• Mattthew, sorry to treat the as my secretatryyy but. If yuo fresh litle pupils just popping out into the art would like little tadddies into a muddie pudddle neeed an inspiring setting to create it would be a delight if you could encourage them in teh Kerr St direction. 'CHeap n' cheerful' thats our motto x

  • $160 per month 
  • $160 bond
I finally said Hi! to Mirka on my last day at swan st, she asked if I was a painter I said yes (pffffft!) and if I had a studio at home I said no etc. She said*** Tres Bein*** (awsome! hilary!) she said a mistake is a wonderful thing, when you accidently slide the brush on canvas ( I imagined her turning to pick up a cup o tea or vino in a cluttered pit o painting, but I thinking mashing with a picture of Margaret Olley I have seen, also I miss the Margaret Prestons at NGA) this is a wonderful thing, she said turner had said it. (As romantic as this sounds, its still good, I want all my paintings to be side ways, like I wasn't there looking at it, its not personal vision, but it is, but just not even near the height of passion or crisis, its way after when you can retell the story as a gag, entertaining missery, dry as, its slippery, its not poetic accident or giving away self determination to chance, but just off centre, not artist as silo, its a nod to self awareness and the best of Po-Mo and Modernisssyism) I was a bit weird from having not eaten and had my mind on the mission of moving, I wanted it to go better i wanted to become her assistant come companion, but she sort of fobbed me off in the end and I'd run outta converssion puff, because she doesn't need it! And this is very cool, she doesn't need younger fans/faux friends to mix her tints or hand her shit and pump her up on praise, fuck that gas, she's just damn fine with her life and not needy, It is I who is theee idiot. I've been looking at her lop sided mural in the cafe all this time imagining her to want to swaddle into her life any proteeejjjaa she could find, but she is not so doey, nor run out of all the things to paint or do. You can be older but not softy. This is a good old lesson. I wanna bee woman ****comme ca****.
*tastes self*

This type of work is a play between signs and form - the signs are the lost substances of a selection of objects and images, real things made into weightless surface effects; and the form, the arrangement of selections that creates some newer, flatter, smoother meaning from them. It’s a complex game of sensation and feeling, on the one side melancholy, on the other light. 

The playfulness of the interaction of these elements is animated by a something like a sexual tension between viewer and work – it gathers the selected material into erogenous zones where meanings are concentrated, or separates them out where imaginative input from the viewer is required. If you find yourself liking it, coming up with a description to communicate this feeling might make you want to run your words together in breathless, advertorial style, as if trying to mimic the heightened concentration of the flow of associations. If you don’t, it’s easy enough to dismiss the selections as ‘meaningless’, and the work as a collection of random junk.

Tastes Self the associations take on a humanoid form – sometimes male, when it’s reminiscing over gay men’s classifieds or thinking about Corinthian columns, and sometimes female, a bit obsessed with handwash and the Garnier Fructis range, forgetting that it has left its lube lying around. But Smith and Vivian also put the work in a rural setting, a spacious society of animals and machinery. Being uninhibited, kitty litter, multi-coloured fish-tank gravel and possum shit become just as valuable decorations as glossy photos advertising the latest tractors and harvesters, or a beautiful R.M. Williams model in a ten-gallon hat, partly obscuring the view of a four-wheel farm bike. 

In the rarer moments where material elements have been physically altered in some way, not just picked off the shelf and put in position, for example, when a row of dishwashing sponges has been glued together, or an empty Perrier bottle is given a lick of pink paint, these additions look more like make-up than construction. The overall effect is that the work takes part in a beauty competition with and against itself – a flaying, bucolic fantasy that is seductive because of its narcissism, making you want to uncritically affirm that assemblage is the form of art and desire for a networked world. 

Michael Ascroft.