Monday, October 09, 2006

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,

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 -

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


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:


No comments: