Monday, November 27, 2006

sliced brown bread dipped in mulligatawney

Lately I've been receiving art reviews by SMS! how cool is that?

The above was about the entries for the paddo art prize. the writer described the winner as "the same with a garnish of parsley"

I take this person's judgement to be FACT - so, err, yeah, there you have it need to bother making the trip, unless you're a big fan of mulligatawney.

Personally I cant wait to truck on over to Dulwich Hill for "It's Time for a Climate Change". they reckon you can "Come and get your Climate Change Christmas, birthday and wedding gifts, or, something special for that impending baby shower at DON'T LOOK GALLERY from 22 Nov - 3 Dec 2006.

Are you waiting in eager anticipation for climatic shifts ahead? Can't wait for that rising tide of apathy to wash us out to sea? Neither can Brendan Penzer.

Penzer, artist and social ecologist, has set-up shop in Don't Look Experimental New Media Gallery for a two-week clearance sale; mementos, knickknacks and a range of life's essential contemporary survival items - it's all got to go! Come and celebrate our present social, political and environmental climate by spending your swelling mortgage payments on things that 'really' matter.

Direct from Cronulla we have white picket fences that have been ripped from their moorings. These 'self-de-fence pickets' make great paddles for when tides start to rise, make bonza spades to dig holes in which to stick our heads, and (when all else fails) we can come out swinging against anyone who looks different or talks funny.

Also on sale, some lovely (soon to be) relics, including bottles of water from our once great flowing rivers and some rare clean air samples from last century (including an exquisite 1988 bi-centenary vintage). 'What an investment!' Don't wait to pay $$$ on ebay!

Still want more ...? You won't be disappointed with our great selection of fashion items. We have some very stylish red-neck rashies; guaranteed to ward off both skin cancer, and undesirables. Or there's the 'Bible Belt'. This most essential of items will offer the support you require (homosexuals, women, Muslims and green's voters excepted).

But that's not all! Everything comes with a free set of mis-steak knives! And how much would you expect to pay for all of this stupidity? Don't pay the earth... ...well, yes, actually, the earth will do very nicely...

So get on down to DON'T LOOK for the It's Time for a Climate Change sale."


It's that funny time of year when Sydney gets completely frenzied - art school graduation shows coincide with the 'christmas' shows for most commercial galleries.these involve a mixed bag of works on paper or smaller works by their stables and hangers on - that are meant to be a sort of a 'stocking filler' for the art buying public. I guess it beats late night shopping.....

So early december is a big sweaty frenzy of hastily pulled together group shows - that are more about the show than the group - and lashings of free piss, and sweaty drunken crowds, with the odd canape.....

and then in a couple of weeks it all dies down. Art schools close for a few months (unless they're running cash generating summer courses) - and the commercial galleries all close for their xmas holidays - which can run from 4-10 weeks.

Late December and January are pretty mordant times for an art spectator, and pretty lean times for an art critic. DON'T LOOK Gallery are running stuff on December 20th and December 30th - but I haven't heard about anything forthcoming apart from that.

Even the Sydney festival limits the ART part of its ARTS content to plugging some show at the MCA. AGNES has good aircon and free films on wed arvo and night - so I reckon its the place to be.... and if gawking/gaggin at Monica Tichaheks scarey girlie gore shadowers gets too much you can always go and eyeball the preraphaelites and ellioth gruner in the old and empty section, and vow, never again to curse trendy postmodernists and their hold on cultural institutions. think of sydney in january. Lots of cricket and not much art. total total hell. this is why I'm pissing off overseas for the summer. I like to spend january in a black skivvy.

Before the gloom of an endless beige sets in - get out and enjoy the splashing stupidity of the artyparty frenzy!

Here's a choice selection of tidbits:

On Tuesday Legge
has their xmas party opening. you can see a selection of their highlights that you may have missed - including JUMAADI, Alan Jones - and hopefully Catherine Hearse - and definitely My Mate Steve.
6-8pm tuesday 28th november at 183 Regent Street Redfern
Show runs till 9the december, then gallery is closed till 5th feb.

