef. In fact, many large sugarcane fields are located beside coral reefs, leading to coral damage in places across the globe. In this project, Yonetani focuses on this impact by creating a reef of sugar. Yet here, sugar is used as a much larger metaphor, questioning the environmental impact of our desire to consume.More broadly, Yonetani's work seeks to focus on all causes of human impact that lead to coral death. Presently the most significant factor of coral bleaching and danger to coral is posed by global warming. Abnormal rises in sea temperatures lead to massive coral damage in vast areas. Coral is a very sensitive animal and cannot tolerate a rise of even one or two degrees in sea temperature. It can be classified into one of the animals that are easily damaged with human impact, such as a result of climate change, over-fishing and water pollution.Yonetani has been investigating this relationship between human desires and environmental issues in his previous works. In this project too, sugar becomes a metaphor of human desire. Sugar is also a symbol of “Westernisation”, “modernisation” and “consumerism”. This may be related to the intimate relation between colonial history and sugar plantations. Yonetani has built on his work “Sugar project-Underwater” to produce a much larger work, inspired by the vision of the massive coral colonies within the Great Barrier Reef."Coral reefs are the most species-rich marine ecosystem on Earth. Tens of thousands of species have evolved to co-exist in coral reefs, each species with its own unique shape and its own role in the ecosystem. Coral reefs have evolved to their present form over millions of years, continuously responding to changes. Nevertheless, these living underwater treasures are easily damaged. Unprecedented pressures from global climate change, agricultural and urban runoff, and over-fishing have severely degraded many coral reefs over the last 20 years. Concerted decisive action is needed to reduce air and water pollution, and to establish and support marine reserves, in order to protect these living underwater treasures into the future."Dr. Katharina Fabricius, Reef EcologistAustralian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS)

Art on Paper Fair

I blabbed about this on monday - so here are serious details


friday night - you can be at COFA - for drawing at KUDOS and/or Ivan Doucherty
or you can come over to Marrickville (or start at Marrickville at 5pm - and race over to Paddo)

You are invited to attend the opening of the annual TIM OLSEN DRAWINGPRIZE, in association with Sydney Drawing Festival 4-6pm Friday 15 Julyat Kudos Gallery, 6 Napier St. Paddington.Now in it’s fifth year the Award aims to support and encourage excellencein Drawing and to promote Drawing as an independent area of practice andresearch. The Award is open to senior students in the Master of Arts,Honours and Master of Fine Arts programmes within the Drawing and PaintingDepartments at COFA and has, as a prerequisite a strong focus on and a highlevel of achievement in drawing practice and research.Also opening on Friday at COFA is 'Drawing: a Matter of Life and Death'.This conference will explore not only the crucial importance of drawing tomany facets of life but deal with those who are drawn to the complexsubject matter of mortality. The artist and educators include PeterPommerer from Germany, Sandy Moffat from Scotland, Peng Bo from China, JacSoarsa from Costa Rica, Andrew Sayers, Mike Parr and Mike Esson fromAustralia. Drawing Festival is an initiative of the International DrawingResearch Institute, a consortium of three art schools from GlasgowSchool of Art, Scotland, the Central Academy of Fine Art, Beijing,China, and the College of Fine Arts, Sydney. IDRI is well suited toexamine the cultural dimensions of drawing, by bringing together a widerange of talents from the Indigenous culture of Australia, China,Europe and the Anglo-Celtic tradition. The purpose is to focus on allaspects of drawing, foster drawing research and basically support thedrawing process, through exchange exhibitions, drawing workshops,publications, conferences, etc.for more information about the Sydney Drawing Festival visit Olsen Drawing Prize opens 4-6pm Friday 15 JulyKudos Gallery6 Napier St. Paddington NSW 2021exhibition dates 13 - 23 July 2005Kudos Gallery is a UNSW College of Fine Arts Students' Association servicethreatened by the Fed. Govt.'s proposed VSU legislation

here are details for Marrickville Open studio Trail

MEDIA RELEASEInaugural MOST 2005 – Marrickville Open Studio Trail20 studio sites and art spaces across the Marrickvillearea“Come and see artists in their natural habitat” Saturday and Sunday 16 and 17 July10am – 4pm Open Studio Performance night and exhibition Saturday 16 July from 6pmAlpha House Artists Housing CooperativeLevel 1, 226 Union Street South Newtown MOST showcases the artistic and cultural richness ofMarrickville, an area with one of the highestpercentages of artists, cultural workers and artsindustries of any local government area in Australia! From puppetry at the Sydney Puppet Theatre in the MarySt Studio Complex in St Peters to performance piecesat Tooth Studios in Sydenham and furniture making,props, painting, poetry, drawings, jewellery, mosaics,prints, photographs and sculptures at Lennox StreetStudios in Newtown and Stone Villa Inc at Sydenham andmuch more! Over 120 artists in 20 studio sites and art spacesacross Marrickville invite you to be part of thisinaugural showcase and studio trail. Resident curator Terry Cutcliffe at the Addison RoadGallery will show his selection of works on or ofpaper by 12 artists from the Ultimo Project artist’scooperative in the Addison Rd Centre to coincide withthe 10th Sydney Art on Paper Fair. Opening night is onFriday 15 July at 5pm and the exhibition continuesuntil 30 July. The art and cultural events continue in Newtown. Alsopart of MOST will be a performance night andexhibition on Saturday 16 July from 6pm at AlphaHouse, celebrating 20 years since a housingco-operative, creating affordable housing and artsspaces in the area. The Original Fine Art Group will hold an art auctionat the Gladstone Hotel on the 16 July to raise fundsfor OXFAM. All art has been donated. Viewing of theart will be from 4pm - 6.30pm with the auctionstarting at 7pm. Email me if you want a map - or got to the addisonroad conetre on friday night - or come here onsaturday!cheersMargaret MOST Participating studios:The Ultimo ProjectAddison Rd Centre142 Addison Rd Marrickville NSW 2204Contact: Wayne Hutchinst: 9550 9580The Addison Rd Centre Artists StudiosAddison Rd Centre142 Addison Rd Marrickville NSW 2204Contact: Terry Cutcliffet: 9518 3709 The Addison Rd Gallery142 Addison RdMarrickville NSW 2204Contact: Terry Cutcliffet: 9518 3709Alpha House226 Union StNewtownContact: Margaret Mayhewt: 9516 3246Lennox Street Studios111 Lennox StNewtownContact: Loris Quantockt: 0417 062 140Stone Villa Inc19 Railway RdSydenhamt: 9516 1787Mary Street Studio Complex:Studio 464Splinter WorkshopYourworkshopThe Sydney Puppet TheatreBuildings 1, 5, 6 73 -75 Mary StreetSt PetersContact: Floria Toscat: 0423 829 978SNO Group11 Faversham StMarrickvilleContact: Dr Billy Gruner t: 9559 1675 or 0431 434 904 Tom Bass Sculpture Studio1a Clara St ErskinevilleContact: Ann Fischer t: 9565 4851Tooth Studios67 Sydenham RdSydenham(enter via Sydenham Lane)Contact: Sarah Bunnt: 0400 453 049South Street Studios1b South StreetTempeContact: Jann Frencht: 0410 632 903 Flour Mill Studios3 Gladstone St NewtownContact: Kate Owent: 0400 508 050Inner West Cultural Services: Newtown PrecinctArtspace ProgramSidetrack Performance Group & TheatreAddison Rd Centre142 Addison RdMarrickville@newtown club52 Enmore RdEnmoreGladstone Hotel472 Marrickville Rd (cnr New Canterbury Rd)Dulwich Hill New View GalleryKing Street at 277 Australia St Newtown (next toOscillate Wildly)PACT Theatre107 Railway Parade ErskinevilleContact: Rosarela Meza at IWCS t: 9550 4156.

