Archive for April 3rd, 2016

Weekly roundup – a new rhythm?

It’s a time of transition for me. Mixed Media for Textiles is in the wrap up stage. I don’t want to rush choices about medium term goals. In the interim I’ve decided to experiment with a life of following different strands, going to what interests me most at any time. However I like structure and want to hold myself to account. A weekly review of where I am, what I’ve been doing, feels a good discipline. It might make for boring blog posts, but it (potentially) suits my needs – so feel free to move on 🙂

Paper yarn project.
This idea comes from Ruth Hadlow’s workshop – trying an exercise for a month (25-Feb-2016). My brief to myself:
* use a piece of paper that comes to hand during the day;
* make yarn and incorporate into coiling;
* record – photograph, paper type.

No idea where if anywhere this will take me. The first two days were a simple flat round, with a little shaping beginning on day 3.

Lectures, exhibitions, performances

  • Contemporary philosphers discuss contemporary art. AGNSW. Damien Freeman, Derek Matravers, Simon Longstaff. Lots of notes, but nothing to fit into a brief paragraph.
  • Biennale floor talk. AGNSW.
  • Performance in Dogwalk, by Mella Jaarsma. AGNSW. Part of Biennale.
  • Mella Jaarsma Dogwalk (in performance)

    Mella Jaarsma
    Dogwalk (in performance)

  • Performance – Benoît Lachambre, part of ghost telephone, a month long chain performance at AGNSW for the Biennale. For ten days Lachambre will perform, responding to Doris Salcedo’s Atrabiliarios (mentioned in post 30-Jan-2016). Lachambre moved (inadequate word) around the space, sometimes using masking tape to form a pattern or record something known only to him. After the performance the tape was removed, as will be done each day. Fascinating to watch, and in review it recalls my wrapping of space to record shadows (31-Jul-2015).
  • Benoit Lachambre

    Benoît Lachambre

  • Biennale exhibition at MCA and AGNSW (see 3-Apr-2016)
  • Exhibition – The Charged Object: soft sculpture and the aesthetics of touch at Gallery Lane Cove (1-Apr-2016)
  • Reading
    Multiple books on the go, depending on where I am.

  • The Falkenstein Foundation (2012) Claire Falkenstein Los Angeles: The Falkenstein Foundation
  • Fer, B. (1997) On abstract art New Haven and London: Yale University Press
  • Plus looking rather than reading – a new acquisition, on sale at MCA bookstore but still an indulgence –
    Petzinger, R. and Rosen, B. (2006) EVA HESSE: CATALOGUE RAISONNE New Haven and London: Yale University Press
    This is in two volumes, one painting, one sculpture. Very exciting to leaf through, watching development over time, the explorations with particular materials…

    Limited. Some bits and pieces related to Mixed Media for Textiles, so I’ll do a separate post on that.

    It’s taken longer than I expected to write this up. Now I have a framework, it should go more easily once I settle into a rhythm. Most weeks aren’t so active.

    T1-MMT-P5 Exhibition – 20th Biennale of Sydney – partial view

    This post about the current Biennale of Sydney is partial in that I’ve only visited a couple of the sites so far, but even more because I am anything but an impartial viewer. Everything I see is through the lens of my own recent work, considering alternatives, possible future options. Such bias feels uncomfortable – I feel partly closed to entering another’s view of the world. Is it to an extent a good thing – a personal voice, a personal perspective, isn’t that what I am meant to be developing as an artist? Whichever, clearly it’s something I need to work through.

    Jumana Manna Installation view

    Jumana Manna
    Installation view

    At the Art Gallery of New South Wales A magical substance flows into me is a 70 minute HD video with sound by Palestinian artist Jumana Manna. It’s a complex compilation based on research into broadcast music recordings from across Palestine in the 1930s. Manna documents playing these recordings to musicians across the country, asking them to perform in response. She “investigat[es] the spiritual nature of music and its capacity to shape both identity and cultural and religious rituals” (from gallery signage). I’ve watched sections of the video during different visits and what struck me was the personal nature of the footage, often in domestic settings, the intensity and interest of the musicians and their joy in performance.

