Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Art Students are finally responding creatively to closures and mergers!

There's going to be a SNAP AGIT-ART action THIS THURSDAY at 12.30pm in the grounds of the NATIONAL ART SCHOOL where some students are organising a BED IN.

"Sleeping With the Enemy" will involve a performance piece wiht gorillas, girls and wedding veils and a provocative play on the threats and possibilities of art shcool mergers/closedowns/cutbacks etc.

They hope to take the piece on tour - to the other art shcools before they shut down.


Sunday, October 29, 2006

some anonymous place between her legs

I got a promo email from the MCA about the Juan Davila show that's ONLY ON UNTIL 12 NOVEMBER 2006.

Apparently punter number have been down and the scarey old garde critics like Johny Mac and Smeethers have canned it, so the MCA are trying to flog the show off CHEAP.

Purchase a ticket to visit the Juan Davila exhibtion at the MCA, present the ticket stubb at the MCA store and receive a free, limited edition notebook or poster worth $19.95.

For the day of your visit only you will also receive 10% off any product purchased in the MCA store.
Offer valid only between 28 October and 4 November 2006.
The MCA store and shop is open daily 10am - 5pm
Admission: $10 Adult / $7 concession / MCA members free.
For more information about Juan Davila please see the MCA website.

I went and saw the Davila show a few weeks ago and spent a whole delirious afternoon staring, drawing and writing notes, sustained only by the odd pie from circular quay.

Since then I've found it really hard to put my sheer delight into words.

You know the tacit cultural myth that art critics are meant to review work in an objective manner? Well it’s shit. Davila is big and well known – and he’s one of the reasons why I decided to study painting. (Wendy Sharpe's Archibald winning piece was another). For some reason I came across the Fable of Australian Painting” and decided that if people could be that savage and delightful with the drippy stuff then that’s what I wanted to do with my life.

Davila's works are about excess - a crazed prmiscuity of references - jumbling madly wildly within each other in the most deliriously libidinal wya imaginable.

If Immants Tillers is the Ozzie godfather of POMO - then no wonder people hate the stuff. I find tillers bloody dry! restrained pallets, restrained references, choice neat quotes.

Davila is much more me cup off Camp billy tea - for me the POMO condition is like the excess of internet porn pop-ups on my computer screen.... and this is what davila's work exudes. Insane, parodic libidinal excess.... you can pick it apart , pull it, run with it and be pulled by the multilayered connotations.

and Davila has that crazy condorito humour that reminds me of why I like chileans os much - and he infuses it with the limipid aussie larrikinism (TM) to push all our envelopes.

So. I laughed.

I also cried.

The Woomera pieces - were starkly, intenseley moving. but this raw middle aged panterley politess was nicely set-off by the owmmera condom vending machine print (showing a condom made form loofah fabric). do you see why I love the guy?

The catalogue is so big and comprehensive that I am reluctant to repeat most of the wonders of the show here. Davila gives me reason to live. to fight, to fuck & to enjoy life and to scream out its contradictions and my despair in crazy peals of laughter, anger and song.

He also had the scariest versions of vulvas I've seen in long time. It's enough to drive person to sodomy.

I know I’m going to sound like a wanker if I start talking about some nice course that I’m teaching at Sydney Uni, and name dropping dead French philosophers, but I’ve never denied my onanism.

I’m a wanker. In as many ways, forums and positions as possible. I do it alone and in company, and it is one of the main reasons I don’t get out to openings anymore.

One day, having left my bed of play, I attended an amazing lecture about place, territory, home and habitus, and how our bodies feel a landscape or a space.

Pierre Bourdieu’s word “habitus” gets bandied about a lot. And it sounds like habitat, and evokes some sociological version of a nature documentary here we see the subject negotiating their positionality in a complex world of shifting signs…” etc. – but PB (being a legend) and Ghassan Hage (also being a legend) takes the notion of habitus further.

Evoking habitus as the accumulation of bodily knowledges (how to walk through your house after dark, how to know when to cross a familiar road against the traffic lights, how to walk through a shop or a street), PB evokes habitus as a much richer, much deeper set of sensations and experiences. And it gives a damn pithy explanation for why tourists always look like such dorks.

“Memory is bodily sedimentation of tasks accomplished”

My copy of Gaston Bachelard’s “the poetics of space” is on a friend’s bookshelf so I can’t give you the page reference for some nice quote he had about the phenomenology of the encounter between our bodies and territory: not only are our bodies shaped by our surroundings – but our capacity to experience apprehend and render meaningful our surroundings as itself in relation to our bodies, and the way our bodies have been shaped by them…… space is a product of the body which is a product f space. Or place.

As we walk through a place “the contours of landscape enter our muscular consciousness” and “its as if the street itself has muscles”. We FEEL our encounter with space around us as an encounter with another body. The ground touches us as we touch it. Objects are shaped and invested with our own fleshy affect…….

Such high falutin ponderings flooded my mind when I checked out Willurei Kirkbright-Burney’s video installation at Mori Gallery last week.

(its on until 4th November and you have to walk past the scary WA brothel photos by Karron Bridges – to get to a tiny little back room with kiddie chairs. )
both artists have used images of their own body – a common thing – and both works are nominally about body, place and culture. But I felt that “Peel” was a lot bigger, and more evocative of how a link between place, flesh and memory actually FEELS.

“Peel” consists of a lingering crawl over Willerei’s body, onto which transparencies of topographic maps had been projected. So the colour and space is already a bit weird, and adds to the dreamlike sequences of other splices in the DVD.