More Bad News

SPACE 3 at 151 Regent St, Chippendale has been running for almost 5 years. Over this time ‘The Space’ has showcased a variety of artistic forms from visual art, sound installations, music, fashion shows and performance, to fundraisers, parties, as well as a place to meet for artist’s talks, to most recently hosting the Australian contingent of the Autonomous University. In the time of Space3 we have hosted over six hundred events and have been a familiar venue for thousands of people who have come to enjoy. According to artists we have met over the past five years, the building that currently houses Space 3 has been home to artists, artistic pursuits and communities since the 1960’s. As such it has been a cultural hub for both the Sydney, national and international artistic community for more than four decades.As Space3 Gallery the ethos is to provide a free gallery space to showcase Sydney artists as well as national and international artists. ‘The Space’ has successfully provided a venue for all artists, in all forms from emerging to established, for the past five years. On Tuesday the 5th of July we received a termination notice, requesting the occupants and as such ‘The Space’ to be vacated by 4th August 2005. The building is to be auctioned as a vacant premises. We have negotiated with the real estate to extend the lease on the gallery space (ground floor) for the next three months, in order to exhibit those artists who have booked shows, however it appears the end is close…We are writing to not only inform you of the potential fate of ‘The Space’ but to request your support for a place that all would agree has played a significant role in the cultural heritage of Sydney; not only over the past five years, but for the past four decades. Specifically, we are inviting support and assistance from persons who may know of parties, both government and non-government, who may be interested in investing in the future of Sydney’s artistic community. Otherwise all we’ll be viewing is the opening of another generic block of apartments…For enquiries regarding the sale of the building, contact Ron CarrCentury 21 R & R Marrickville 204 Marrickville RoadMARRICKVILLE NSW 2204ph: 02 9568 5755fax: 02 9568 5766Please forward this email on to anyone you think may be interested and spread the word. Send any feedback Support ‘The Space’ by coming to its last openings. We’ll give you notice of the dates in future emails.Thanking you, Melletios Kyriakidis, Shann Preece and Andrew BurgessOn behalf of everyone involved in Space3 past, present and future (?:),x)
+ SPACE3 + address: 151 regent st. chippendale. 2008. n.s.w + email: + web:

Friday, July 08, 2005

Exposing Myself

We pre recorded the show this week so I had to pinch myself to remember that I am meant to announce a "project" that I'm a part of. Even then i got it wrong. Hell, I'll never make it in PR. Unless I work for a government organisation.

As I sat blabbing to Lucy, I held a fold-out flyer in my hands. The cover features a beige photo of a studio, with hot pink words saying MOST. There is some other text but I have to squint to read it. The inside has a map, and a list of studios including where I pursue the oevre. the back has more blurbs, and icons of the funding partners; The australian government, Marrickville council, Newtown Entertainment Precinct etc. Nowhere on the flyer is it mentioned any names of the artists who have each contributed $10 for the privelege of producing a promotional flyer for a government project. In adddition to forking out cash, artists have attended about 8 hours worth of meetings, and have done or will do uncounted hours in promotion, cleaning, organising, and public education.

I'm trying to work out just why I agreed to be a part of this. I've got another show to organise - adn need my studio as a work space rather than an exhibition space. Getting a verified statement of public liability coverage from our insurers has been a nightmare,and neighbours keep dumping stuff in our studio area. furthermore, I feel like myself, and the other artists inolved have let ourselves be conned again. I guess I haven't been as ripped off as the guy who designed the flyer for free - only to have the design stolen and modifed (- and his name not mentioned anywhere). the flyer is the one official sign that the event has been organised. I recieved an email today with a Press Release - but it wasn't addressed to 2SER. Somewhere someone has used the unpaid labour and goodwill of artists to build themselves a nice little career. How can someone expect that I and other won't actuallly resent them for it? This project has cost me, and other artists time and money that we'd prefer to spend on our work. I don't need any skills in sitting in boring community consultations, filling in aquittal forms or preparing floor sheets. I don't need skills in delegating tasks to lazy and inefficient council employees, or in stating too late - that a flyer whch I an others have paid for - should at least be subject to our apporval before it goes to print.

This experience reminds me of so many other community art projects, especially in the innter city. For some reason local government funding bodies seem to think they are doing us a favour by NOT publicising artists names. I call it plagiarism. There has been a big arts project along King Street Newtown for the past month. Not one shred of publicity has metined the name sof any of the exhibiting artists. These people have not only prepared work, but many of them have supplied the hanging materials to the shops, and undertaken volunteer work to attend more meetings or distribute publicity for the event. The flyers for the event name all of the offoical govenrmental funding bodies. These posters have been in all the shop windows - and make it hard to see the smaller sings (where they exist) which acutally give details about the artists. Well I'm not buying it - and I refuse to publicise anything which is based on exploiting artists.

