Monday, August 27, 2007

I'm SORRY Lauren!!!!!

starella with schappylle scragg's nanna at the Sham bowling club.

Mayhem was horribly remiss and failed to publicise the really amazing important things that happened last week

but there were so many everyone would have been too busy attending them all to read up about what they missed eh? between primavera, lempriere and EVERYTHING else...

I did go and see some art: and adored the HOURS exhibition: especially the freaky colombian video, and revisiting Sastre made me happy and Echaverra made me cry again, and a pity the sound was shit in the video room near the stairs and Apprently I fisted the soft sculptures a bit too deeply and upset the attendants, and lucky the tit and anus dress was behind glass or who knows what would have happened and "Socialism o Muerte" is BRILLIANT and THIS IS THE LAST WEEK SO GO AND SEE IT.

but I did wanna give a plug for the Trajectories of dissent extravanganza, and the Sandon Point Stripperama - and I owe it to my inner Scragg to promote imminent appearances of Schappylle....

OK: so please note the following:

On Wednesday 29th the second show for Trajectories of Dissent: the official APEC agitprop art attack is opening and its being joined by the launch of the FLARE in the void Reader to Sydney's APEC. This is where we'll have most of our artists reponses and is at:

Little Fish Gallery, 22 Enmore Road, Enmore (in front of Black Rose Bookshop)
I figure most of you will be able to find this one. Its just opposite Oporto's.

if you hate newtown or wanna do 2 shows in one night then I'd strongly recommend ernest extravanganza opening at firstdraft on the same night....

THIS SATURDAY Schappylle is hosting an art auction to save Sandon Point. she'll be banging the gong to keep sartors mitts off the gong, and laying whatever she can under the hammer, while getting hammered. It's at the Mori gallery from 3pm on Saturday September 1st. The exhibition will celebrate the history of the protest at Sandon Point.

Funds raised will go towards the legal challenge,being mounted by Jill Walker, a Sandon Point local,against the planning decisions approved by Minister Sartor. There will be finger food, drinks, entertainment, as well as raffles and lucky door prizes.

The following Wednesday 5th of September, we be the big Trajectories of dissent blast off. This opening is extra special because we will be joined by guests from the Asia Pacific Research Network who will bring with them their stories and experiences of working (and dissenting) in the Asia Pacific Region. This is at;

Mori Gallery, 168 Day Street, Sydney ( towards Darling Harbour from Town Hall Station, Day Street is the very bottom cross street between Bathurst and Liverpool Streets. Closer to China Town, Day Street is the one that starts in front of the Entertainment Centre, from which its a few blocks towards the CBD)

Schappylle Scragg is also going to curate her own show Looking for democracy: It's gonna be in october, and it's gonna be fun. for more info

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

dissent, dissonance, discord

I wish I had more time.

I'd love to write a long meaty rant about the delights of the Howard Arkley show up in Brisbane over the weekend.

Mayhem has long been a big fan of dayglo - but the shimmering intensities of Arkley's scintillating surfaces - moving me bodily in and out of sheer suburban horror - gripping me and my punk mate by the eyeballs was a stomach churning swoonarama delight.....

there's nothing quite like the joys of a live canvas hovering in front of you, burning out yer retinas.

so i'm a bit cheesed that the tome has confined me indoors for this week. Not only will i be refraining from a bit of ladychasing at the slyfox - i'll also be missing the COFA annual student wimmins art show - which opens tonight.

it's called 'dissonance' coz the delightful wenches of paddington have a feisty traidition of realising the problematic contingency of gender on which they are both marginalised and indeed mobilise as critical cultural agents.

IN other words - being a feminist doesn't mean creating a girlie art club or being transphobic - but assembling work that can engender new spaces of problematising, playing and trasnforming practices, identities and subjectivities marginalised as 'female'.

If you don't believe me then go check out the show yerself. Legendary luminary and occasional pornstar 'wife' is giving the opening speech tonight at 6pm. got along to Kudos Gallery - napier street paddington - right next to the Greek Orthodox church. don't forget your straws.

Meanwhile on the same night down the road at DarlingitHurts, Liverpool Street gallery is shocking it's regular fans of drip and dollar, by hosting a series of post pop performances by the romanian rebel, aida tomescue. Called "ceaucescu took my baby" Tomescue's latest show involves a radical departure from her usual two dimensional format as she has assembled a series of found objects and instaled them in the gallery wiht lashings of primary coloured acrylic paint, and text in both romanian and english. Tomescues work involves a poignant references to the Azaria Chamberlain disappearance, with the tragic fate or romanian children under the Ceaucescu dictatorship, and the current plight of central australian aboriginal communities. a Liverpool street press release states that the artist will actually undertake a durational piece confining herself to a corner of the gallery, chained to a live dingo, in homage to Joseph Beuyss.

This should provide a feisty contrast to the series of 'important works' by Gordon Bennett showing at 'the space that will be the sherman foundation for contemporary art - but is still a gallery so we should enjoy it eh'. depsite the show not opening until september, Bennet has already been lampooned by the SMH's esteemed critic for being too strident - and this is even before the show of muted monochromatic oil on canvas studies of immense immeasurable surfaces, has even bared itself to the patronizing gaze of art world luminaries and hangers on, acompanied by quality refreshments and the last chance to wear a black skivvy in 2007.

In the more immediate present, Don't Look gallery is hosting 'the sound of Failure' this saturday at the don't look gallery in dulwich hill (from 11am-5pm), and at Petersham Bowling Club - where from 6pm the titans of the time based process oriented 4D media will slug it out under the witty commentary of schappylle scragg

Thursday, August 09, 2007


to put the following review in some reflexive perspective I'll admit that i'm feeling just a lttle mentally fragile.

