Monday, February 27, 2006

back next week

stay tuned for tales of finnish art and snow

2ser monday 6th march at 4.30

Friday, February 17, 2006

Stuff and Nonsense

Lucazoid seems to have gone on a blogoliday.... and hasn't posted stuff about the squatspace valentines day filmfest or that knot galleyr have found premises up the rad to battle on wiht frequency lab - or even that they got booted out of their crumbly old premises.......

So sorry forlack of local informative content. I reccomend that you read bilateral or the Art life. Whenever I'm homesick I read the latter and I cna pretend that SINNY isa friendly sydney of happy beer drinking culturla congosceti, not the sweaty, sticky mozzie ridden cockroach crawling hell hole it is,

Right now, I'm writing from London. ANd loving it. I can wear a black skivvy, and jeans and even a jacket outside. I can even wear a long blouse and a skirt with tights. I can stroll around for hours in the middle of the day. And I don't sweat, scratch, sneeze or burn. I love European weather. Nive cold crisp, weak sunlight or none at all.

Most people think I'm insane. But I hate melanoma, and kaftans don't ahve pockets, so 6 months of the year in sydney, I hide indoors to fearful of sartorial disasters.........

I've started on this track coz today I went out to the V&A in search of KULCHA. I've spent most of this week doing extreme sports cram in the British library, and my wrist is getting a bit tired . The old tate and NGA renderme fearful coz of tendency for compulsive skethcing of great paintings, which is bad for wrist. I'd actually intended to chekc out the New Tate. But the district line was pretty much shut down for the day so I gave it a miss and headed north.

I've always dreamed of seeing that great big persian carpet in the V&A........ an art school lecturer raved about it.... But the islamic art section is closed for renovations. So I had a good hour gawking at the indian section, and then wandered into the fashion show. Joy oh joy. Lots of corsets and stays and lace and ruffles, and suits, and evening gowns, and good english tweed. The standout was the popology show of Jena CLaude Castelbajac crazed concoctions. Think of Teddy bear jackets, and hightop tops and postcard parkas.....He's almost as good as Leigh Bowery!

These evening we headed off to the Barbican to see a bit of theatre. The barbican is one of those idealistic 70's 'lets bring cultulre to the workers' kind of projects - sprawling acroos a housing estate, a theatre, cinma, glaleyr, and a few freeways. Think lots of dark 70's brickwork and le corbusier style..... oh no..... no,not that bad, but its got a definite la defense type ambiance. You know the architecture that's meant to remind you that the idea is greater than the people? I felt very very small. The theatre was good tho.

Home again, to watvh DVD's of my latest obsession SHAMELESS.

Oh god this is reading like an average banal blog and I'm sorry. It's 1am and I've gotta get up in 7 hours to go back to the library.

I'm researching postwar art education, in the UK. It's a damn shame that the open source art school blog/project seems to have died, but, hell, I canbarely keep up wht the blogs I got, and maybe I should start getting closed source about my Intellecutal Proerty on art pedagogy since that's what I'm rapidly becoming an expert on.(just jokes)

The reaosn why I'm researching postwar art education in the UK, is that many art teachers in Sydney come from the UK, and were educatioed during or after the changes in the 60's and 70's. Trying to understand the changes in Australian art education in the 70's and 90's needs some more critical and comparative context than listening to gossip (mind you I do this pretty well, its called reflexive ehtnography) or reading sycophantic posturing catalogue essays. London, as the head of the commonwealth, has a mightly resource of archives from you know, Austrlia, New Zealand, Canada - as well as within the UK. I found a great book, that's kind of like THE TOME THAt WILL BE - only its all aobut NEw Zealand. Think I could find a copy in Austrlia? you gotta be kidding.

Libraries are such strange and randowmthings. I spend my last week in Paris doing pretty muchwhat I've been doing in London - chekcing out national library and that of some of the schools - just to see what had been writtineabout postwar art education. Just to get a comparison wiht the critical culture - of how things used ot be, and how they changed.

The advantages of Blighty and Frogville is that more research gets done and more researhc gets published. The biggerart schools have their OWN PUBLISHING HOUSES. Sociology of Art is a distinct discipline, as is cultural history. I found some GREAT flow chart exploring 2 differnet models of art schools - the offical transgressive art student model (yep, someone's described COFA) and the oficial therapeutic art school model (err meadowbank? east sydney in the good old days?, some hippie's fantasy?). However, with photocopying costing 20p per page (and no double paging allowed), and my wrist and 2B pencil (no pens allowed) both about to give way, and my photographic memory capacity having been flushed down the loos of the Sandringham while there was still a Berlin Wall, I'm not hopeful of retaining much. And there ain't that many government reports or conference papers on e-bay or amazon. bugger.