There’s a funny voyeuristic tease – but it’s more dreamlike and weird. Bits of rain like viola’s ascension series, a disconnected floating hand, and the close audio thrums bring us deeply into a space where our own body feels in contact with the projected flesh in front of us.

The projection presents a profoundly bodily encounter with flesh, space and territory. With kinaesthetic geographies, how place is embedded on bodies. Willurei's scarred, wrinkled pulled lines of flesh, her pores, and hairs are mingled with the raised ridged contours of the topographic charts. These are based on mapping of magnetic deposits around western NSW, with magnetic lines echoing the striated scars along the flesh beneath.

This use of video projection as installation, something we step inside, transforms the cyclopean disembodiment of the camera into a deeply visceral kinaesthetic eye. The piece is not about representation or decoding –but creating an experience, an affinity and an empathy. Seeing, sensing flesh, the mapping of meaning and place and territory onto flesh. Feeling our own bodies sway and echo projected vibrations within, sensing our own unfamiliarity with space, with place, and our vulnerability, is REALLY RATHER NICE.

I’d recommend people go and have a seat, have a stare, feel your body and have a ponder. Those who prefer disembodied thoughts to wordless ambiguities of visceral affect can think of nice confining categories and explanations; that part of Willurei's family are Wiradjuri, that her flesh is encoded with connotations of territory and colonial mapping in western NSW, that she’s creating a nice resistive rereading of the terms by which kooris get contained, confined, removed, categorise by place, time, memory and history. But because cultural resistance to genocide and political defeat always seems like such nice remote comfort, I prefer to imagine the trajectory taken by feeling, by association. Even honky white mongrels feel bodily attachment to places. Settler cultures mask our own strange connections to invaded lands beneath the nasty politics of guilt and denial, but maybe, just maybe, allowing some bodily affinities between indigenous and non-indigenous, (and I don’t mean a rootfest) – but a space where connections between land, place, memories and bodies meet….. well, hell, I dunno actually, but I liked the video.

O liked it more that the “Wik” video which was more of a straightforward documentary of a place I’ve never been in a language I don't speak. OK it was subtitled, and the food looked great and the lands are beautiful, but exoticism makes me feel ICKY. Looking at somewhere remote and beautiful, I feel cast in the role of tourist, and I imagine the heat, the mozzies, my own scratchy pale skin as pink and lumpy and sweaty, and purse my lips and think self righteous condemnations of honkies playing heroics in wild brown lands. But the WIK video is important – coz actually it’s all about to go pear shaped. Another two bauxite mines have been approved for the area, and environmental campaigners haven’t been allowed in to the remote areas to discuss the implications with the indigenous custodians. I kid you not. Bringing the video and the video makers to Sydney created a series of contact zones, between environmentalists and remote communities. Relational Aesthetics eat your bloody heart out!

Aside form Day street – I went and checked out Giacometti and the Dobell at AGNES and then had a longer stay at the MCA. (Giacometti is a famous artist and his work is great. Most of the works in the Dobell were a bit derivative of Kentridge, of Auerbach, and the new cool drawing school – but it’s free so worth having a gander)

On the way up to Davila which closes in 2 weeks – and which has a half price special on to drag in more punters, I checked out Primavera coz lots of people have said that primavera this year is shit.

I hate to go against the grain of popular opinion – but I liked most of it. (Maybe I just need to get out more). I thought opportunities were missed in terms of the arrangement. I reckon pieces could have been brought together a bit more sensitively and explained more – coz some of the stuff was quite clunky and it needed to be inviting. Dragging work from artists run initiatives and site specific street scapes into a white walled clean floored cultural container

There was nothing really mind-blowingly brilliant – but I thought the show overall was a nice prelude to Davila. The most obvious connection was with David Griggs whose bright crude graffiti style paintings looked great embedded on a ‘site specific 2D work’. (In English this means that some bits were done on the wall and there was a red mesh curtain).

In the same room Peter Mackay had what looked like bland photographic stellarscapes – until you could see a shoe edge. Intriguing. Here I reckon a bit of actual agitprop site specific installation would heave helped. McKay works outdoors – placing glitter onto oil spills – trying to aestheticise the banal. This made a bit more sense with the photographs of glittered sprouting potatoes, emblazoned with banal mantras as “No Regrets”, “Save yourself”, “Keep Breathing” and the shrivelled bread roll with “Believe”.

Tres noice liminality award goes to Christian de Villiers – with recreations of the circular quay buskers and the morphing museum barrier-boat tie along the red carpet. I reckon a CD of the Jamaican guy would not have gone astray – but the whole ensemble was a nice site specific segue between touristmania outside and the sombre spectacling gallery public. (also tourist mania but a bit quieter).

Actually I reckon they should have stuck the galleries donations request bucket in front of the sculptures. Or had slots in them – made them interactive. But that’s just me.

Round the corner – there was, what I found was the least engaging piece (for me). The Wilkins hill duo – “plague of inheritance”. (Hell, and isn’t it just! ) seemed to reference the worst stereotypes of bad emerging art without enough other stuff to ground as effective irony or sheer sensuous enjoyment. A brief catalogue of offending aspects were: ‘deep’ title, referencing some essential Grande scheme of the human condition. 2. Gratuitous and incongruous reference to pop culture (the multiple screens of morphed Bart Simpson characters). The gratuitous but cold deployment of slick consumer objects as sculpture (the aluminium screens upon which the installation was mounted. Incongruous and banal video projections (of a running tap and a spa), and some scary references to subconscious in the floor sheets. Hill was quoted in the floor sheet as seeing the piece as a ‘platform for a decayed but muted expression”, but I reckon it was just pomo-pastiche lite, and way too ‘90’s for my liking. I hate to bag out work, but playing with a complex set of codes, smack bang in the middle of a thoroughfare, presenting a stylised self conscious spectacle of the alienation of everyday life, is, well, alienating. People do just go ‘err, that’s shit’ (I know coz I saw them do it) and walk away. I had flashbacks to the Palais de Tokyo before it got all relational and did the same.