OK more than usual.

My major form of stress management consists in reading obscure bits from "the Logic of Sense" and then posting random shit on various people's myspaces – of which the absolute highlight has to be ‘the motel sisters’ – well – my favourite bit is the britney Spears song – and recently I found myself singing along to ‘toxic love’ thinking of evil vicious ex-girlfriends and then I started reciting bits of the logic of sense about alcoholism splitting the eidetic into a permanent fissure from the present……

And then I thought – shit I really need to see some art…..

So scrambled out away from the house and away from the computer and found myself at mop gallery looking at Kathy cavaliere’s ‘home’ installation… which was nothing like my home at all.

In fact I walked straight past it – and found myself in a curtained room with a video that looked like two little girls sitting on the end of a bed and one was stroking the other’s hair softly and tenderly – and the she started smakcking it instead – and it turned out to be her dolly – and I had horrible horrible sinking feelings about nasty little girls and the games they play and this didn’t resolve any of my seething mysogony so I turned away….

And looked briefely at the weird threadlike extruded organ bits…. And then I saw the boarded up wall of cardboard boxes. And the milk crate, which I wanted to kick aside, and spare coins in a cup….

I scanned the surface of the cardboard which was kind of flimsy and kind of solid and then I saw a hole and of course I went up to the hole and bent over and peered through the hole which looked like it had been made with a biro.

And what I peered into was a room – a large dark room – with a central object illuminated…. What was illuminated? glowings orbs of light… a steel frame shopping cart.

Cathy said she’d taken the possessions, the nothing, the deadening detritus of those deemed worthless by their shifting shiftless status, the nutters, the beggars, those ‘outside’ propriety, property… taken their mark of groundlessness – the bags, only bages, and filled them with light.

There was and is an incredible majesty in the simplicity. Delightful alchemy of matter… reminding me of the architect Louis Kahn – who worked on the principle that all beings were made of light and moved to the light and that light was the basis of human techtonics, of shelter…..

So taking the chattels of the shelterless, and filling them with light – makes the absurd bundles into a delightful poetry.

Hell.. and it looked good too. Backlit chiaoscuro elegance. Diamonds of darkness between the glowing plastic orbs…. Art is the alchemy of matter, where plastic becomes light, grey becomes a multiplicity, of silvers, slates, greens, our eyes adjust and our minds can imagine things as moving into something else…

That was the nice bit.

The scary bit was visiting a friends studio to look at a work so I would write a catalgue essay – which is partly being a gun for hire – but also a labour of love and so I went and saw this painting and something about the amber sworls caught in my left eye, and brought a lump to my chest and I started to cry.

Now I’ve read, and I own, and I love “Pictures and Tears” by James Elkins – but nothing prepared me for this. I’ve been close. I’ve had tears in my eyes at rothgo – had strange shudderings in front of Van Gogh, wet my pants over Monet, Bacon, Pollock etc….. But something about this work – induced my eyes to stream tears… I repressed a wail and handed my friend a tube of Russian Carmine……

But words are failing me at present.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Between Schappylle Scragg and Jacques Derrida

Oohhh this is going to be a bit of an angst fest so I apologise in advance.

Readers familiar with my personal - aka suicide blog will know I ain't been having an easy time of late - which may explain the lack of activity on this blog.

I've found the life of mayhem a bit hard to handle lately -and have only survived by escaping into schapppylle's world. Part of me thinks i should forget about being me and just become her forever...... but maybe she'd be less funny if she was permanent.

Skanky Jane seems to keep me happily with feet in scragglands and the culturati blogosphere - so - thank yee kindly....

Online worlds are a funny thing - blogs seem to be getting a bit tired, and apparently myspace is already 'so last year' and the latest thing is FACEBOOK.

i've been invited to join facebook a few times - coz it seems perfectly matched to the thirty something-creative class networking fiends like moi - but then i heard one story about someone with a surname of "Gay" being refused admission - and there's the suual trans/intersex/phobia stuff - but the scariest thing is that it seems to be less amenable to avataritis - ie maintaining a cover identity that is separate from one's realworld identity - coz you can be found and traced and commented on more easily....

Me - i like the gap between mayhem, scragg and the other people I am offline....

anway - the other angst - is me wondering what and how I should use this blog - and yeah - reader feedback (all 3 of you) would be welcome.

i'm not doing the radio show - coz i'm in PhD panic mode.... (explains the need for constant time wasting online)

And i'm unsure if this should remain as merely a postings site - when ACME and other email distributions and even the artlife do that....

and I seem to be fusing long ranty essays wiht bits of art in them - into my 'suicide blog'... and sparing other words for the tome in progress.....

Part of me things I should still force myself to get out and write decent thoughtful reviews of emerging artists especially - coz critical feedback and writing on the visual arts is really thin on the ground - but then I wonder 'who reads this anyway' - and I wonder when I'll get time to see all the show sI want to - in a way that can do them justice... and how often

so if any one has any suggestions or feedback - lemme kno....

aside from angsting and arsing about on myspace i've been reading and attending seminars and stuff - an I'll write something about derrida and hospitality on my personal blog - but it's pretty desperate times when the only reality you can cope wiht is either derrida or schappylle scragg....

I went to the Orlan talk at AGNES
i'm going to the Liz Grosz talk at Usyd Architecture
and I'm going to the Kathy Cavaliere show at MOP

Reviews are on their way