Agatha Snow exhibtion poster Peres Projects Berlin

wool collage


old masters (shut up po mo jerk)

peps ask me if I am going to do masters, that's ok, I should just get a better answer, like when people ask about comming from a farm and making art I should answer better, well I have one but it's really long, and if someone doesn't get that they are perfect for each other, dad spinning around on his heals in his workshop trying to find a solution asap is pretty familar, and that second generation intellectuals suck, creativity is a bit lame and adaption better and everyones parents are something else, well it would just take to long to help them get it maybe.

But Masters, I would like to do it if I could get a scholarship. I guess a double degree feels like a lot to have done so I havn't thought about masters, but miss art school a lot. I was not very good at research at art school, in that I would not go to the library with a topic and found the catalogue unsatisfying, the library as a whole was kinda more my topic, I would look at what people had looked at and left on the trolleys, I didn't really like looking at artists who my teachers directed me to casue they were making similar stuff, they suggested artists based on materials not ideas, Its disappointing if your not making in a realtionship to materials way, I kinda needed more advice on artist's as writers and text in work.

Masters seems lonely maybe? And too much navel gazing maybe? Though perhaps I wont be taken seriously unless I do it. Any advice would be welcome, I think their is a secret mannual someplace. I think I have convinced myself I should.

wednesday night

Victoria Park invites you to the opening of
'ART$MASH' VPG's 2nd annual fund raising show.
Opening Wednesday 19th December 2007 5.30 - 8.30pm. Exhibition runs 20th - 22nd December 2007.
250 Johnston St, Abbotsford
Wed - Sat, 12-5

the catalgoue of songs that people chose is neat-o.


a kind soul has let me know that Sam George made the -up the stairs to a fan piece at the VCA grad show, I wasn't sure who had. I wish I could have this one, I'd walk up the steps each morning and get my eyes dried out and be reminded not to be an idiot today.

bells and whistles

'bells and whistles' is something a friend says and I try to keep in mind. I hope she doesn't mind. This is what I think she means. Bells and Whistles talks about being florid. Florid in that from the push-pull between information and decoration, technique and device outdoes. Or in the other way an idea knows all about itself with certainty. She uses it about her time in New York, that art there was full of these bells and whistles. It could mean scaling up and down or hyper real . Jeff Koons puppy ......maybe. Or more like "Katie Moore creates ‘wooden’ objects using various materials, none of them actual wood" (from MCA Primavera notes). So bells and whistles can act a quip/tag to explain a practice, perhaps making a galleriests job easier. Though I think I might like Moore's stuff as the notes go on to say "The imitation woodenness of Moore’s sculptures is not sufficiently convincing to reduce the art work to a mere confidence trick". And b&w includes paintings trying hard not to be paintings, or like Tim Doolan's chrome ceramics not looking like ceramics, a kind of po-mo avantgardism. A system that seems to dislocates the object from having been made, in the usual maky way and what its made from.

I wanted to have no name for the blog, but it wont let you. 'White Child' was loaded and I kinda need to be on hand to explain it, I was getting hits from Texas, you know what I mean, and 'Daughter' is so Freud and Pearl Jam. So Bells and Whistles will do it for now.

Ed Ruscha
Jaggy Daggers, 1977Pastel on paper23-1/8 x 29-1/8 inches (58.7 x 74 cm)

I am not sure who made a work I liked at the VCA graduate exhibition. It was a piece where you climbed to look in a slot and your eyes got dried up by fan burrring back and forth, sought of caught me before I could close them and get out of what was happening. Dry your eyes mate maybe .... I am guessing that it belonged to either Julian Medor's car bonnets or Tully Moore's paintings from photographs of graffiti on brick walls installed on a painted brick wall. David Griggs. I liked it cause it was light and dumb in amongst a whole lotta weight. I kinda expected to turn back into the gallery and the work that was there to have turned into a surprise party.

I also enjoyed Gennet Makonnen's oil on canvas, in a way again cause of their refreshing ability in that context, and that's cause of their painty-Matisseness. They almost seemed brave in a po-mo world. But I am a bit pro paint at the moment.

There were some tankstand/shed farm photo's that got me sentimental and were actually quite straight and crisp in amongst the angstorammma, sorry I can't match what I remember with the catalogue, so no name. I didn't see the drawing department, but apparently its pretty strong. Printmedia is it's own infinity in a grain of sand, I only say this as a drawing and printmedia graduate.

Ross Coulter's Waiting for Ted is so funny. This piece seems to have gently developed as a reaction to Ross' honours year, Ted is Ross' honours supervisor who seems unable to keep an appointment, leaving Ross stranded in the studio, straddling staying or going and what will I do in the mean time.