On Wednesday COFA has its big fine arts graduation show. Traditionally it was held on the same night as the NAS graduation show and oxford street was awash with pissed art students and coteries staggering between the two - but they've separated the nights.

so - no excuses for not making both opening nights. (except cirrrhosis). this is the last chance probably to see the two distinct art schools and examine what the hell makes them so different - or similar. ahhh F-block!, F-block! thank you for the memories!

On Thursday NAS has the same thing
. ahh! - goon!, sandstone! objets d'art and angsted students! will we ever see you again?

Friday - I forgot what's on.

Saturday - Sheffer Gallery has an opening called SWEET DECEMBER - which opens from 5-7pm and runs till December 23rd.(38 Lander Street Darlo)

Sheffer is a small, but extremely attractive gallery between abercrombie street, redfern and sydney Uni. they've had some really interesting shows by unsnathced up artists with amazing results - shannon Johnston's show being a case in point.
the new show has small paintings by Sandra Winkworth of funny looking BIRDS, plus some larger paintings by HIROMI OZAKI - that look more like linear draiwings of flowers and blossoms. Tres noice. i'm goin for the photos by PAOLA TALBERT, who (in between gigs as paparazzi for Schappylle Scragg) has been working on a series of DROWNING VIRGINS for the past 5 years. Her prints are large floaty sonnets of underwater light, flowing fabric and hair and soft dabbled limbs. right up mayhems alley.

On radio today - i'll gabble more about the stuff I saw last week - especially IT's A NEW DAY - but save the UWS review for my art schools lament next week.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Claire Conroy's Lightspeed

This week on Art and Mayhem, Lucazoid interviewed Claire Conroy, who has an exhibition of pinhole photographs taken inside the back of a truck as she journeyed from the eastern rim of the Sydney basin, all the way to the foot of the Blue Mountains. There's a small snippet at the end, of a sound work by Kelly Sturgess. Conroy invited several sound artists to make a sonic response to the photographs, working with field recordings taken during the exposure of the pinhole photo. You can listen to the interview here [9min 8mb mp3 file]. Claire's exhibition is on at Mori Gallery until December 2, 2006.

Daz also has a new segment on Monday Overdrive called "The Spider". This week she interviewed West Australian blogger Emma Lurie about her project "Adopt a Microbe". You can listen to that one (which includes some terrific dramatisations of talking microbes!!) here [6 min 6mb mp3 file]

This week, get along to see: (scroll down for more details on all of these, at Mayhem's posting "Pissy Season" below)...

- the Martin Sharp retrospective (including new works) at the Ivan Dougherty gallery (opening Tues 21st Nov) ...

-The UWS Nepean final graduation exhibition, opening on Friday night at Z building, UWS Penrith Campus (Kingswood).

-Artist-Curator speed dating. Sat night, 6pm, Artspace, Wooloomooloo.
Yes, that's right. Organised by Anne Kay and Josie Cavallaro. For all the details see the it's a new day blog.

-Engage art and Interactivity Conference at UTS. 26-28 November. For all the details see their site.

-another SquatSpace Redfern Waterloo Tour of Beauty, happening Sat 25 Nov, 2-6pm. For all the details see the SquatSpace website.

It's the pissy SEASON!

Get you're drinking boots on - coz it's time for art, goon and sweaty hangovers!

There's so much free piss - that I've confined plugs to QUALITY ART!

Tomorrow night a big Martin Sharpe retrospective opens at IVAN DOUGHERTY galery - next to COFA in Paddington.

Wedensdya everything opens but mayhem strongly recommends

BRENDAN PENZER 'It's Time For A Climate Change'
an un(site)ly specific installation at
Don't Look Experimental
New Media Gallery.
419 New Canterbury Rd
Dulwich Hill


"It's a new Day" promises to revolutionise the exclusive KLUB KOOL atmosphere of most ARTSPACE RESIDENCY OPENINGS - with a completely insane wildboys cave party!
this will kick of a month of everything from speed dating to barn dances.

so giddown to Cowper Wharf Road woolloomoolloo and go into that big old building opposite the Pie Cart!



Bloody crying shame and worth trucking on out to Penrith for.

The opening night will be on Friday the 24th November at the infamous Z building at Kingswood Campus to be officially opened by special guest Kon Gouriotis (Executive Director of Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre).
With only ten days to go this is your chance to support the next generation of Western Sydney artists, and an exciting opportunity to venture out West if this is not the norm for you.

For more information check out:


Speed Dating at ARTSPACE!

If you are sick of fun and frivolity and want a nice bums on seats ponderous chingwag - then DON't MISS THIS!

ENGAGE: Interaction, Art and Audience Experience
University of Technology, Sydney, Australia
26-28 November 2006

FREE PUBLIC TALKS - Sunday 26 November 3-5pm
UTS Building 2 - Level 4 - Theatre 13 (map:

Tim Boykett, Founding member of Time’s Up, Austria
Professor Ernest Edmonds, Director of Creativity and Cognition Studios,
Professor Beryl Graham, Co-editor of CRUMB, resource for new media
curating, UK

The full symposium includes more than 30 presentations by leading
researchers in the field of interaction, art and audience experience,
featured talks by:

Andrew Brown - Manager, Digital Media Program at ACID, Australia
Bill Gaver - Professor of Design, Goldsmiths College, University of
London, UK
Mike Stubbs - Head of Exhibitions at the Australian Cenre for the
Image, Australia

Provisional Programme online

Sponsored by:
ACID, the Australasian CRC for interaction Design
ANAT, Australian Network for Art and Technology

And, for your touring pleasure... Tour of Beauty:
In response to Engage and OzCHI conference at UTS, Sydney’s SquatSpace
be running another popular ‘Redfern Waterloo Tour of Beauty’, a bus and
bicycle tour of a number of Redfern-Waterloo’s housing, development and
historical hotspots. For further information, please go to:

For further information, please contact Deborah Turnbull on +61 2 9514

Monday, November 13, 2006

CITYtalking - Astra Howard

This week on Art and Mayhem, Lucazoid spoke with Daz about CITYtalking, a project by Astra Howard in the laneways of Melbourne. Astra, in her mobile conversation booth, roamed the inner city streets and lanes. Conversations were transcribed and became scrolling LED messages on the outside surface of the booth. Lucazoid sat in the booth with Astra and asked her about the project.

Listen to the segment as it went to air on 2ser here. (8mb 9 min mp3)

or - Listen to a chunk of conversation between Lucazoid and Astra here. (2.5mb 5 min mp3)

(Note the sound quality is sometimes a little poor due to the fact that the recording was being made with a microphone shoved up against a little intercom speaker! But it certainly gives the atmosphere of the street!)


Also this week, we suggested you get along to Cross Art Projects for this:

The Cross Art Projects exhibition & talks invitation


You are invited to a conversation with artist Poklong Anading and Ramon E.S. Lerma, curator Ateneo Art Gallery, Ateneo de Manila University.

When: Saturday 18 November, 4 to 6pm, with drinks after Exhibition on View: 10 to 19 November 2006
Where: The Cross Art Projects
33 Roslyn Street , Kings Cross, Sydney (opposite St
Lukes Hospital gates)
Information: Jo Holder 9357 2058 or 0406 537933

The Cross Art Projects
A space for independent art & curatorial studies
Director: Jo Holder
Wednesday to Saturday, 11 to 6
T: + 61 (02) 9357-2058

and this (thanks to Mayhem for these paragraphs...)

The Performance Protest: called "Sleeping with The
Enemy" will be re-enacted THIS SATURDAY NOVEMBER 18th
from 6-8pm at "Glint Gallery", Level 1, 226 Union
Street South Newtown.

UWS visual arts and performance is being shut down,
and NAS and COFA are extremely likely to merge.

While the SMH and the Australian have had various
articles from NAS 'supporters' often dishing out anti
COFA vitriol about the great postmodern conspiracy -
this can hardly count as a credible defence of a
pluralist art education system.

In fact some nasty rumours say that under the merger
COFA will lose their fine arts departments becoming a
purely 'design' school. This would SUCK as much as
losing the NAS.

Fortunately, one woman and one gorrilla are
attempting to resist the closures/mergers/crap about
art schools in sydney.

The Performance Protest: called "Sleeping with The
Enemy" will be re-enacted THIS SATURDAY NOVEMBER 18th
from 6-8pm at "Glint Gallery", Level 1, 226 Union
Street South Newtown.

This is not just a chance to sip goon while gawking at
a whacky art student in a wedding veil pretending to
fuck a gorilla - but COULD actually be a good
opportunity for a discussion and exchange of ideas
about the current art school closures in sydney that
goes beyond the fatuous partisan name calling that has
been occuring in the press of late.

I've ranted elsewhere about why I believe in
preserving as many art shcools as possible - but I
also believe that given the politicla climate of
increasing censorship, that

art is often banal as hell - but we all know deep down
that it is also can be subversive, powerful and a
vital part of 'democracy'.

while there are still 4 TAFEs offering diploma or
certificate courses.... these are included under
'business, design and computing" and as NSW has a
state election next year - they are also a bit

Does no one give a shit?

If you haven't signed the save UWS petition: go to

lets go down fighting!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

NAS vs COFA part 5

Cruising the blogworld - I found this GREAT posting about one woman and one gorrillas attempt to end the closures/mergers/crap about art schools in sydney.

Nasty rumours say that under the merger COFA will lose their fine arts departments: painting, drawing, printmaking, ceramics and move/merge the whole lot with NAS - meanwhile becoming a purely 'design' school.

Maybe this explains the relative lack of action by NAS students - and the firey support that COFA students gave to the gorilla girl....... anyway - decide fer yerselves.......

The Performance Protest: called "Sleeping with The Enemy" will be re-enacted THIS SATURDAY NOVEMBER 18th from 6-8pm at "Glint Gallery", Level 1, 226 Union street South Newtown.

this is not just a chance to sip goon while gawking at a whacky art student in a wedding veil pretending to fuck a gorilla - but COULD actually be a good opportunity for a discussion and exchange of ideas about the current art school closures in sydney that goes beyond the fatuous partisan name calling that has been occuring in the press of late.

OVER THE SUMMER, SYDNEY WILL LOSE HALF OF ITS DEGREE BASED ART SCHOOLS. (there are still 4 TAFEs offering diploma or certificate courses.... but for how long?)

"I turned up on the NAS campus with my bed, my mini-kilt and my fluffy white gorilla, Manilla, who's a vanilla dyke, and we started performing dutifully.

At that point, some members of the staff came to me with soft smiles and asked me if I was going to stay there long, that maybe I could move, hum, before the Honours Degree Show opens at 6pm? Please? And why not right now? No?

This is a rock, a peak, a peninsula! (to quote Cyrano de Bergerac) Un comble, puisqu'il faut parler frog! I tried to contact these people during a week for them to tell me what would bean appropriate time for my perf to take place, and no-one told me THAT? Ouh là là là là là là........

Never mind, ça ne fait rien. I went on and tried to engage with students and passers-by, to try and raise questions, statements of opinion, et coetera. I got a few amused encouragements, a lot of indifference, and giggles galore. No-one seemed to take the matter seriously. ARe we so used to the masks and screens that we ignore the faces and real world behind? Are NAS people so blasés about my humour?

You want my word? I think the whole Caca thing is way out of their cognitive field because they believe in good taste, les c...s.

So off I went, je suis allée me faire voir ailleurs, namely at COFA. Believe me, pushing a hospital bed on Oxford Street at peak hour is fun. Now I've got the six packs and each time I laugh, my abds hurt as hell! Thank you RTA for the bus lane. But not for the hole in the bitumen each five meters.