Fortunately the wall nearby had charm, quirkiness, affect, humour all wound up in words and pictures. Chaynni Henri's series of cartoons were GREAT and reminded me of how much I miss TextaQueen. It’s interesting how the dumb drawing approach seems to be so appealing. Henri’s flattened distorted figures, outlined in black and with bold simplified planes of acrylic colour actually belie a strong and skilled pictorial ability. The cutesy kiddie style comments, and the pencil lines ruled beneath each line of texta written text reminded me of school project books. This sort of pop cultural reminder – actually worked to fulfil a lot of the claims of the Wilkins-Hill piece, but there was so much wit and warmth in the text. My favourite line of the week is “she grabbed his aviator sunnies and squelched them in some anonymous place between her legs and stuck them back on his head”. Maybe I’m just a sucker for redemption. Coz the Retablo piece, dedicated to the virgin of “Tiwi and Arafura”, thanking her for removing Henri's family from Palmerston, reminded me of the delightful capacity of imagination and play to transform banality and hell into something fun and surprising.

The quiet room on the right had a series of scary candle glass lady objects by Benjamin Armstrong. They reminded me of Hans Bellmer’s ‘poupees', but I had to admire the craft. I got down on my knees, onto the lino floor and prayed to Ricky swallow. I then saw what some sort of statement about installation, assemblage and the everyday – but Katherine Huang. I reckon her piece would have gone better next to Simon Yates in the next room. Just for fine reruns of the fun-plays of arte-povera (and not the kleenwipe version presented at the MCA 4 years ago) – but mad clunky clutter. Odd juxtapositions of alienated objects that are still contemplatably beautiful. Yates stuff tho – his balloon robot and mad little scruffy machines have far more grounding in Psycho-geography and Paraphysis. Hands up who knows what that means? Probably not many visitors to the MCA –and there was no mention on the floor sheets. This is a damn shame and I wish Rheuban Keenan was still at the MCA to engineer some gallery educational bit so the punters could see the connection. I took Yates’s transparent map – rewriting a derive of Sydney harbour as central Paris – and decided to go on a wanter and pretend I was in the 9eme.

This is one of the dilemmas of curation: coz art historians and theory nuts and aged art punters like ‘moi’ – know the work know the plays and see the possibilities of what the works are trying to evoke – but if the pieces are just objects or photos stuck in a white walled space – then most viewers will see them as ‘art’. A strange isolated enigmatic but probably pretty meaningless bit of ephemera. Damn shame really.

Fortunately the room was saved by a series of Rod McAffies’ Mr. potato head fine quirky paintings. I guess painting is officially back innit? Exquisite quirky eat your heart out.

Heading up the stairs – there were more random object stuff – Fergus Binns had an abandoned bag (Yeah… but I would have been more impressed if it was installed in a train station….. the gallery is such a safe space for arty agitprop pranks), matched by as series of vegemite paintings and assorted Aussie icons. I wonder if Binns wants to join CACA?

Koji Rui had a room like a coke fiends dream land. The guy has moved on from crystalline straw sculptures in to the pure snow magic of exquisite polystyrene. I loved this room –and then enjoyed the video of his tactile drawing experience. First I didn’t know it was his – (coz it shows the artist with a box on head). And to be honest I found the whole installation set –up a little pretentious and I wish I could have seen the drawings. Maybe they were shit? It was a nice idea tho.

The last room – a funny little site – had a STRANGE juxtaposition of the exquisite corpses (tiny mounted dead animals) by Julia Deville. These reminded me a LOT of the object designs by E. Armonious at Gaffa – so I dunno who is imitating who. Thing Del Catherine Barton as object design Small cute and quite creepy.

The rest of the room got taken up by a massive bong-nation installation by Mathew Griffin – that would have matched Griggs’ work far more than the quiet little creepiness of De Ville. I liked the raver stick figure and admired the skinny scoob-leg jeans. But its cheap and nasty, like the pollywaffle masquerading as a turd floating in a bucket of water. Bongs, puking, chocolate, greed, smoke, webs, raves. With a shallow smirk I headed up the stairs.

And on the third level I found redemption and life. “quell joie!” sang my soul as I peeked at the Arkley/Davila duo next to the stairs, and then it continued.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

It's another BLLOODY BIG WEEK!


ART AND MAYHEM will have the worlds first RADIO STRIPATHON!
Over 2 hours Daz and Mayhem will remove one item of clothing in exchange for each subscription or donation from callers during the show!

It's all in aid of 2SER and keeping it on air.

tune in from 4-6pm either from the streaming link or 107.3 on ye olde FM radio dial.
you can subscribe by calling 9514 9514 but also online.


support the last vestiges of art education in sydney at: SELF RAISING -
at Kudos Gallery, 6 Napier St. Paddington

UNSW College of Fine Arts is regarded as one of Australia’s premier
university art and design schools, COFA excels in nurturing exceptional
talent in artists and designers who go forward to mould and shape the
image and ideas of our nation.

COFA SA's fourth annual emerging artist and designer award, SELF RAISING,
promotes the work of the next generation, direct from the studios of
the university, our future Art and Design stars.

COFA Students' Association invited student artists and designers to
submit work for competition, well over 200 entries were received, and the 40
finalists will be shown at Kudos Gallery for judging and exhibition
next week. Contemporary artists THE KINGPINS lead the judging panel with
Dinosaur Designs’ director, designer LOUISE OLSEN, and artist / curator
AARON SEETO. The judges will choose one over-all winner and seven
commendations. The works will be judged in regard to excellence and
innovation in design, concept, use of materials and technique.

The exhibition covers a cross section of art and design forms from
painting to performance, to jewellery and textiles. SELF RAISING gives
us a glimpse into the creative talents of the nation's most talented young
artists and designers. The exhibition will be opened by Dean of COFA,
Professor Ian Howard at 6.30pm on Tuesday 24 October, followed by the
awards presentation by student representatives of the Kudos Gallery
Management Committee.


"MEETING POINTS" by Jasmine Avril

AT DON'T LOOK Experimental New Media Gallery
419 New Canterbury Rd (Near Marrickville Rd), Dulwich Hill

WHO: Jasmine Avril

CONTACT: Greg Shapley - Ph: 0401 152 434, Email:

The exhibition 'Meeting Points' plays with notions of travel, longing,
miscommunication, and unintended consequences. Using fleets of paper
planes (symbols capable of inferring everything from childhood
innocence to terrorism), Avril conveys a desire to escape; escape from
the drudgery of everyday life, as well as our current dire world
politic. Tied to helium balloons, however, this way out may lie
cruelly just beyond our reach.

In another room a number of television sets will conduct a kind of
awkward conversation in mispronounced languages. This 'league of
stations' will use typical lines from language phrase books, spoken by
an anglo-centric computer voice. The outcome is a series of incessant,
systematic soliloquies.

EMAIL dontlookgallery@gmail.com



Opening Night Party is on at Sydney Uni with screenings over 3 days.

Two-wheeled transportation will take over Sydney, Australia as the Sixth Annual Bicycle Film Festival rolls into town. The Bicycle Film Festival (BFF) kicks off on October 26, 2006 with the opening night Bikes Rock Pary and screenings October 27 and 28 at the University of Sydney, Bosch Theatre 2, Western Ave, Camperdown (close to Carillon Ave). Valet bicycle parking provided by MASSBUG.

Admission $10 + booking fee per session.
$37 + booking fee for a festival pass - limited number only!


Walking the street ended on sunday ad despite my whinges about dogy token ocmmunity art projects it had some really nice stuff innit.

Personal faves were ticket bags in bike shop, plus weird dolly head bottles, and the glittery horsey further down.

WTS organisers have a public poll - so punters can vote for favourite work!

This year the public get a chance to vote on their favourite artwork! In order to vote please provide name of artist, title of artwork and shopfront site. You can vote by email info@innerwestcs.org.au or by phone 02 9519 0815 or text message 0422 107 074. The Peoples' Choice Award is $400 Cash Award, $200 voucher for Covered in Paint, $50 gift voucher at Leo Monks and a $35 gift voucher at Fish records so vote now and make an artist smile!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Stripping Back

it was today

but no, I didn't mention it on radio - coz I was too het up about this UWS affair

University of Western Sydney arts students have set up a petition to protest the decision on the part of the University's College of Arts/School of Communication Arts to suspend its Fine Arts and Electronic Arts programs and abandon its Performance program. The Fine Arts and Electronic Arts programs as they currently exist are being taught out, and the plan is for a Bachelor of Contemporary Arts to replace them. Intake for this program has been indefinitely suspended.

with the NAS likely to merge with COFA and now the UWS 'suspension", basically it looks like Sydney's art schools are gonna be HALVED in 2008.Unless poeple seriosuly start kicking up a stink.

Can't we introduce art into the winter olympics? - Koji roji's polystyrene sculptures would go down a treat in the opening ceremony, Owen Leong and the wildboys would look great on the skating rink, Ron Swan could make some great forms for the snowboarders, and we could slop some paint down on the curling rink! there's gotta be an ARC /AIS research grant in there somewhere, surely!

while plugging the audio presence of the art and mayhem blog (whihc I was too blonde to record - so sorry no podcasting) allow me to give a sneak preview of next weeks show:

In which I will not only review the wonders of Primavera and Davila

(stay tuned for lingering reviews of "effluvial mass of celebrated wrongness and self assured rudeness" coming to this site soon).

but next week (monday 23rd October from 4-6pm) I'll be blabbing in the background of the entire Monday Overdrive show - for 2 hours! (wow!)

and removing my clothes for cash!

Next week is radiothon and so Daz & I thought we'd sex up the show - by conducting an on air stripathon: listeners phone in and pledge cash to the station and we remove articles of clothing.

Nude radio may seem like a bit of a pointless exercise - but we promise to make it stimulating and worthwhile.

Besides, since UTs & Macquarie Uni's pulled the plug on funding 2SER, and FBi stol the cool music cred - 2SEr is pretty much solely reliant on the loving cash of listeners and the volunteer efforts of its presenters......

In the meantime, there are some great openings this week with two on Regent street in Redfern.
Alan Jones has "the Human Show" Opening on Tuesday Night at Legge.

Its the same night as Craig Waddell's opening - but I'm all for diversity. Some poeple hate blue and have serious allergies to Glenmore Road. Al Jones has chunky impasto heads and bodies in incongruous housing scapes. the catalogue essay is a bit frightening but the paintings are cute.