I am going to get a copy of Tim Hiller's DVD At Sea. When I got to this work I near walked straight away. fashion youf jacket paints need pulling up all the time. But then my friend started telling me about this particular jacket's cost and texture and by default I ended up watching the piece. It saved itself with an old little boy boat. When the boat gets tangled in reeds and he wades out to get it, its pretty endearing. It just tied in for me with a kinda boyhood thing that I read into Matthew Bradley's stuff and others, I mean he is meant to be THE bad guy right, affluent little fuck, he will grow into a white-male-fat-cat right.

There is a forum at Gertrude St. on Monday night called Feminisim never happened, or something like that. Amita did a good raunch culture show at CCAS called Oomph . I hear there was talk of a boy protest (he he) what, yups it did?

it's hard to explain. And not as oversimple as this camparison.

Anna Schwartz Gallery, the work is by Jan Nelson, (it's not about Jan Nelson)

Studio floor


I made a comment on Speech2012 asking why the new posts, some good ones, about what's going on in Melbourne keep getting posted under the 'one word responses for the biennallleee de Lyon'. It's not so much that the new posts are about Melbourne in particular, it's nice thta there is stuff from all over, but just that they are new posts, new stuff is sought of how blogs seem to work maybe, and one could be forgiven for looking at Speech and think nothing is moving, but there is, it's just being moved underneath. My comment has been removed.

Drawing Show

An exhibition of Drawing by Alumni from the ANU
School of Art Printmedia and Drawing Workshop
image 1 - 26 October
Contemporary drawing practice has come to
inhabit an expanded territory beyond the page
and the frame, a territory that can encompass a
vast range of materials and outcomes. The focus
of ‘Trouble’ is the potential for drawing to
activate the space of a gallery in unexpected
ways through site-specific installation.

This approach to drawing can be troublesome for
curators and writers, hard to pigeon hole and
exciting for audiences as they are asked to
engage with the gallery space in a way that has
been affected by materials, placement or form of
the drawings.

Looking at Frames.

The Guggenheim Collection: 1940's till now is over at the NGV on Sunday. The first room is the best for me, the first room as you turn right especially. There as you turn right is a bit of a cluster of yellowing oil, palette knifed and ochered stuff. Its all a bit pottery and twine. These post war abstractions plus the silly op and the kinetic works (except the Fontana upstairs is better) add up to something optimistic and playful and none too fearful. Post war I guess. Its like the 'funk' of the materials is enough. I think my liking the chunked oils is just the shock of seeing texture. Shit painted like it was painted, not mediated by an interface, T-shirt or sticky tape.

As we chatted through the exhibition my friend and I kept talking about materials, but had started describing frames and mounts instead. We liked this, but not that, couldn't see the work cause of this etc. I don't mean the old stuff is better than the new stuff, but as works are forced into the similar longevity of oils, the frames , the compromises, the little hats and boots they have to wear so they don't hurt themselves don't escape comment.

Description of materials and matter and a common sensation with pals towards them can be sweet (SWEEEEET) communication.

But It's when you are going to shows and complimenting the hang and poo pooing the frames and not much else, nothing is fogging your glasses or making you want to make work, you sought of know perhaps that its all a bit polite and its all a bit mutual admiration society. Maybe this is a nice thing to do - you want to like someones work but sometimes you can be left clasping at straws and frames and hangs.

Elvis Richardson on TV

An interview with Elvis Richardson ( a favourite) finalist in the Ian Potter Art and Sport prize will be on ABC arts this Sunday afternoon.

Helen Johnson at Sutton

Hi Helen,
your current show at Sutton is on my way between the art supply shop and the studio, so have ducked in a few times - and its really growing on me-
Is it all about relational aesthetics?
someone suggested that, in the end, your work is hopeful, is it?
I feel the content of your show is almost undiscussable - that its still private conversation stuff- and there is no vocabulary for it in the art world yet, if you know what I mean - the 'alternative', communal etc has only just been accepted as the noble path in Australia- let alone a crit of that existing- have you found a stronger way to talk about these things in Europe?

Hi Kate,
The show at Sutton - to me it's not much to do with relational aesthetics. Though I am not generally one to be dictatorial about my ideas. Relational aesthetics seems to me something like a lava lamp in a gallery context, trying to transcend something but always as it approaches, it falls. (Walead Beshty is better at explaining this than me: http://backissues.textezurkunst.de/NR59/NEO-AVANTGARDE-AND-SERVICE-INDUSTRY_2.html)
To me the Sutton work is to do with trying to get your head around how individual actions become a part of, or exist within 'culture'. Especially now, when consumer culture is accepted as 'the way things are', sitting alongside ideas of environmentalism and sustainability which can never really be integrated into 'me' culture.
So the work is talking about broader cultural ideas which we are expected to accept, like 'man on the moon as progress' or 'western medicine is superior', and presenting moments when those ideas begin to fail for somebody.
It is difficult for me to talk about that show as a collective body of work because, though aesthetically in line with one another, each 'mis en scene' raises a different idea or presents a different circumstance, they are like film stills almost to me.
I think of it as being hopeful, hope through a cynical lense perhaps. But attempting to get people to think about their own position within society, their own everyday actions, though not in a pushy way.
These works are in some ways quite oblique, partly because they are embedded with references across the whole spectrum; socio-political, historical, art-historical, personal, mass-cultural.
I suppose there is vocabulary for everything in the art world, potentially. It is maybe more a matter of who is accessing or choosing to embrace those vocabularies, and why.
I did not find a stronger way to talk about these things in Europe. There is of course present in Germany the lineage of painting as socio-political commentary a'la Jorg Immendorf, Neo Rauch, Martin Kippenberger et al, but that school of approach sits these days more as a mainstay of the commercial market, it having evolved up to and during the demolition of the Berlin Wall, and in that way gained its historical relevance which has since been well and truly commodified. Not that that means it is bad or irrelevant now, but that it is within a sort of holding pattern of meaning, as other approaches branch off and spiral away.
The art world in Australia, though it may at times be catty and neurotic, is an interesting place to me, because it is dislocated from the 'global' art world, and so there is the continuing habit of gleaning some idea of an international standard to meet up to, and which more often than not is overshot, and so work in Australia is at times slicker in its presentation, more exhaustive in its ideas, than its global counterparts, it's something you notice in Europe, that often people are more comfortable with shabbiness or sloppiness in presentation than they are here. These points where Australian artists are looking in overseas magazines for what is current and then mixing it with something local and using the local vernacular to articulate its meaning, these points I think are very important for cultural production in Australia, latent identity-formation which will become more apparent in retrospect.
Sorry, what a rant!
Speak soon,
Helen x
Broadsheet: 'Defining and curating the global' by Mikala Tai
thursdays university saturday socialismo.

Utopian Slumps

Poor Jess - Some fool at block gallery has taken her sweet gallery name and convoluted it into a terrible exhibition title. Its so blatant - he hasn't got a leg to stand on - where else would you come up with those words?


oh dear who cares

if its too blurry-
'remember folks,
sculpture is the stuff you walk into when you stand back to look at a painting.
Response: Um, how about Fuck Painting its gone for good'


Viv Binns - sorry I am not sure of the titles, the one below is with Derrick O'connor too. I have been thinking about Viv so much. The catalogue for her recent retrospective is such a nice one - it holds in it her - if that makes sense ? I geuss I mean that it is less theoretical and more of a lifesyle explained. She's a trippy dynamo. Does the cosmic thing with gravity maybe, that psycadellic thing that we are doing with as much substance as designs for T-shirts maybe. She is so encouraging. I keep thinking about the weird carpark conversation I had with her after my honours assesment - bless her she really went in to bat for me - she did this smart thing I hadn't thought of - I would always have to answer for my choice of materials and would flop around in answering - but Viv managed to couch my using cardboard in Art History - she linked it to the modernists - one of there revolutions was to use cardboard - Picasso - so its actually a dated, daggy scrappy thing to use and not a cool kid thing to do, I didn't wish to be reactionary - I wasn't using cardboard to stick it to the establishment - how boring - but I was just a bit shy about making - and always feel a bit in between - not really and artist - but just want to think about art through making - anyways, Viv helped me get that across in my assessment - and I think she enjoyed the process we had this conversation wher she explained that after her initial show and the attention she had to shake it off and be a hedonist - what a lovely hedonist, it doesn't seem to be about self indulgence, but community projects and ladies. I miss those art school conversations - speaking in a egoless idea place. So I think about her choice a lot as I screw it up in this art town.

It's dissapointing, I thought of all the places in the world - you could be confussed- it would be in the 'art world' - but you can't you have to know stuff there too. Poor me ! I'll go now, sorry xo

nsw humour
went to DAMP opening last night at Uplands - it was neat - something that you didn't expect - not junky and youf at all - georgeous 'monumental' marble hand painted from a Better Homes and Gardens craft mannual- a sturdy constrction with chairs screwed on top, with just enough gap between it and the ceiling for sitting - outsider attempts to mount sent the gallerist scurring for release forms - Uplands is a great space with theh window blocked out - I love the parketry -parquetry? (spelling!!) floor, like the Lourve! a swell essay by miss Forde - collective stuff is funny in that we, well I, still try and pick apart who did what and and people involved lay claim to what they did - like on the invite I was trying to place each set of feet - a few people told me who did what- a few people seem to have painted all the marble - people told me their friend is in the show and it was their friends idea etc etc, I still wanna know these things, we wanna be included, it is sought of a ratio with the groups attempt to dissolve individuals. So apparentley they are going to have meetings on top of their construction and we are welcome to come watch, pop our head up and look at their feet. I think I might need to go there to sit down cause the studio chairs are all up there, on top.