I've decided that ANY exhibition which does not produce materials naming the artists, or don't pay them an artists fee, is is a dodgy bureaucratic charity project, not a cultural event. Most community cultural workers earn salaries far higher than the average earnings of 85% of artists, and its about time they started behaving in an accountable manner to those "stakeholders" on whom their position depends.

The fact is, that if every single arts advocacy organsiation lost its funding tomorrow, there would be very few artists who would suffer very much. There are some exceptions - and the easiest way to find this out - is to look at the budgets for any projects or organisations and see how much of it is spent on actual "project" activity, and how much is spend on employing admin staff - who spend most of their time - writing funding applications. I hate to sound like a right wing old troll, but the people these organsiations are helping are not artists, but other bureaucrats.

I'm not sure if MOST have any sort of Web Archive - but you can not in your diary that the launch is friday 15th July from 6pm at Addison Road Gallery (142 Addison road Marrickville) and maps will be available there. Studios will be open from 10am to 4pm on saturday and sunday. There is also a performance night and party at ALpha House Artists Cooperative gallery on Saturday 16th July. Level 1, 226 Union Street South Newtown.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Good Art Reading: Blogs

Its easy to hate what I write
Hell! I usually do.

Btw here's the 2ser link:

Here's what I usually read online:

Most of them are readable and entertaining - but are also really useful entry points for other interresting blogs and links.

Saturday Stroll in Paddo

On Saturday afternoon I took a 389 bus to 5 ways in Paddo, and wandered down goodhope street to Sherman Galleries where they had an opening for their "Artbox" and "two box" mini galleries. Mini Galleries is overstating the case. "Artbox" - is a metre squared box on a wall on their verandah. "two box" consists of 2 plinths on the covered bit of their gravel courtyard. At least its not misleading advertising.

Art Box was filled with a whole heap of shredded paper with some magazine cutouts. "hey! that looks like those artfully arranged strips of paint that had a curiously evocative quality - that I saw under the stairs at Prima Vera!". And yes, they were more products of Huseyin Sami - famous for putting the acrylic into acrylic paint, and pulling it out again. His artbox work was titled "the united Paper People". cute. My stylistic dictionary screams - "Postmodern Rococo". GODDALUVIT coz he's taking a very coy slant on minimalism - (buzz word was post-post-object art - bleagh!). His plastic fantastic works at the MCA - took a seemingly formalist preooccupation with the materiality of his medium - actylic paint - which he used as non paint (hmmm so what is paint then?) - not as a something that gets stuck onto another surface - but as surface/object/stuff itself - penetrating objects (like the metal sieves in the pour.......). what I liked more than the bright poy post-painting-paint ploy were the funny little scenarios under the stairs - and in an alcove on the stair world. this got the OZZIE QUIRKY CULTURE stamp of approval. big time. But I liked it coz it looked like a kiddies birthday party - and it was in a space where you'd imagine little kids running aorund to look at - so there was a nice sensitivity in his installation - annd he was revealing a little bit more of himself too........ Back to art box - and the mad little world (that kind of resembles tha artists hair) is recreatied in exquisitely arranged paper strips. Its a nice little place.

I glanced over at the scary perspex blocks in 2 boxes (called Cage) and was at first repelled by the cold cut industrial formalism of grey & black perspex. When I wandered down the stairs for a gander - I still felt repelled by the works - which evoked a nightmare of manic architecture students after a hard night on vodka and nodoz - but then I glanced over at the card -hmmm! and the press books for Daniel Chant -the artist. hmmm! NICE PRINTS. This guy seems to be obsessed with layers, cutting into things, layers of space and layers of things, and more edges of meaning - and really rich evocative planes. I could see that when there were more colours and curves. Maybe its a girl thing.

Surprised and delighted, I trudged up the stairs and briiefly glimpsed at the boyzone above. I wish I could have brought the guy I know doing his PhD on surfing to Scott Redford's "this Side of Paradise" - he might have waxed lyrical on the big nice photos and answered a few questions. (what's with the golden plaque aorund the neck in "andrew"?). the chick doing the John the baptist (the da vinci pic in the Loucre) finger was cute too. but I'm not into surfers.