I'll sort it somehow.

btw THe triumph of Painting at the Saatchi kind of died in the arse. They were booted out of the building in october.... so no saatchi. Shit! is that some kind of karma?


Saturday, February 11, 2006

PLaying in the Palais

After whingeing about the snobby snooty necrophiliac
art crowds of the 16° district in Paris, I decided to
brave the west side again to check out the Palais De
Tokyo, which is smack in the rich American tourist zone.
Bordered by the Eiffel Tower, The Arch de Triumph; the
Louvre and St. Germain De Pres, and with streets all
named after US presidents, it's a scary place to be
wandering around with blond hair, a pink polar fleecy,
levi jeans and an anglophonic french. (kid you not;
its my new look).

the last time I ventured into the Musee de Art Moderne
De Ville De Paris was in 2000. I'd just returned from
the Biennale De Lyon. Called "Partage De Exotisisms"
it was concentrated in some massive hangar on the edge
of the city,where some friends of ours had seen
Aerosmith live. The Biennale was even more mind
blowing than Aerosmith live. The pigs being squashed
by steamrollers was pretty cool, as were the tattooed
human skins in perspex, and there was a great beaded
kitchen, and some birds in this amazing netted
enclosure; and some fantastic post colonial
primitivist consumer art sculptures, but my favoruite
was the insane table settings with curtains composed
of human hair arranged into scripts on sheets of
silocon. Stunning.

After this, the dodgy self indulgent, set of post
object art millenial angst at the Palais de TOkyo made
me extremely cross. It was like first draft on a
really bad day. No worse. Like Artspace on a really
Bad day. No. worse. It was big, it went on and on. It
was like Art express on a good Day. It convinced me
that contemporary French art was dead as a doornail.
OK That, and seeing way to much bad expressionism at
the electron libre squat. Either way, I stayed away.

Tthis year I was too stupid and jetagged to get myself
down to Lyon for the Biennale, so Imissed the tattoed pigs.
Still cursing myself, coz
of great Lyonnaise friends living in squats and 20
euro train tickets I could have bought too. Bugger.
However, at least I had less opportunities to be let
down by the Palais de Tokyo.

Not that I needed to, because, the french have
discovered cool britannia, and that contemporary art
is FUN, cool, and cutting edge. In 2002 Nicholas
Bourriand took over the palais de Tokyo which
was extremely maligned by more than me, and he did
manage to turn it around.

so now, its open from midday until midnight, 6 days a
week. Civilised! there's a bar downstairs and a
restaurant nearby. This is good, coz the nightlife on
the surrounding streets is comparable to Sydney. It's
like Chatswood! the bar was full of scary looking
ubercool people wearing coloured clothing. (this is
why i disguised myself in the pink blonde levis getup
- stops people noticing the armani glasses). entry is
Free for people on the dole, and artists and students
get in for ONE EURO.

The guy on the desk was one of those snooty french
types who insist that their appalling " iggsgyerse erm
meer bert oow der Iye kner yer er erteesd?" english is
better than my reasonable fluent french, so I told him
to do a google search.

Not to worry.

The current show is a "showcase" of 30 contemporary
artists residing in or originally from France. Called "OUr history, an emerging frenhc artistique scene" its a nice uppity sort of perspecta, with a refreshing minimum of bad expressionism and dodgy porn. Click
on the title above for an online showcase. the work
was punchy, bright, fun, aesthetically seductive and
MEANINGFUL. Lots of nice punchy politicla stuff about
the Sarkozy and the new right in France (Barthélémy Toguo) and the war
on terror. Lots of french joke about sausages. A big
corner devoted to that great guy who scams free stuff
everywhere. ( A great installation about newspapers(wang du) and
some vapid Jim dine ripoffs. (mathieu mercier). Hell! the whole thing reminded me of the optimism in london gourmet food shops. "British Cuisine is not anoxymoron! look we got good food!" So there is good frenhc contemporary art, just like good english food. its just that on the whole art is still quite an elitist activity. Most of the french political activists I know NEVER go to art galleries, but they do go to music concerts and buy CD's. Event he great big art squat on Rue de rRivoli has been gunnerized> HJARD TO GET INTO, official studio space for recognized artists, but even 5 years ago when it was a squat, the only squatters I knew having shows in the free space were etrangers........ Art may be cool but its has yet to gain street cred.

I foudn out something disturbing about the French.
They don't teach art in highschools. so no wonder art is
such a strange elitist thing, and no wonder so much
contemporary art looked like bad art Express for so
long. I think the reason for the current rennaissance
is the influence of etrangers, immigrants, students,
travellers. viva Ryan Air!