Monday, September 05, 2005

Mayhem on Monday

Brain is very slow this week

I wnet to a nice opening of monoprints and drawings by PTerea Felows on the weekend. These are all works based on her Brett Whitely shcolarship residency at the Cite in PAris.

Petrea is one of the very few artists who has the drawing skills to pull of a 19th century tres retro tribute to the ville lumiere - and so the boyd of work was fairly unsurprising and quite conservative but still engaging and pleasing collection of images.

My favourite was the gouache on the paper plate of the the inside of Napoleon 3rds deluxe apartment. this guy crapped over Donatella Versace - and you can see the original in stu on the top floor of the Louvre. The smoky birdman on the balcony at Notre Dame - was also pretty nice - she's not a big figure painter - so this was a nice surprise.

There's a lot hapepning this week - and I'm tyring to ignore it.

Tomorrow night a close friend of me has an opening at Legge Gallery tomorrow night. He ernestly assures me that it is complete crap - but the invite image featres the mask from the jelly wrestling champ "the somnambulist" aka micky quick.......... how this ended up in a Bathrust interior is a mystery but proof that the art world is very small.

Mr. & Mrs won the Lempriere cash. A very fair choice - coz it'll be shared between two artists. Mr. & Mrs. are actually married - and are a couple of collaborating cofa students who do performancy stuff together......... this peice is Barneyesque - and less unsettling that the scarey little Britney clone last year........

Primavera is the other hot item of art news: To make up for the strict opening night entry policy they have a free public meet and greet thing on wednesdya arvo at 2.30pm.

" Meet the artists! Gallery talks by Primavera 2005 artists Danie Mellor (ACT), Tom Mùller (WA), Pedro Wonaeamirri (NT), Michelle Ussher (VIC), Monika Behrens (NSW) and Fiona Lowry (NSW)."

Primavera is the MCA's annual and highly-regarded “talent spotting” art event, unveiling works by artists from across the country, many of them the stars of the future! Under the direction of guest curator Felicity Fenner Primavera 2005 questions and re-interprets landscape painting as a genre. In the hands of the younger generation the landscape becomes a place of leisure, a view from the car window, a playing field, home, and a place of environmental concern. Wide-ranging in perspective but sharing a common passion for the Australian landscape and for painting, Primavera 2005 is a great place to see the next generation of young artists showing what’s pertinent to them, and how they’re reworking an old tradition to become fresh and relevant to today’s world.

Artists included are: Monika Behrens (NSW), Madeleine Kelly (QLD), Fiona Lowry (NSW), Danie Mellor (ACT), Tom Mùller (WA), Yukultji Napangati (WA/NT), Michelle Ussher (VIC), Pedro Wonaeamirri (NT), Jemima Wyman (QLD).

The interesting thing will be the disobedience show - opening at Dockerty on Friday.

Knowing the curators and the artists - i believe it will be a very seriously considered use of the gallery space to frame some cultural interventions in social life.

I don't think I can edit the 40 minute interview with Dimitri Vilensky in time. shit. He has 3 videos - exploring the triad of artist/worker/intellectual. This includes some rare footage of TOny Negri - so punters cna at least get a gander at whoat the fuss is about. Squatspace will also be there as well as Suzanne (don't step on my hair!) Victor.

I was at a talk recently where some people were gabbing on about "The death of the artist" (big fat yawn). I'm really into the death of 1980's stalinist structuralism. The ego game is tres vile - but Getting socially ocnsiocus artists do duck out of it in the name of the revolution, Brecht or CCDP, won't help anyone really - and it means that the art star turf gets hogged by boring boy egomaniacs.........

I went to another talk where someone was reviving HABERMAS (See frankfurtschool intellectuals) as an exploration of the gallery as a public forum - moreover - a forum where one could learn how to behave in hte public sphere - itself being a rather selective group.

I guess the blogosphere is more pressing at this point.

but in defence of the big white cube - I like the idea of phsyical proximity to objects and ideas - and having a space where we can learn to engage with them in an honest but reasonably polite manner. I'm not sure if anyone knows how to do this.