I'm not into skaters either so Shaun gladwell's works had to work had to grab me but its hard to resist 3 white walls studded with flat screens and projected images. Looking like big c-type colour photos - these images moved slowly and silently. Gotta use the word "Balletic Grace" - bit like bill Henson without the pervy creepiness. Page numbers from "Non Spaces" by Marc Auge - wafted into my brain (like 14, and 18) but unfortunately no words, so I can't add any meditative quote on the disorientation of hypemodernity - and chucking in sonmehting from Deleuz would be just too sycophantic.

anyway - I floated down Glenmore road to Brian Moore, which was the original inspiration for my adventure. I think it is really important as a reviewer to state when I've got a prejudice for or against something. I get migraines so I skipped bridget riley. I don't like minimalism, colour field, op art, new geo or retro geo or yeo olde geo either. I hate beige, grey, and white on white. I love anything pink. Most people have pretty basic visceral responses to forms, shapes, colours. We like certain forms of art the way we like certain flavours or certain types of music. Most art critics - try to apply a dubious gloss of connoseurship to their taste - almost as if they are afraid to say "I just like the colour!". the thing is that if we attach an intellectual position to what are basically emotional responses to stuff - then we can get locked into some sort of aesthetic position. I personally like being surprised by art - and suprised to find myself liking things I wouldn't expect to - and so I want to be honest about my emotional range and how it effects my "critical discernment".

this is a long preface for how I came to be seduced by the work of John Nicholson. He is a abstract formalist post-painter par excellence - and produces just the sort of clean clever stuff you'd expect to see in an upmarket contemporary commercial gallery. A typical example are a whole heap of coloured perspex stripes (looking like ubersmooth licorice allsorts) stuck together into large - sculpture cum instalations. (stripey coloured objects on white walls in white rooms). Anway I was wandering past Brian Moore Gallery last year - and was drawn by these soft perspex light boxes - with soft glowing colours.the show was caled Hypervoid.NQMCOT* but I coldn't work out if they were painted on white perspex, dyed sections of perspex, or something done inside, or a total tropme l'oiel but I was pretty fascinated - and then I just got seduced by the soft glowing colours (Pink!) and blobby forms. then I read that he's into art and nature and science - and has done stuff with symbotic light fixing bateria - and then I was fascinated.

So - Nature by Proxy - seemed liked a worthwhile show to check out - as he was the curator. Hats off! Well done! I REALLY LIKE IT when I can walk into a room and sense a formal resonance between a collection of osetenisbly very different peices - and pulling off the "hum magic" is something John needs to be congratulated for. What is "hum magic"? Its a very fluffy term for getting the vibe of a room right, and this is not goiint to be very easy to explain wihtout coming across like a complete new age freak so maybe I should try. Oh what the hell. If you look at visitors to an art gallery, or if you notice yourself - you can observe how certain works exude a certain magnetic quality - and can either attract and draw people in - or repel them. Its realy good when you can see people actually mimicking pieces with their bodies - relaxing in front of some, grimacing in fornt of others, stiffening, crouching, striding, crawling, creeping. It's really quite fascinating - and is due argualbe to the connotative effects of the formal/material properties of pieces. a good curator - can tap into this energy - and structure pieces in a room - so viewers float harmoniously between them. I *think* the best analogy is with music - annd how to compose works for quite diferent instruments. Nature by proxy has managed t ustapose - a big photograph of jenolan caves, a whole heap of sculptures made from plastic drinking straws, a few grey and dark conservative paintings, a video piece, some werid surrealist prints on metal, some elctron miscrographs and John's own perspex flouro pieces in a room and it works.

All the pieces are singularly intriguing - but noting the resonances between them - is quite enjoyable. My favoruite piece overall was Harriet PArsons "Call Signs. I thin it was the exquisite crochet and LED's into delicate tree forms -with a funny pinging sensor thing, (it was on the invite). but the way the little tree forms managed to work with her large gouache landscapey sketch thing behind is what I really liked. Go donwstairs and enjoy it. its nice.

After such delights - I breezed out of Brian Moore ready for anything. Even Glenmore Road. Alas. Stupid me. horror of horors. Beige Blandness, vapid posturing. Incredible, indelible stupidity. glenmore Road between Oxford Streets and five ways is to be avoided.

It was so ghastly that I didn;t have the heart to face the barricades on oxford street and venture into phatspace. Theres a show on until the end of this week. Infusion is neither and imaginative, original and meaningful title, but I'll forgive them because of the lineup: Marcus Keating, Stephen Hilyard, Michael Cousins, Meredith Godley, Andreas Gedin, Emma Jay, Nobody Who, Kate Faulds. I'll chekc it out on wednesday and get back to you about it. but it closes on July 9th.