ON Wednesday evening - there's a Guan Wei show opening at Sherman 16-20 Goodhope Street, Paddington

guan Wei is AMAZING - with the political bite of davila - but he has a slick subtlety that can even slide down the throats of the grande bourgeouis art art circuit. apaprently the Powerhouse also have a show of his works on paper.

I've got no idea what the latest show "ECHO" will be ilke but for more details about this exhibition, check the
sherman website.

Exhibition dates: 19 October - 4 November 2006

On thursday - across the road at no 70 Regent Street Medium Rare Gallery has an opening called "Vespertine".

I imagined that this involved sexy looking lolitas on scooters but apparently that has nothing to do with it.


vespertine /ves-per-tine / is an adjective meaning:

1. of, pertaining to, or occurring in the evening: vespertine stillness.
2. Botany. opening or expanding in the evening, as certain flowers.
3. Zoology. appearing or flying in the early evening; crepuscular.

the invite sez:

The Vespertine Project brings together 3 emerging artists working within the field of Contemporary Sculpture and Installation.

The works showcased in the exhibition involve the body as well as challenge the mind, combining to produce a completely visceral experience.

Perran's "In Memory of." series recreates the sublime qualities and light of the natural world via artificial means in an exploration of memory, space and the senses.

Edward Horne's installation investigates the relationship between architectural space and the viewer by immersing the participant in a contradictory world which at first seems fun but has a darker side of surveillance and imprisonment.

Robyn Buchanan's symmetrical sculptures seep into the viewers subconscious and gently hypnotize the mind and body, while her photographic installation investigates our internal world.

I'm not sure if any of that is true, at all. (btw)

On Saturday there's an opening at Cross Arts (33 Roslyn Street, Kings Cross, Sydney - opposite St Lukes Hospital gates)of:

Craig Judd is doing the honours from 4-6pm

Exhibition Ends: Saturday 4 November 2006 at 6pm
Information: Jo Holder 9357 2058 or 0406 537933


Absolute truths are not the concern of the works in this exhibition. Clinton Garofano and Carole Roberts come together through their paintings to create a dialogue between Garofano's interest in Buddhist teachings on impermanence and Roberts's interest in changing energy within nature.

In this exhibition their works appear to sit in completely different registers: dark and foreboding from Garofano, light and animated from Roberts. However, what we are shown is not simple dualism but different aspects from the same focus of contemplation.

The installation by Garafano consists of 10 darkly painted antique frames, modest in scale. Inside each is text in a comic-strip typeface, painted with a black background on glass. Each frame contains a colloquial statement, dead obvious and dead serious are examples, which prescribe a meaning of absoluteness to the word death. But death may also be seen as just a transition point in this life, not absolute or finite.

Carole Roberts's interest in spatial concerns has manifested in both her public design projects and art works, incorporating ancient architectural motifs and using primary materials such as tree branches and metals such as lead. The alchemists' dream of transmuting base metal into gold was a process they often symbolised as the purification of the soul. These new Energy Paintings mobilize the metaphysical properties of her earlier works into intense pigments of gold, blue and pink suspended within leaf motifs that rest upon a white ground.

Garafano and Roberts have been colleagues since the mid 1980s. As well as their solo exhibition career, they have participated in several group exhibitions together.

The artlife has a nice list of fun events this week, as does fluffy town.

The wild boys and girls at artspace are always happy for visitors, real or virtual - so check out "it's a new day".

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Weedy Bits, make a difference make a mole

If you just wanna look at fun organic drippy stuff then head to Mary PLace on tuesday for free piss, paint fumes and glorious space inducing drips by craig waddell.

It's all about loving the land, adoring nature, ain't it?

Nobody just set up a great plant based relational culture project at:


and there's a call out for a great fun save the forest project by sewing pink fluffy moles!

(this is right up mayhem alley)

ARTISTS: Make a difference, Make a mole

As part of the fight to save Yellabinna Environment association on Kokatha Mula land, we are calling out to artists to recreate the Kokatha mole as a plush stuffed creature to be exhibited and auctioned as a fundraiser for the ‘mole hunt’ and fight to save the land.

Kokatha country covers large stretches of harsh arid land in the far west of South Australia, stretching from Ceduna to the edge of the Nullabor, It is home to Kokatha Mula people. Yellabinna is culturally significant to the Kokatha Mula Seven Sisters dreaming is connected throughout the Yellabinna sand dune system by rockholes. Yellabinna is home to 4 million hectares of pristine mallee woodlands, and to critically endangered blind marsupial mole amongst other threatened species.

This precious country is now under threat from extensive mineral exploration and undergoing feasibility studies to begin large open cut sand mining project.

As a tool to protect this special county, there is currently a search on for the endangered blind marsupial mole known as the ‘Notoryctes Caurinus’. There have been few sightings of the mole in recent years, however the documentation of this endangered species could be a crucial element in saving the largest mallee woodland in the world.

So we are calling upon artists to recreate this beautiful little creature. We are planning to tour the exhibition to Mori Gallery,
Sydney CBD, TINA in Newcastle, Alice Springs, and hopefully many other destinations in Australia. EXHIBITIONS WILL BEGIN IN LATE SEPTEMBER, SO WE NEED ARTISTS TO CONTACT US AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

If you are interested in participating, we will send you out an artist kit with more detailed information, images, and an official patch for your mole. Also if you know of a gallery which may be interested in housing this unique exhibition, please let us know.

Please contact Renata on 0422854184 or renatafield@yahoo.com.au
For more information on Googatha land see http://googatha.tripod.com/

Mole specs
: 15-20cm long
: 7-12cm high
: Pink fluffy exterior
: 2 fleshy coloured flippers 5-10cm long
: Stunted fleshy coloured tail 2-3cm long
: Hidden facial features
A google image search of "Notoryctes Caurinus" will give image results


Thursday, October 12, 2006


chirst the world is getting depressing sometimes.

