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

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