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HR #6

Pablo has left the building - Michael Desmond


Picasso: The last decades
Art Gallery of NSW 9 November 2002 - 16 February 2003

There is no doubt that Picasso's genius dominates the art of the 20th century. His creative output altered the course of Western art from the moment that his brutal, proto-cubist Demoiselles d'Avignon was painted in 1907, when Picasso was only 26. Some critics consider that his influence began to diminish once he abandoned Cubism in the 1920s, while others believe that the decline occurred after Guernica, his heroic antiwar statement of 1937. It is generally accepted that his late works, those madeafter 1945, are not the equal of his earlier works. The current exhibition at the Art Gallery of NSW, Picasso: The last decades, attempts to prove that the late works are misunderstood and underrated. In the words of Edmund Capon, Director of Gallery, 'encroaching old age failed to dim his assertive creativity'. The paintings on display suggest otherwise however.

Anne Walton and Michelle Outram - Ryan Leech


Ryan Leech

Interdisciplinary creator Anne Walton and sound artist Michelle Outram, combined their efforts in a performative research project at The Performance Space, in Sydney. From this situation, as a participating viewer, I derive the following poesis.

A hand reaches to cleanse layers of
glass- and reflection
time displaces space
as if between cause
or causation
windex-residue evaporates.
By lighting and cloth
- reflection, the image
the layer
revealing by-revealing, concealment.

Joseph Beuys - Nicole Katz


Joseph Beuys : Actions, Vitrines, Environments
Tate Modern, London
February 4 – May 2, 2005

Nicole Katz

It is difficult to consider Joseph Beuys without first mentioning the legend behind the artist, one which he himself actively cultivated during his lifetime, a legend which has by now become inseparable from his work. In its essence it is this: during World War II Beuys was drafted into the German air force, and in 1942 his plane was shot down over Crimea where he was rescued by Tartars who wrapped him in animal fat and felt to warm him and heal his wounds, thereby saving his life. Robert Hughes has remarked: “Beuys’ wartime experiences have for his followers almost joined Van Gogh’s ear in the hagiography of modern art.” Yet this single, sketchy biographical detail remains important because it serves as an entry point into Beuys’ world, simultaneously providing an introduction to his particular aesthetic and to his most commonly used materials, fat and felt; and also to the significant ideas of healing and transformation that are at the heart of his life’s work. Fat and felt, and a good dose of ideology, a regenerative balm for a traumatised post-war Europe.

Marshall Allen Sabir Mateen Michael Ray Toshi Makihara & Jeffrey - Michael Graeves


Marshall Allen Sabir Mateen Michael Ray Toshi Makihara & Jeffrey Shurdut
Tonic, New York
1.2. 2005

Michael Graeves

What do you say? I've arrived in New York to spend the first week in bed recovering from my flu that started on the flight. In nearly customary form, have spent the recovery days digging away at my MAM, the Melbourne Administrative Mountain, that I carry around with me wherever I go. It's lucky the Lufthansa/United baggage allowance is so generous, and that I didn't bring microphone stands, tripods, favorite chairs etc. This mountain is 40cm in height, made up of A4 sheets (they have different papers here?)), and estimated at 6kg's heavy. It's separate to my email administrative mountain, which I have been getting faster at, too.

Jill Jones - Michael Farrell


Jill Jones - Struggle & Radiance

Collected Works Bookshop, Melbourne
book launch

Michael Farrell

The title of Jill Jones new chapbook of poems, ‘Struggle & radiance ... ’ evokes a measure of transcendence in our 24/7, 7/11 times. The cover image – apparently a representation of ochre— & the snugglepot punning gs of the cover font – suggest to me bushfire and the life after; this notion is supported by the wild honey of the publisher’s name (and once inside: poem IV, The Heat). Its subtitle, ‘ten commentaries’ undercuts this: drier, more detached, and sportier than the ten commandments. The politics of any text is contingent – but what about fun and happiness you ask? ‘Happiness,’ the third commentary, ends with one word: ‘‘maybe’’— doubly qualified by quote marks. ‘Happiness’ begins promisingly though with ‘Signs of heaven’ – transcendence after all? – maybe ‘maybe’’s not so contingent? Maybe reading backwards is asking for trouble? Ebyam.

Lesley Giovanelli & Beata Geyer - Margaret Roberts


Chromophobic - Lesley Giovanelli Beata Geyer
Newcastle New South Wales
18 November - 5 December 2004

Margaret Roberts

In Chromophobic, Lesley Giovanelli and Beata Geyer have collaborated to use their related but distinct languages in an exhibition that engages the spatial framework of the gallery in both serious and humourous ways.