My thesis on art education is rapidly beomcing redundant - not only NAS lookes likely to die - the REALLY innovative and interesting Nepean Cmapus of UWS is constantly treatened wiht closure.

Depsite massive state and federal words and the odd grant promising to promote the devleopment of 'the arts in western sydney' ..... well, the reality looks like they seem to think it can be done by untrained artists or social workery community based projects....?


so click on title of this blog to see the link about UWS - and come to the thing bleow on saturday.....

I'll rant more on monday

In the meantime, check out the following links:


and for pretty pcis of the SAVE NAS protest:


or if you can stand the heat - rock up to the cross

The Cross Art Projects invitation to particpate

What are art schools for? Saturday 14 October 2006, 4 to 5pm

Where: The Cross Art Projects
33 Roslyn Street, Kings Cross, Sydney (opposite St Lukes Hospital gates)
Exhibition Ends: Saturday 14 October 2006 at 6pm
Information: Jo Holder 9357 2058 or 0406 537933

In association with the exhibition

WHAT ARE ART SCHOOLS FOR? is an exhibition about the relationship between artists and institutions. The theme for this Saturdays conversation is the challenge faced by art schools in Australias current social and economic climate.

Although many challenges are not new, what is new is the 10-year reign of a party whose political philosophy is hostile to the arts.

The conversation will focus on the common experience of art schools facing cuts and downgrading. We aim to make a small contribution to the ongoing debate about the value and position of art in our society by considering the problems from the perspective of teaching art. The conversation might be able to cover ground not easily covered by the more abstract mission statements of major organisations.

You are invited to participate in a talk about your firsthand view of art and education and the current state of the affairs of art institutions in Sydney this Saturday at 4pm until 5pm. Followed by closing drinks.

Cross Conversation participants include artists: Justin Trendall, Andrew Hurle, Christopher Dean, Maria Cruz, Sue Pedley, Save UWS Art School


Past students of UWS Fine Arts and Western Sydney artists are concerned about the future of art teaching and effectively the resilience of art in Sydneys west. See the blog for details of upcoming events or protests to promote the necessity of preserving Arts in the West.


The Cross Art Projects
A space for independent art & curatorial studies
Director: Jo Holder
33 Roslyn Street Kings Cross Sydney 2011
T: + 61 (02) 9357-2058
E: joholder@aic.net.au
W: www.crossart.com.au

Monday, October 09, 2006

Spat n Loogie's NEW! Shop

Today on Art and Mayhem Lucazoid interviewed Spat n Loogie, creators of NEW! Shop which was presented in Newcastle last week as part of This is Not Art.

You can listen to the segment online, or download the interview here.

(Behind the scenes, Spat n Loogie actually chatted with Lucazoid for a bit longer - so if you're a fan, you can download the bonus segment here.)

Everyone who sees this work will wonder why they didn't just tell me to bugger off and give me a bloody nose.

Mayhem has been confined to the BARRIO - due to impneidng thesis committments.

(I'm giving myself a big fat davila flavoured treat before next week - so stay tuned....)

Forntunately at such times - art comes to the doorstep of even the most recalcitrant hermit.

WALKING THE STREET opened on Saturday Afternoon. Satterdy Arvo was a bit of a sinney art fest - with the wildboys having a mad draggers tea party at arspace and the scraggy art auction action in paddo.....

Anyway, the southern end of Newtown is currently festooned with orange plastic banners suspended from shop awnings - and the odd piece of lackluster incongruity brightening occasional shop window displays (but not enough to challenge the vapid consumerist imperative...... or the veneerable smatterings of tourist bohemia(TM) smeered over ye Olde trueblue boho thai takeaway hairdressing paradise.........)

the whole effect reminds me of this thing they used to have in Glen Innes when I was a kid during the annual 'bush-week" festivities (that's before bush week became celtic week). The local chamber of commerce ran this thing called "spot the window", and each participating show would have a small red sticker and sign saying "spot the window" - and you'd have to look for the tiny incongruous object placed in the window display.

I think they were trying to teach us bored hicks how to do window shopping, and we had to find each object and write them down on some list and then we'd go in a raffle to win a meat tray.

"walking the street" has very much a similar effect, and affect. Only there's no meat tray. Some of the artworks are OK, some are cool, some are pretty shit - but as they are 'slotted in' to a banal retail facade as a non disruptive, non intrusive, bland recuperated little frisson of simulated culture - they ...well, they make me quite depressed really.

fortunately there's still quite a bit of life left in the inner west.

DON'T LOOK is a fine example of affordeable, accessible detournement of a retail precinct into a STIMULATING ZONE OF CULTURAL EXCHANGE. Renting an old cake shop, Shapley has converted the space on Canterbury road into a veritable haven of multisensorial delight.

Plus he's got the quote of the week in the plug for the current show: "But what is the question?"
Which runs until – Sun Oct 15 (Thur-Sat 11-5)

"I was handsome I was strong,
 I knew the words of every song.
 Did my singing please you?
 No, the words you sang were wrong."
 (from 'Teachers' by Leonard Cohen)

In this video work, I ask a question. The public answer -- try to answer -- fail to answer.

But what is the question?

We see people thinking, talking, being silent staring at the camera, dumbfounded like deer in headlights. Why do they stand there? Why don't they just walk away. What has entrapped them? They look awkward -- we can't help but feel sorry for them and empathise with their stage fright (we've all been there, surely).