I went to Sin city the other night - and was the only person in the cinema screaming with schock, schlock and delight. Everyone else is either feigning or has acutally become "the jaded cinema viewer" - even in the dark! gosh.

So what hope is there in a well lit white cube, where people are even conscious of their haircuts? How can anyone actually pull a face or moan at some gory schlock - or giggle at some silly crap? If publics don't learn or find ways to articulate incomprehension or alienation or confusion - then we do end up with a polarisation of bland ennui of tolerance - or reactionary censorship.

I was provoked to think about this - be remembering when Monica Tichahek finished art school before winning the Lempriere. Her final year piece - showed her suspended from a heap of hooks for hours. Crikey. My hair stood on end and I screamed just looking at it. No one else did. Why the hell not? And I woder if anyone acutally cired when they saw mike parr wiht his face sewn up? OK reading aobut it - it sounds like a banal stunt - but actually seeing someone in the flesh - trying to represent refugees in cocnertration camps - who do the same and CAN'T BE SEEN is emotive stuff. It'd be nice if a gallery would be space where the spectacle of pain could be something other than numbing and silencing....... dunno how tho.


Anonymous said...

boring boy egomaniacs is too true but there is female counterpart, the boring neurotically oversensitive girl. fortunately both types usually give up on art within a few years of leaving art school, no staying power. surely you don't think wider social engagement has to be avoided in order to spend more time in the art world combatting these pests? bit like squashing cockroaches when your house is on fire.

Anonymous said...

Mike Parr's effort was worse than a banal stunt. He was as exploitative as Howard. As if the refugees hadn't gone through enough they had their protest stolen by a grandstanding artist. If he'd really cared he'd have been out there doing the hard, boring, ANONYMOUS political work that changes policies, not indulging in a shabby stunt attempting to give a moral dimension to his narcissistic work. Most who saw it sensed that consciously or unconsciously and thats why the whole event just produced a sense of uneasy revulsion. Were any refugees released as a result...I don't think so!

lucazoid said...

YO mayhem, did ya get my email inviting you to the feedback session wed 4pm at mca? i dont have your phone no. cheers lucazoid

mayhem said...

Hmmm Lucazoid -I'll be there at the MCA

Hmmm whiney neurotic art school girls are annoying but they get less rewards than brash ego boyos - and dissapear faster

Hmmm peoplehateparr but at the end of the day he's not the one who locked CHILDREN in concentration camps. He cannot be compared to Howard. He simply has not caused that much harm. Art may seem (and probably is) a frivolous bandwagon jumper to the serious and slow business of activism & cmapaigning but Parr is in artist & not an activist - and I'd prefer to see art engaging in something thoguhtful and political than not. Is he any more opportunist than the plethora of baby acadmeics doing funded and hi-kudos research on refugees?

I have been to one concentration camp and I also witnessed and felt the affects of Parr's performances on myself fnad other citizens - and they were deeply powerful - in a good way. thats when Parr earnt my respect.

ian said...

Mayhem I agree with anonymous about Parr, no he has not caused much harm but his work was exploitative. Just another Duchampian apropriation, this time of a refugee's suffering rather than a urinal. And your reply is ridiculous, I hope I never have a car accident anywhere near you because using your logic you would say "Sorry I can't call an ambulance, I'm an artist, but I'll sit here and sketch you in sympathy so everyone knows how bad it was for you, and I'll moan in chorus with you, I'm sure that'll make you feel better". Artists pleading that they are special and exempt from common decency only results in well deserved public contempt. Yes art should be engaged and political, and the academics may be opportunist, but their research can directly help. Parr's work was political pornography giving a frison of horror and moral superiority to the viewer but providing no avenue of action to help the real victims, whose suffering he appropriated to get the spotlight on himself.

mayhem said...

You could be right. I'm really not sure, because he IS a bit of an AG stuntman - certainly. ON the other hand I can only articulate my own honest responses to film and photgraphic reprductions of the works - I am not THE ART JUDGE - that's for public concensus (huh? what?). Thanks for you comments tho. thoughtful and provocative.