At COFA, which is to some NAS people what Saddam is to George, I had a better welcoming. Not only did the students there cheer me and engage seriously with me, but the head of the marketing department and the dean himself insisted on dialoging with me. I don't think they got the Caca humour either, but well, as Gertrude Stein said, "There is, was and always will be the official art, and the art." And heads usually are on the official art side. Nevertheless, the dean invited a few students and myself to have an impromptu conference in his office, during which he exposed his vision of the future if COFA takes over NAS.
As a matter of fact, he was speaking about it in the indicative future, giving us the impression the merging had already happened. Maybe it's just like the cross city tunnel, it HAS already happened but we don't know it yet, we'll wake up one morning and there'll be twins towers instead of the good old chapel. He looked really confident and radiated with good will.
But he was still heralding the disappearance of one more art school in Sydney and finding it would be a good thing, R.I.P. National Art School.

Manilla started sobbing and I got scared she'd get upset, so we shook hands and ended the dialog."

Monday, November 06, 2006


Extending an invitation to see new work by Shane Forrest
opening Wednesday 8 November from 6pm
8-25 November
A-Space on Cleveland
420 Cleveland Street, Surry Hills 2010
9698 5156
10am – 5.30pm
Wednesday to Saturday

The title of this latest exhibition by Shane Forrest, FLOAT, is in part a reference to the erotic`floating world' of Japanese woodblock prints. Shane Forrest in his non-artist life teaches Japanese. In many of these dissected observations of very ordinary suburban houses, so typical of Forrest's home suburb of Leichhardt, floats a couple having sex amongst a kaleidoscope of interior wall papers, rugs, tiles, curtains and other patterned furnishings that is a reflection of the everyday banality of our lives.

Amusingly his titles allude to the advertising phrases and quips that real estate agents love to use to sell houses. For example `Cosy Cottage Feel' and `Delightful Brick Veneer'.

However in these collaged, painted and often three dimensional works, Forrest celebrates the individual and his `castle' despite or even because of its kitsch wonderfulness. Rooves bristle with equipment to trap floating transmissions, breezes and sunlight. The flayed interiors reveal dizzying patterned surfaces where couples play out their lives, seemingly unobserved, be it in the glare of a television set or in the jumble of their kitchen. In fractured, pop-up compostions Forrest gives a nod to Persian miniature painting with its vertical perspective and patterning.

This catalogue of suburban architecture with its erotic undertones is both highly amusing and an insightful observation into what makes Sydney more than the bland landscape that it sometimes seems.

Previous exhibitions at A - SPACE on Cleveland and in the Sydney Opera House foyer have been very popular and this collection of new works is sure to be just as rewarding.

The exhibition runs from Wed 8 to Sat 25 November 2006.

The opening of the exhibition will be on Wednesday 8 November from 6 to 8 pm

The gallery is open from Wednesday to Saturday 10 am to 5.30 pm

Media Inquiries: Pam Blondel Telephone/Fax: 9698 5156 Mobile: 0418 239 244

Gallery Hours: 10am - 5.30 pm Wednesday to Saturday

Just*ice? Antarctica is melting
Paintings by Lisa Roberts

Opening night Wednesday 8th of October 6pm-8pm
show runs to - 3rd December, 2006

M.A.D (make a difference), Sustainable Art and Design Centre, 55 Enmore Rd, Newtown, 2042,
Ph:(02)95573411, Fax:(02)95573021, Email:

Opening Hours- Tues: 11-5.30pm, Wed: 11-5.30pm, Thurs: 11-7pm, Fri: 11-5.30pm, Sat: 10-6pm, Sun: 11-4pm (or by appointment)

M.A.D is proudly a Reverse Garbage Project
Reverse Garbage Co-Op
8/142 Addison Rd, Marrickville, 2204, Ph:(02) 95693132, Fax: (02)95609765

An exhibition by

Claire Conroy

Opening Wednesday 8 November 2006 6-8pm
Exhibition 8 November – 2 December 2006
Wednesday – Saturday
11-6 or by appointment +612 92832903

‘Nepean River’ 3m x 1m pin-hole photograph by Claire Conroy

Lightspeed: a journey across Sydney in a pin-hole camera

“The biggest piece of domestic machinery, which is an extension of our homes and our own private space, is the motorcar. When people drive they have the possibility of death at their own fingertips. And then, people are aware of a whole range of emotions that can't express when they're in their office, dealing with other people, that they can express alone in a car. You can't swear at your secretary for making a spelling mistake but you can swear at another driver behind your windshield” JG Ballard.