    Jumana Manna

    Jumana Manna

    Jumana Manna White elbow

    Jumana Manna
    White elbow

    The video is shown in a space that includes a number of sculptural works by Manna. This untitled collection of sculptures, made of plaster, pigments and laquer, are domestic in scale. They are strangely familiar in form – dried gourds perhaps, or human lungs. Empty containers that would resonate, like a musical instrument, like a human body. To me there’s a sense of the domestic, the hospitable, in providing an installation with inbuilt padded seating.

    There is variation in shape and colour of the sculptures, but connections in line and material. There are similar forms in different colours, for example the double lobed form that is reminiscent of body parts. The grouping is varied but cohesive. As can be seen in the installation view there are two larger sculptures, separated in space, size and the inclusion of additional found elements, but clearly connected.

    The installation brings the viewer in, a participant in the journey of discovery through a divided land where music knows no boundaries.

    Manna’s work is in the Art Gallery of NSW, the biennale’s Embassy of Spirits. The following two artists are being exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Embassy of of Translation.

    Nina Beier Installation view

    Nina Beier
    Installation view

    Two works by Nina Beier can be seen – Allegory of Charity and Tileables. Tileables are the ceramic squares seen on the floor in the photograph above and are based on textures developed for 3D modelling software. Allegory of Charity is a group of works showing coffee cups suspended in the air, a stream of coffee beans apparently pouring from them.

    Nina Beier

    Nina Beier
    Allegory of Charity (detail)

    Beier examines the translation between objects and image, taking stock images of mass produced products and recreating them in three dimensions. This could be viewed as the opposite of my recent work, where highly individual three dimensional works were created, then transformed into images using photography. Particularly in the black and white photographs and those of wrapped objects, the individual nature of the objects was in part repressed.

    Beier’s individual elements are repetitive with slight differences. Most obviously the coffee cups are different sizes and shapes. However all the cups appear to be commercially mass produced. The impact of the familiar object reminded me of observations in the workshop with Ruth Hadlow (25-Feb-2016). I took inspiration from drawings by John Bokor, whose work appears firmly located in the domestic and familiar. My own layered drawings included some of my collection of objects – not at all familiar or ordinary. At the time I asked where can ordinary lie. Beier has taken something very ordinary, impersonal, trite, and turned it into something unfamiliar, surreal.

    Dayanita Singh Kitchen Museum (detail)

    Dayanita Singh
    Kitchen Museum (detail)

    Dayanita Singh Kitchen Museum (detail)

    Dayanita Singh
    Kitchen Museum (detail)

    Dayanita Singh has an extensive photographic archive, built up over more than 30 years. Here Singh presents some of these in “mobile museums”, travelling to different locations, with a unique selection and display at each venue, the series of photographs open to a unique interpretation of meaning or narrative by each viewer.

    Dayanita Singh Suitcase Museum (detail)

    Dayanita Singh
    Suitcase Museum (detail)

    I don’t see the overall idea as new – Duchamp’s Boîte-en-valise comes to mind (I’ve seen the version at the National Gallery of Australia). At a very different level my weaving Cacophony traveled Australia as part of ATASDA‘s The Maharajah’s Garden suitcase exhibition (5-Feb-2010).

    Singh’s two collections are beautifully presented, a series of moments that had me looking at details, wondering about other places and lives.

    Bringing it back to my current obsession, an accordion fold book of my collection photographs could be an effective way of making a final presentation, a sense of completion to my final work. It even has that lovely reference to the very first sample done for the course. I have a skype tutorial coming up in a few days, so can discuss the idea with Rebecca then.

    Textiles 1 – Mixed Media for Textiles
    Part 5: A final piece
    Exhibition – 20th Biennale of Sydney
    T1-MMT-P5 Exhibition – 20th Biennale of Sydney – partial view


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