But what is the question? They may be able to answer the question, but their answers do not answer the question, 'what is the question?'

So, what is the question?...

This is an exercise in media manipulation, in human frailty, and perhaps even in cruelty. Everyone who sees this work will wonder why they didn't just tell me to bugger off and give me a bloody nose.
Perhaps someone will see fit to oblige during opening night…

WHERE: DON'T LOOK Experimental New Media Gallery
419 New Canterbury Rd (Near Marrickville Rd), Dulwich Hill
CONTACT: Greg Shapley - Ph: 0401 152 434,
Email: dontlookgallery@gmail.com

In Marrickville itself there's new paintings by Pam Aitken at Factory 49, Shepherd Street in Marrickville.
The exhibition can also be viewed from Thursday to Saturday 1-6pm until October 27. Milan to Marrickville is the name of the show and no, I haven't been there yet.
For more information contact - factory49@optusnet.com.au

Closer to the anti culture shopping strip that was once less beige - a GREAT little space has opened up at 30-34 Wilson Street Newtown .

In the words of the organisers LOOM is an extraordinary exhibition of rich woven texture and extravagant sculptural objects - and hell - I agree with them.

Artists are Sarah Jane Moore and Craig Russell and the show goes till the 15th October.
Open Wednesday to Sunday,  11am to 5pm until 15 October.  You can find Wilson Street Gallery at . 
Phone: 9516 3144 or email janet@wilsonstreetgallery.com.au


Profile Week
Edition III

Opening @ Gaffa Thursday 12th October 6-8pm (runs until Oct 17)

Artist line up includes-
Luke Barrie, Jonas Wong, Joy Lai, Mirna Harri N, Aesha Henderson,
Anna Belhalfaoui and Vanessa Kyle doing photography, drawing, jewellery, object and more.

330 Crown Street
Surry Hills
NSW 2010
ph (61) 02 93806266
gallery hours mon-fri 12-6 sat 11-6 sun 12-5


International Artist Exchange Applications Open

Applications for Council's International Artist Exchange Program, which allows for a 2 month residency of a Marrickville artist are now open with the city of Larnaca in Cyprus .  The program aims to contribute to the on-going development of Marrickville’s sister city relationships with regions around the world by providing professional development opportunities for artists and promoting cultural understanding.  

The exchange includes studio space, accommodation, and the costs of return airfares, living expenses and art materials for the duration of the artist's residency.

Applications for the program will be accepted by mail only.  Applications are to be received no later than Thursday 26 October, 2006 at the COB.  Late applications will not be accepted. 

Application forms can be downloaded from Council's web site as follows:

For more information on the Program contact Council's Arts and Cultural Development Coordinator on 9335 2233 or email: acdc@marrickville.nsw.gov.au.


Thursday, October 05, 2006


This is a worthy cause, with a lot of interesting
artists, and yours truly (or my alter ego) as
Auctioneer. -hope to see you this Saturday at

Stone Gallery at Eastside Arts (Paddington markets)
7 October 2006, view from 10am, auction at 3pm.

Presented by Indonesian Solidarity and Union Aid

Earlier this year over 6 000 people lost their lives
in a high magnitude earthquake which struck the city
of Yogyakarta, Central Java on May 27. With around 46
000 injured, and over 600 000 left homeless, many are
now living in makeshift tents, or shelters on the side
of the road.

On June 17 another major earthquake occurred, this
time under the seabed off the coast of West Java,
causing a tsunami that struck the south coast of West
Java. At least 660 people were killed and
approximately 51 500 lost their homes.

With the monsoon or rainy season fast approaching it
is vital that the Australian community provide
assistance to those affected. WALHI - The Indonesian
Forum for Environment has been working in each of
these areas helping survivors to rebuild their lives.
WALHI take a community-based approach to recovery
work, with a focus on revitalising local community
organisations for the rapid recovery of civil society
in affected areas.

The art exhibition/auction will raise money and enable
WALHI to continue their much needed work in each of
these disaster-affected areas. There will also be a
door prize on the day sponsored by Australia Artworks.

"Artquake is about people connecting with people,
across national boundaries in order to help the people
rebuild their homes and livelihoods following the
disasters in Indonesia, "says Jumaadi, an Indonesian
artist residing in Australia.

Artists who have donated work include: Dadang
Christanto, Susan Norrie, Arlene Textaqueen, Sally
Smart, Liz Cuming, Mikala Dwyer, Rudy Ardianto, Rully
Zakaria, Aris Prabawa, Taring Padi (Yogyakarta),
Claire Conroy, James Hancock, Mark Hanham, Justin
Feuerring, Melody Willis, Mark Gerada, Nathan
Pyewacket, John Bell, Jacqueline Olivetti, Caroline
Kha, Neil Hicks, Lucas Ihlein, Rudy Kistler, Anna
Wheeler, Jim Croke, Mickie Quick, Refi Mascot,
Caroline Zilinsky, David Griggs, Alex Davies, Locust
Jones, Koji Ryui, Jumaadi, Simon Cavanough, Ian
Milliss, Mia Oatley, Paul Ryan, Roslisham AKA Ise,
Simon Yates, Josh Roelink, Sarah Nguyen, Yosi Messiah,
Malcolm Smith, Lynn Smith, Hana Schimada, Vicky Brown,
Lisa Kelly, Chayni Henry, Deborah Beck, Sia Cox, Keg
DeSouza, Anna Kristensen, Deborah Kelly, Diego
Bonetto, Stephen Oatley, Richard Tipping, Anna Young,
Jennifer Ogilvie, Kathryn Fries, Lisa Andrew,
Josephine Roberte and more to be announced...