Lightspeed: a journey across Sydney in a pin-hole camera is an ambitious solo exhibition by Claire Conroy which opens at Mori Gallery on November 8. Conroy has transformed a 2 tonne truck into a pin-hole camera and taken a road trip across Sydney from Berry Island reserve in Sydney Harbour west towards the Blue Mountains. With a small hole drilled in the side of the truck Conroy stopped at various points along the way using the power of natural sunlight to document her journey. The results are a virtuoso series of 3 meter photographic paper negative prints of the view from the road – toll gates, motorways, bridges, roads, car parks and roadside scenery.

While the truck-stop has been a recurring source of artistic inspiration, perhaps most memorably captured in Ed Ruscha's photographs of gas stations from California to Oklahoma, Conroy's use of the pin-hole camera allows the viewer to return to the roadside image in a startlingly new way. The long exposure times - Conroy spent hours holed up inside an often sweltering truck waiting for the image to expose – has the curious affect of capturing the solid infrastructure of the road whilst deleting the moving elements of the cars. This coupled with the negative quality of pinhole prints makes Conroy's images extremely dark, brooding and ominous. The black skies, ghostly white trees, and completely empty roads imbues Lightspeed with a post-apocalyptic feeling of life after the crash of civilisation.

Conroy explains that one of her inspirations for this work was David Cronenburg’s film adaptation of the 1973 novel by JG Ballard Crash. Ballard's controversial book uses the metaphor of the car crash to explore aspects of contemporary psychology. It tells the story, through the author's own voice, of a man who, after surviving a car crash, gets involved with a group of people sexually obsessed with celebrity, death and car crashes.

At a crucial moment in the film one of the characters tell the hero “that’s the future Ballard and your already part of it, there is a benevolent psycho-pathology that beckons towards us… the car crash [is a] fertilising rather than destructive event.” Conroy pursues this metaphor in her work by opening it up to a new layer of meaning. What if the crash were not the specific experience of tragedy on the motorway, fuelled by psycho-sexual addiction to cars, but the crash of motorway culture itself?

In each of Conroy’s prints she carefully counter poses organic and natural elements alongside the empty infrastructure of roads. These subtle and gentle juxtapositions remind the viewer of the environmental consequences of a society obsessed with cars. As Conroy explains “in using an old mode of photography such as pin hole photography I have attempted to in some way slow the world down.” Conroy’s work thus situates the viewer between the autopia and the autogeddon, a strange world where the structure of the landscape if dominated by the car and yet the car itself has all but vanished from the picture.

Of course this exit is not entirely complete. Central to Conroy’s work is the understanding that the images you are looking at were taken through the medium of a truck, which was driven west out of Sydney on the motorway. And attached to several images are a series of soundscapes composed by Kelly Sturgiss (Flat Products Division), Naomi Radom (Coda), Jarrah Kidd (BumbleBeez81), Kate Carr, Toni Buck (The Necks), David Haines and Joyce Hinterding (Sun Valley), Giovanna Picoi (The Lunettes) and Sam Johnson (Swinging and Tasty Bag). Each of these artists has worked with found sound at the sites of the photographic exposures, incorporating the hum of the road into a sound piece which matches the time Conroy took to expose each image. These traces of road culture allow Conroy to explore the themes of this exhibition from an ambiguous position situated somewhere between a sci fi vision of the future and the well worn path of a road trip.

Gabrielle Van De Laak and Reggy Gunn
New paintings by two celebrated Dutch artists who have been resident in Sydney for the past year.

opening Noon to 5pm Sunday 12 November
exhibition continues until 26 november 2006

special performance by Melbourne trio 'Vardos' recently back from touring Scotland, Switzerland, Hungary and New Calendonia will be playing their traditional gypsy music with verve, drama and panache from 2-4 pm.

Addison road Gallery
142 Addison road Marrickville NSW 2204 Australia
t: 61 2 9518 3709 f: 61 2 9569 1642 m: 0412 590 779
Gallery hours, 11 - 5 wednesday to sunday