Room with a view. Detail, Harris Hobbs collection - lounge.

GOOD THING from the collection of Karina Harris + Neil Hobbs

CCAS Gorman House

Main Gallery:

Opening 6 pm Friday 7 SEPT

Continues until OCT 2007

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------WE CAN ' T GO TO UNIVERSITY ANYMORE------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
--SO WE HAVE TO READ MAGAZINES --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

have been making this sentence latley. A long over due commission for a patient fellow. Also getting ready for 'Trouble' at the ANU in the end of September , Patsy's printmedia up yours to the painting department alumni show a couple of years ago, i am stocked to be in it, I love drawing shows, even if its a bit daggy and done, its a good one to keep being done.

pin board

hello cupcakes, hello sailor

Erin has just introduced me to Amy Sedaris. I have a little girl-crush on Amy now. Fowl Newyorker at its best. Lovely Nut.

Gene Wilder, Betty, 1997, watercolor, 9 x 11 1/2,” Collection of Gene and Karen Wilder

Friday Morning

have been writing some exhibition proposals.
It's pretty tricky to explain being playful.It's embarassing really, perhaps I should use emotiocons in proposals, so they can get my tone of voice?
Mucking about, has been hard to say. But hope I can work out how to do it. Proposals are floppy anyway, pitching something in the future. Gee wizz.

Cooolio to see the speech2012 blog spot has some new posts, funny spat between Tao an Michael at the moment, about Tao performance at Gertrude St, would like to hear from Immogen, but maybe that isn't the point?

Face book has been fun, but now everyone is on there and it's like real life again!

any hoot. Cherrio.

'Rolf' 2007

'stupid as a painter, after those guys' 2007

'art v's the ecosystem' 2006

'no more objects, thanks but none' 2007

'Sunday Reed is Organic' 2006

'patronising inside-outness, are you getting it, I'm helping you' 2007.

Free Association, Tracey.

so saw Tracey Emin on Dame Edna last night - and she talked about her column. So here is the link. I like how she talks about being 80.
It's nice chatty writing reminds me a bit of Anna, and Jess's writing for 'funny ha ha', how making are you don't have to get over it and peps can't tell you to. Hope I got it right Jess!! The pic of Tracey with the flag is from Art Daily.com and the one below, a lego Emin bed is from the Liverpool museum website.
So that's enough name dropping for now - but just one more below in Elvis looking at my work at First Draft. The opening of clip art was nice. I think it's a good show, the work of Soda Jerk and Sam Smith was great and I love Elvis' 'please stand by'. Went to arts project the next day and saw a set up for a Beuys re -do. Heard a Venice report. They slammed Emin! But described a great Sarah Lucas work not in the Bienallie but at the same time. then went to Peloton to find Giles Ryder on with 'some kind of electric' - It's pretty 'free' work! A really nice space.

Jess Johnson's FUNNY HA HA at The Narrows. It's great. The works slides around together gently. Themed shows can be difficult, by Funny Ha Ha is not, its very comfortable, it's very open. You are included. Jess's drawings gather momentum as they gather and get larger. They are unframed and accessible. The show has lines and flat spaces, it does not model in 3D. It's breathy. And then there is a sculpture in the corner, just out to the centre. Placed well. What Jess has written for the show does not strain itself to justify, or force the show, its affectionate to their creative bond. Jess writes so swell.

I think The Narrows is my favourite space in town. The concept of an independent work for a poster print run come invitation generously funded be Warren Taylor is 'project' and exciting.

Octopus at Gertrude Street is a better show that I have seen there. Some times I just think what are you up to Gertrude? Whatever Gertrude. Geoff Newton's 'Music for Eyes' is one of the funniest things I have ever clapped ears on. His wood chip challenge is a nutcase. His exaggeration of 'that' pole, his admission to that pole being there is so gorgeous. He bothered to deal with it. Others have tried on failed. the framed pics on food pics are unshackled, the photos rough, the straight up snap shot, like you get developed at the chemist, not a retro Polaroid not a jumbo print lush cause you can. I think these free associate, stuff liked put together, this is art with out words at its better.

P.s. sorry but I don't really like Ashley Crawford's email address. crawDADA ! What was he thinking. but I guess email addresses can haunt you from the past hey. from how you were then.


Final One_s Conversation With the World Ending

Final The Cyclic Nature of Things

The Seduction of Stuff

Untitled 5

above is the work of Helen Shelley. Slippery Muddy Beautiful-Not So Beautiful. Shelley ups the anti each time, she doesn't sit on her hands. Swoon. I believe the top three are oil on canvas and 'Untitles 5' arylic on canvas, with fake tatoos.