*NMCCOT = Not Quite My Cup Of Tea


This is a cut and paste job - so not very interesting

JULY 2005
museum of contemporary art sydney, australia


Come out of the cold and get into the MCA this July!

Delve deeper into the work of Kutlug Ataman and join us for an evening lecture or weekend discussion. If you saw 'Situation' during its installation stage, wander through and see the evolution of completed installations. Or for those younger contemporary minds on school holidays, enrol in our Junior MCA Art School and get really hands-on!

There's so much to see and do this Winter - check out for more details.


Kutlug Ataman is a consummate storyteller. A film-maker and artist, he is fascinated with the ways in which people tell their own stories. Ataman's films are portraits of individuals who live on the peripheries of society, defined by ghetto life, peculiar obsessions or transgressive sexualities. The stories are bound together by Ataman's open style of filming which allows each person to speak freely and without interference. He says, “...only in actual speech can we witness this amazing rewriting of one's history and reality. What else is there? Talking is the only meaningful activity we're capable of.”

The exhibition offers an opportunity to explore the full scope of his art, showing a number of pieces together for the first time including 'The 4 Seasons of Veronica Read' and 'Stefan's Room'. It is the largest international survey of his art to date.

A special feature of this exhibition is Ataman's new work 'Küba' commissioned by Artangel, London, and co-produced in partnership with the MCA and selected European/American venues. The result of three years' work with residents of the Istanbul ghetto area, 'Küba' is an ambitious 40 screen work that represents the many voices and lives that occupy this historic shanty-town on the margins of Turkish society.

Part of this exhibition, 'Küba', is housed offsite at Level 2, The Argyle Stores (entry via Playfair St), The Rocks. Open 10:00am - 5:00pm daily, 22 June - 24 July.

'Kutlug Ataman: Perfect Strangers' until 4 September 2005.
Admission is free thanks to MCA Leading Sponsor Telstra.


6:30pm Tuesday 19 July

Join us on Tuesday 19 July at 6:30pm for an illustrated conversation between Michael Morris, London-based Co-Director of Artangel, the pioneering commissioning agency and Andrew Mackenzie, art critic and Editor, 'Architectural Review Australia'. In the early 90s Artangel began to commission ephemeral works by artists from a range of disciplines in unexpected spaces, for audiences with little access to the arts. Artangel's most well known commission is Rachel Whiteread's project 'House', a complete cast in concrete of a late nineteeth century East End terrace house. Artangel's commissioning process has fostered fresh perspectives on public art, public space and city cultures. Its most recent commission, Kutlug Ataman's video portrait of 'Küba', an Istanbul ghetto of left-wing resistance, displayed at The Argyle Stores (entry via Playfair St), The Rocks, will be open until 6:30pm on the evening of the lecture.

The exhibition component at the MCA will be open for viewing prior to the discussion from 5:30pm - 6:30pm.

Presented by the NSW Ministry for the Arts and the MCA.

Admission is $25/$22 Concession/$20 MCA Members and Ambassadors.
Bookings are essential. Please contact MCA Education on 02 9245 2484 or email

2:30pm Sunday 3 July

Join Kultug Ataman and MCA Senior Curator Rachel Kent on Sunday July 3 at 2:30pm as they discuss Kutlug Ataman's incisive video portraiture. The role and history of film, with an emphasis on the documentary genre, will also be explored.

This event is free but bookings are essential. Please contact MCA Education on 02 9245 2484 or email


'Situation' is a unique exhibition that looks at three artist networks active today in Sydney, Singapore and Berlin. These three cosmopolitan cities, each of around 4 million people, are cultural hubs, yet distinct from the traditional centres of London, Paris and New York. In each, vibrant artistic communities flourish, supported by a range of initiatives including collectives, artist-run spaces, publications and archives.

The MCA has invited artists from these three cities to reflect on their own communities in this exhibition, seeking to unveil connections between artists and their working contexts through interrelated artworks, activities and performances.