Their work is related because both artists work with the apparent subordination of shape and
space to colour, but within this realm, each artist’s work is distinct. Beata’s colour in Chromophobic is like segmented, digital worms, flat on the walls, made as lines of oblong mdf panels 15cm wide and 40cm long, painted with a range of strongly coloured household paints. The panels are joined along the walls—and occasionally the floor—in lines that change direction from vertical to horizontal to vertical, once, twice or several times, then stop. The panels seem to have multiplied randomly and unpredictably across whatever surfaces happen to be there, similar to the way liquid spreads out over an uneven floor.

Up Close and Personal - Composer seminar series - John Jenkins


Chris Dench, Andrew Garton, Catherine Schieve, Felix Werder, Rainer Linz, Ros Bandt, Brigid Burke, Ernie Althoff, Tim Kreger, Sonia Leber and Warren Burt

John Jenkins

Up Close and Personal is a series of talks by eleven practicing Australian composers, held on successive Saturday afternoons in Cecil Street, Fitzroy, from August 7 to October 23, 2004.

Generously supported by Arts Victoria, the series presents the interested public and practitioners with an opportunity to meet composers and hear about their music first-hand, and in their own terms.

The seminars, which take place outside of an academic framework, also encourage questions and discussion.

Simeon Nelson - Joanna Callaghan


Mappa Mundi Simeon Nelson

Joanna Callaghan

Upon entering the world of Mappa Mundi I am transported back in time: I am a child and everything in the world is big and strange. Standing in front of data cloud, a cacophony of bright red shapes on a large white wall, I am Alice in Wonderland. I’m face to face with a massive playing card where the diamonds and hearts have spun off rebelliously only to later sheepishly re-arrange themselves symmetrically. Is this a joke? I’m not sure as I back away carefully. I spin around and find myself in front of Godhead Gestalt, or Keeper of Secrets as I named it. It brings to mind an unopened, forbidden wardrobe imploded from the force of it’s secrets. Appearing harmless in it’s cheap, cheerful, formica garb, it beckons me closer. I am not sure about it. It seems friendly but there is something dark about it. Paradoxically the Keeper of Secrets is transparent, revealing other forms and nuances behind it’s marbled armour. This is a controlled implosion, carefully crafted and manipulated.

Ilaria Vanni, Jonathan Jones & Panos Couros - Diane Losche


The Sound of Missing Objects- Reflections on the Museum

Diane Losche

Every Image of the past that is not recognized by the present as one of its own threatens to disappear irretrievably. (Benjamin, Walter. 1969, orig. pub. 1940: p: 255)

It is by now a truism that museums, many of which were developed during the Victorian period of high empire, have lost their identity, at least in terms of their ethnological functions. Anyone who has wandered the huge storerooms of the large museums of the world cannot but think of a graveyard, orderly and well tended, but graveyard indeed.

The feelings of loss, mourning and melancholia associated with these graveyards of artefacts should not let us close the book and leave the museum, rather they should make us stop and think about why these storerooms summon up such feelings. If these mausoleums contain lost objects, and they must be lost to someone if they are here in this impersonal, state-run storehouse, then a series of questions follow. Who has lost the objects? Where are they lost from? Are they lost to us? Not apparently, they were never ours in the first place. And who is this us anyway? Are they objects belonging to lost cultures, lost people? Perhaps, but if we consign cultures to the cemetery, we would probably be wrong, for the salvage paradigm turns out to be incorrect. The death knell tolled so often turned out not to be true and many a cultural Lazarus has risen from the dead. Truganini turns out not to be a ghost at all, and her descendants are alive and living in Bondi, Redfern or Papunya, New York, or Paris.

The Electric Bulb - Daniel D. Grafton


The Electric Bulb

Daniel D. Grafton

To the everyday user of electricity, still, the means of the provision of light are obscure. We know vaguely that behind each light globe there is a factory somewhere that somehow produces the agency for us to illuminate our places. It is for our occasional benefit that power plants run 24 hours a day. They are part of a complex infrastructure consisting of gigantic shapes and endeavours: enormous structures that suspend high voltage cables, a coalface burrowed two kilometres into a mountainside and the workers who confront it daily, workshops and maintenance, and finally, its administration from where a quarterly bill is generated and posted.

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