Monday, June 05, 2006

Bigger than the logies!

Bigger than the logies!

If the Archibald prize is like the art worlds version of the logies, then the Biennale is like….the Gay and Lesbian Mardis Gras, or new years eve, or the sydney festival, or something... you know, BIG.

It's not about the ART so much - as all mexican wave of social ferment that swirls around the kutting edge contemporary kulcha fest that the biennale of sydney (BOS) is meant to denote.

Biennales in the past have provoked artists' protests marches - not to mention prune faced tirades against the post modern conspiracy (famous words uttered by sir William Dargy in 1975 and oft repeated since....)

Last week I gave a brief hint on how to sneak into opening night parties. (the biennale is held in june as its the one time in the year when sydney siders can wear black skivvies and look, cool and intellectual) - but this week I can even do better!

The word on the street is that THE best BOS BASH will be held at the Musuem onf contemrpary ART this wednesdya night. Unfortunately for all the freee scammers - they have a doorbitch policy even more hardcore than Newtown RSL. skivvies, COFA mullets and weird spectacles don't cut it. you need your name on the door to get into the sanstone palace of free champers, shoulder rubbing wiht INternaitonal Art stars and the heady wooze of wandering in a white walled space looking at the latest big art thing - while too pissed to remember any of it but with the pleasant feeling of having been there when it counts.

HOWEVER - mayhem's dedication to the faithful readers of this column and listerners to 2SER - has led to me finding a way for you, humble culterati - to get your name on that doorlist! Yes! you too can be an international contmeporary arthobnobber!

all you gotta do is give up a few free hours of our time to help install Antony Gormley’s work, Asian Fields, at Pier 2/3, Hickson Road, Walsh Bay, Sydney for the Biennale of Sydney. Bring your friends! your relos! that hottie you just saw on the bus!!! Take the day off work - coz you'll be sure to earn a days wages in liquid compensation on wednesday night!

they need the work to be ready by tomorrow night - so they want as many people as possible. they are asking that people come to Pier 2/3 at Walsh Bay as soon as possible to help us get the work finished by tomorrow. Wear warm, comfortable clothes, and don’t be afraid to get a little bit dirty! Call Zanni on 0400882265 or email zanni.arnot@gmail.com for further information. Volunteers will be provided with a catalogue of the Biennale and tickets to the artists’ party on Wednesday night to thank them for their help.

as for the ART:
The work is made up of 170,000 clay figures that were made in a village in China by 300 people. The project has been running for fifteen years in eight different installations. It is a very important piece that represents community, people living and working together, and in Gormley’s terms - ‘the future of this world’. It is an extremely exciting opportunity to work so closely with both the artist and the piece.

The clay figures have been shipped out for the Biennale of Sydney which opens on Wednesday to the public. Since last Thursday, we have had volunteers installing the work at Pier 2/3, Walsh Bay, although unfortunately there have not been enough people to complete the project. As this is the last day we have to install, we are doing an urgent call out to as many people at possible to help install the project. Antony Gormley flew in from the UK this morning, so we are working closing with him and Zheng Wei, the curator of the piece.

Once you get yer hands into KULCHA its pretty hard to wull 'em out in a hurry. (Rather like some other delightful things I know.....)

mayhem highly reccommends going along to Ivan Doughtery on thursday arvo - to hear the artists talks by Alfredo Juan Aquiliza and Maria Isabel Gaudinez Aquilizan - who'll be doing a rerun in situ of their artists talk given at the Sham a few weeks back.... talks go from 3.30-4.30pm - and thene the opening is officially launched at 5.30 by chuck sunnyday - the BIG BOS curator star......

Afterwards - just toddle around the corner the hill to Australina Centre for Photography - and then roll all the way down oxford street, right down to where liverpool street meets the portal to hell that is the crosss city tunnel. then stop. turn right, and wander along the parky pavement.

there in the wine soaked white boxes of day street. you'll find the biennale alternative openings - which like the 'alternative' mardis gras -promise to offer a cooler, more 'now' earthy, more 'authentic' contemporary art experience than the international art spectacle that BOS is all about.

up the stairs at 168 day street, LOOSE is staging a Biennale pirate-copy exhibition & publication project...

Called CONES OF ZONTACT its a clever pisstake on the BOS theme of Zones of contact and features contributions by over 60 Sydney artists and projects/spaces in the production of a counterfeit Biennale catalogue, zine-style!

The list of contributors reads liek a whose who of sydney contemrpary art - and the zine is a perfect textbook for new art theory/ractice.

