Sunday, January 27, 2008


I tried to pretend that January consists of some sort of major art hiatus just coz the ACGA galleries are closed till feb, but it's a lie... a silly fantasy.

Sydney art NEVER stops, just like the parties and the cockroaches.

Having sworn off red wine and tomato sauce, I've decided to brave the SEEN again.... so we'll see what my liver reckons.

First port of call will be Sydney's answer to Mathew Barnie crossed with the straight worlds version of Sexy Galexy.
Mark Shorter survived a rough hewn apprenticeship in the welded steel school of blokey formalism to emerge a decade later as a neatly shaved icon of masculine sex appeal: Renny Kodgers. Having spurned a career path of annual appearances in SIX INCH SHOWS, he managed to flabbergast all and sundry at China Heights last year with a masterful display of refined masculine subjectivity. Having embracing Lacanian slips of the REAL, this year Shorter is moving on from THE PHALLUS and has headed straight for the 'objet petit a'. According to the press release for his new show: American Anus, Shorter:
penetrates deep into the relationship between scatological desires and caricature in the visual arts. Historically and formally linked to the grotesque, caricature provides a window into the primal machinations of the human psyche. Drawing on these ideas and the potential of the anus to provide a passageway to enlightenment Mark Shorter aims to tease and manipulate the forbidden passage through the strategy of the alter-ego.

I'm not even sure that Uncle Kev could top that one.

Shorter will be copralogically supported by the other collective collaboration opening on the same night: a group installation by Koji Ryui, Shane Haseman & Vicky Browne.

The three headed for the hills and have returned with something... I'm thinking of a Beuyss in a brown bag meeting chocolate drinking straws, but maybe their title is more evocative:
"We'll keep our cow shit in the country if you keep your bull shit in the

If this isn't enough sock knocking then Lauren Brinkat has finally devised the ultimate tribute to late 20th century phallic mastery in "Live when I'm alive and sleep when I'm dead" - which promises to combine ROCK n ROLL and painting....

time and date details of this fabuloussness are:
Exhibition opens Wednesday 30 January, 6-8pm
and continues to 16 February 2008
Artists Talks on Saturday 16 February, 4.30pm.

Firstdraft open hours: Wednesday-Saturday 12-6pm
116-118 Chalmers St, Surry Hills NSW 2010
t: +61 (0)2 9698 3665 e:


There could be a nice continuous Lacanian little theme emerging for this post, but I'm a bit of Deleuzian so I'll avoid any references to the mirror phase.

But one of my favourite artists to play with identity, and reflection and the shifting contours of the slippery shallows of feminine subjectivity is SARI KIVINEN.
Her nail biting extravaganza in the Lempriere was a joy to behold, and she has taken the personas of various feminine stereotypes: the drunk, the bureaucrat, the trashy girl, the country singer, the experimental music artist... and pushed them into space way beyond satire, but into a quite subtle and sensitive play with the edges of her own body, and the interactions with the spaces where these personas manifest.

This is a long way of saying that her work is funny, but deep.

In Roles to Make or Break
Kivinen promises to create an intimate and confronting experience for those who seek it.

She has taken the weird sensitive spaces between herself, and her personas - or what is presented as an alter ego and she's directly toying with it... in the same spot where they've had a hologram for the past month.

There are 2 pieces, and i've enclosed the blurb from DON'T LOOK:

"Mimic" is a work that centres on the determination to fulfill a role and breaking free from a role through destruction. In this work, Kivinen attempts to mimic perfectly two ceramic faces in one video piece, and in its stark counterpart, destroys them.

"Self Determined" is an intensively created work, developed from two hours of video footage in which the artist, in front of the camera, sat alone, read books, played games, listened to music, watched television and ultimately, drank a bottle of red wine. The final result on film is only the aftermath of this binge, an erratic but intimate episode of self destruction. "Self Determined" explores the pressures of fulfilling roles and the desperation for distraction that ensues, such as alcoholism.

I reckon this will be the ideal counterpart to Kodger's stark satire, and you get 48 hours and a short bus ride between the openings too.

Roles to Make or Break opens at DON'T LOOK gallery on Friday February 1, 2008, 6pm
with a performance on Saturday February 2-9 (Thur-Sat 11-5)

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

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