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.