(see list)
JAY BALBI : ALAN MCFETRIDGE : PHILIPA VEITCH : LISA ANDREW : BONNIE ELLIOTT : ELIZABETH PULIE : BEATA GEYER : GRETCHEN GERAETS : TONY SCHWENSEN : GEMMA SMITH : MANYA GINORI : DAMIANO BERTOLI : MIMI TONG : NUHA SAAD : REUBEN KEEHAN : MARK TITMARSH : TREVOR FRY : JUSTENE WILLIAMS : PAUL BORDERI : ANNA PETERS : BENJA HARVEY : JANE POLKINGHORNE : RICHARD GURNEY : TIM HILTON : VICKY BROWNE: HELEN HYATT-JOHNSTON : SIMEON BRYAN : IAN MILLISS : SOPHIE COOMBS : PETER VOLICH : BRIAN FUATA : KYLIE WILKINSON : JENNY BROWN : ANNE KAY : MOP : RUNWAY : S.N.O. : SYDNEY : SQUATSPACE : SYDNEY LADIES ARTISTS CLUB : LOOSE PROJECTS : ALEX GAWRONSKI : IAKOVOS AMEPERIDIS : STEPHEN BIRCH : GAIL HASTINGS : ROBERT PULIE : RACHEL SCOTT : GIANNI WISE : DREW BICKFORD : LUCY MERRETT : SARAH GOFFMAN : ANDREW HURLE : ELVIS RICHARDSON : MIKALA DWYER : KEVIN SHEEHAN : CARLA CESCON : STEPHEN CRESWELL :RYSZARD DABEK : CHRISTOPHER HANRAHAN : ANDREW NEWMAN : SALVATOREPANATTERI : ABRAM POWELL : MARGARET ROBERTS & HORST KIECHLE :JUSTIN TRENDALL : GEOFF WEARY : EMMA WHITE : DAN ZERO

why am I not in it?
well may you ask - well they are cool - but not that cool.......and they've rung me in as part of a critical chinwag fest on saturday evening (6-8pm same place)


Besides yours truly features in the Protest Expo at Mori Gallery - which opens the same night.

:EXHIBITION OF PROTEST Group Show at Mori Gallery features residues from the BIG SUNDAY ADVENTURE at Kurnell yesterday.

In addition to works on walls, works on floors, works on screens, there'll be a catalogue and DVD for sale. Names include Susan Norrie, Helen Grace, Lisa Kelly, Daniel Boyd, Zanny Begg, Adam Hill, and the usual supects.

the expo blurb is:
Stop the desalination plant and nuclear power station. Save Kurnell Peninsula from destruction. Save Botany Bay National Park. Save Gweagal Aboriginal Middens. Save Captain Cook Reserve. Save Towra Point Aquatic Reserve. Save Boat Harbour AquaticReserve. Stop illegal clearing of land

but more info, more typos and better grammar is in last weeks post.


I was incapacitated on the weekend and so missed the Artists run intitiative fest called SAFARI. it got launched on saturday - and I recieved a promo from one gallery stating THAT CITY OF SYDNEY have deemed that exhibitions that incorporate performance art are a danger to all,

so much so that they slapped a $1 million suspended fine on ON A GALLERY!

Safari - is another 'fringe' biennale event: exhibiting works by emerging and unrepresented australian artists across six ARI's (artist-run initiatives), five in sydney and one in 'the gong', from 3 - 25 june 2006. 'SafARI' will include works in diverse media including sound, photography, jewellery, ceramics and painting.
'medium, rare' gallery
3rd - 25th june 2006
thu - sun / 12 - 5pm

official opening:
china heights
level 3 / 16-28 foster st surry hills
saturday 3rd june / 8-10pm


ARTISTS:
Jessie Angwin, Penelope Cain, Daniel Chant, Tracey Clement, Simon Cooper, Shirley Diamond, Damian Dillon, Alex Gereg, Paul Grant, Chayni Henry, Shelley Krycer, Rik Lee, Natalie Masters, Xavier Modoux, Adam Norton, Sean O'Connell, Tiffany Parbs, Mark Rodda, Jasper Streit, Janet's Truck, Jake Walker, Rully Zakaria

contrary to the 'emerging' label, most of the above are quite respected, prominent and if not mid career, then certianly established artists. osme teach at various art isntitutiaons, some are curators and writers as well. if anything SAFAR shows that the sydey art word is BIG, and lively and interesting.

the timing of 'SafARI' capitalises on the national and international focus on the visual arts in sydney during the biennale in order to provide opportunities to the artists, arts-workers and arts-spaces involved. while 'SafARI' unabashedly seeks to ride the biennale slipstream, there is no official or authorised linkage. 'SafARI' brings focus to sydney's ARI's and the vital, formative and experimental role they play in sydney's visual arts scene.

more info at www.safari2006.net

so I rekcon the Biennale is cool this year - because it has proviked a shitload of punchy, fun and bright counter shows - that are more than satlletie events but a more interesting reactive response to the provocation of having an official festival of contemrpoary art. (its provocative because the very act of selection, curation and promotion is comthing that is exclusive and elitist). So its great to see artists and galleries getting together to do some interesting suff as well.

see yers round the traps

mayhem
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