MEDIA ENQUIRIES: Please contact Amity Lynch on 0413
114 758 (miss.malapetaka@gmail.com)

ARTQUAKE is proudly sponsored by Art Business,
Eastside Arts, Global Gallery, Global Colours, Art
Spectrum, Bruyeres Gray Fine Art, Eastside Radio
89.7FM, Paddington Inn.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

With Friends Like These

Things are bad.

Today mayhem went out and bought 3 CD's - by The Smiths, Leonard Cohen and Johnny Cash.

Getting the following in my email inbox did not improve my mood.


Friends of the National Art School 3 October 2006

Just when we had become used to the utter distain with which FONAS is treated by the NSW State Government (all the emails from FONAS to Ms Tebbutt’s, Minister for Education and Training, office being blocked is just one example) when yesterday’s article in The Australian newspaper proved that we can still be shocked by their tactics. What followed was 24 hours of non-stop phone calls from concerned supporters until we were able to get verbal confirmation from the minister’s spokesperson who claimed that they had been ‘misquoted’.
The article concerned, written by Imre Salusinszky, quotes Ms Tebbutts spokesperson confirming that the merger between NAS and COFA will proceed and that the minister would ‘try and preserve the school’s artistic philosophy’. Follow the link Schools of art in unlikely merger
The FONAS committee immediately ratified that such a hostile take-over of the National Art School through dubious and questionable processes will not deter us from continuing our campaign to save the school.
Even though there appears to me no substance to the quote, legitimate questions demand to be answered regarding this merger. For example, the proposal that COFA originally submitted never fulfilled the criteria set out in the original tender applications procedure. If the criteria has changed then surely other universities should be given another opportunity to apply, otherwise it is COFA rather than Department of Education and Training (DET) who is setting the agenda, with DET adopting the role of mere facilitator.
We would also like to know how Ian Howard (COFA Dean) felt able to inform the staff only last week (at the COFA Art Teachers Drawing Conference) that whilst remaining ‘circumspect’, an announcement regarding the expansion of COFA to include the National Art School in the creation of a very “exciting new art school” was imminent? He also stated that the negotiations with DET were ‘going very well indeed’.
So where to from here? Certainly we are full-steam ahead in our support for Angus Wood (see attached article, Printmaker to run against NSW Minister) who will stand as an Independent candidate against Carmel Tebbutt in the State election in March 2007.
We will continue using every means available to ensure that the correct decision is made – and we need your help to do this.
We would ask each and every one of you to do what you can to save the National Art School . Please write to newspapers, phone radio stations, talk to anybody and everybody who might be able to influence the decision. Forward this email onto all your contacts. Every little bit helps.
The unexpected support that the Liberal Party has extended reflects poorly on the Iemma Labour Government and the way it views art and art education in this State. Echoing the voices of over 400 supporters outside Parliament House on 20 September 06, ‘Shame Iemma shame’.
We will keep you updated on news as it happens and would ask you all to do the same. Let us know what you are doing. Let us know what you would like us to do.
In the meantime, hold firm and do not be dissuaded from our chartered course. It is the duty of governments, as the elected servants of its people, to listen to its electorate. Democracy must prevail.

Kind regards,
Bernadette Mansfield
FONAS President

Mayhem has posted previously about my links to NAS - I'm an alumni with many many fond memories and loyalties - but I also DON"T HATE COFA. I really admire COFA's curent drawing research program and loved the last chinese whispers show.so I got really depressed at the in the SMH
Johnny Mac article/review

- which was facile and partisan and was more appropriate to an NAS funclub chatsite than a prominent broadshet newspaper.

Ideally I'd like to see Sydney retain the 7 government funded tertiary art schools it has (SCA, COFA, UWS, NAS, Meadowbank TAFE, Hornsby TAFE ,st. George TAFE)without any more cutbacks. but that's just me.

I'm concerned how drawing and blanket terms like 'traditional skills' are getting used by defenders of the NAS. I guess I'll save that concern for the PhD chapter I should be finishing this month - but politically I think it makes the NAS look like colonial outpost of the British Royal Academy of Art - which it isn't and never has been - and it underlines a rather seamier connection that makes me shudder.

Naturally NAS defenders are tyring to garner support from whatever pollies they can given the imminence of a state election in 2007, but the letters of support from Peter Debnam make my stomach churn. A comment in a story from 'The Australian'
also got me feeling icky. I think it was the bit about "an unlikely alliance between the elements of the fine arts community in NSW and the Liberal Party".

and mayhem wants to scream 'get fucking real'.

any punter can wonder just how many blond-helmet haired suburban matriarchs are there splashing away in the old gaol - but you can make an easy estimate from the population of four wheel drives parked around Forbes & Burton Streets. Despite being the cheapest art school in sydney (another reason why the State government should preserve it) - the NAS student population is the whitest, straightest and most affluent of any of them. Mayhem does NOT believe in the inherent attraction of certain materials or techniques to the beige, chattering or transgressive classes.

mayhem holds firm to the perversly polymorphous possibilities of paint, light, plaster, clay, metal, ink, charcoal, lenses, fabric, paper, mice and whatever oozing masses one can get ones bits on - and to the imagination itself.

also - the proximity of NAS and COFA to those shaded lanes of the woollahra horror vales of wall based investment displays - should put paid to any notions of art being separate or an anathema to money and its pursuit. it ain't.

anwya - I'll end this gloomy post - now - and will soon put up more fun exciting news about


stay tuned