Projects within the exhibition include Sydney artists Jane Polkinghorne and Anne Kay producing a video archive of interviews with other Sydney-based visual artists; Singapore-based artists Juliana Yasin and Colin G. Reaney collaborating on an outdoor performance exploring ideas of arrival and immigration; and Lise Nellemann working closely with other Berlin-based artists to present a visual document of the activities of 'Sparwasser HQ'.

'Situation: Collaborations, Collections and Artist Networks from Sydney, Singapore and Berlin' until 21 August 2005.
Admission is free thanks to MCA Leading Sponsor Telstra.


School's out so come to the MCA and get creative!

Discover new ways of looking at and making art in these fun and hands-on holiday workshops at the MCA. Junior MCA Art School gives young artists an in-depth opportunity to find out more about artists and their practice, inspired by the process-based artworks in the exhibition Situation. The 3-day format lets kids discover contemporary art in depth and try out a wide variety of art-making techniques and materials through making sculpture, room-based installation, archival projects and exhibition viewings. Budding artists can find out more about the artworld through talks by visiting artists and excursions to artist's studios. MCA Educators, who are also practising artists, will lead the program.

Inspired by the documentation processes used in Situation, all participants receive a 'process diary' to sketch in, and contribute their experiences to an online diary published on the MCA's website.

All materials, morning tea and lunches provided. Wear a painting shirt and closed-toe shoes.

Wednesday 6 to Friday 8 July 10:00am - 3:00pm or
Wednesday 13 to Friday 15 July 10:00am - 3:00pm

Admission: $90/$80 MCA Members and Ambassadors
Bookings essential: 02 9245 2484 or


Please take the time to help us understand your thoughts on the MCA website by completing a brief questionnaire and you will have the chance to win some exciting prizes including tickets to the annual MCA Artists' Party!

Simply visit to complete and win - good luck.

Circular Quay West, Sydney
Ph: 61 2 9245 2400
TTY: 61 2 9241 6634
Fx: 61 2 9252 4361

Gallery Opening Hours
Every day 10am to 5pm

Friday, July 01, 2005

SMIC on monday!

I'll give this a plug on mondays show - but get your going out gear on in advance.

Smic did the last amazing 4D real sculpture video/audio installation at the end of may - so this should be worth a gander

> SMIC presents with Camera Obscura
> Mon July 4, 7.30pm, Lanfranchi's, 2/144 Cleveland
> St, Chippendale

Monthly screenings with a simple goal of showing interesting and experimental film and video works in an appropriate setting, comfortable seating - 5.1audio - large scale projection - free

Month of July (04.07.05)
This month we are taking a broad view across production techniques for screens large and small, with a particular focus on collage. In collaboration with the Sydney Moving Image Coalition we will be joined by London artist Sheena Macrae ( RAWspace artist-in-residence) who be presenting a series of short video works which experiment with form and editing of familar works. We'll start with the vagaries of bike safety education with a group of kids in ape masks, cut to the best German experimental computer animation has to offer and we take a sample of Sydney artist Paul Nunes' work with mobile phone cameras to stock footage assembly. What better way to conclude than with Craig Baldwin's assembled epic "Spectres of the Spectrum"?

The end of the Wedding


check out this message below

hi all,

just writing to let those of u who were involved in our space that we
have been shut down by sydney city council for being a site of 'illegal

we are still considering doing our last show (called homewreckers) at a
different venue.

many thanks to all of u who have come and supported us over the last 9
so much for the velvet revolution on George street - sydney City CONcil is as evil as ever.
There's no hope - anything that involves not sitting in some loud as hell pub - bearings ones ears to trashy amplified discs (no live music) sinking dodgy cat piss and throwing ones life and dosh into a poky machine is going to be discouraged.

The wedding circle has been a great little aritsts run initiative - with the 3-4 artists renting out a warehouse/studio space for their studios and using the shopfront as a gallery and the middle room as an occasional venue for films and performances.

That's CULTURE in capitals. Obviosuly a threat to mass stupidity - and needing to be shut down.
Apparently there were complaints from the neighbours.

Like who?
The boring arsed beige factory across the road - whose tepid opens paled in comparison?
Or the security clad apartment dwellers snsconsed in fornt of their plasma screens surrounded by tasteful ikea prints?????

aNywa - we hope to have an update on this weeks moverdrive - 4-6pm on monday july 4th. Independance Day. Yeah right.