Manifesto

Aussie Actress, Cate Blanchett, is presenting a monologue of thirteen manifestos in Julian Rosefeldt’s current show, Manifesto, running until 13 March at ACMI, Federation Square, Melbourne.

Manifesto
Manifesto

Each short film has a different theme, character and exploration of a different manifesto. Rosefeldt has edited and reassembled a collage of artists’ manifestos. The work draws on the work of Dadaists, Fluxus artists, Situtationists and Futurists , and the musings of individual artists, architects, dancers and filmmakers. 

Cate Blanchett
Cate Blanchett

I particularly liked the reading of the Dada manifesto intoned by Blanchett, dressed as a middle aged, middle class woman mourner complete with sombre clothing, hat, and makeup standing beside a coffin at a funeral which was about to be lowered for burial. It was an effective juxtaposition of images, the positive yet absurd nature and clarity of the doctrine, against the ostentatiousness of the funeral and the ridiculousness of the burial process.

Manifesto
Manifesto

Her adoption of the persona of the homeless man, at the site of the abandoned German Spy Towers in Berlin, is powerful.

ACMI
ACMI

Its an exceptional installation, one I would recommend seeing.

Neon Benders

standing man
standing man

My fellow artist Lauren Kennedy, was exhibiting her four piece neon installation at Ne Art Exhibition 2016. Its located in downtown Collingwood at the gritty end of Smith St.  I caught the packed 86 tram along gertrude st to make a foray northside. An old converted shop space with upstairs rooms its an artist run initiative. I talked to several of the exhibiting artists including “Teloc” a diminutive vocal man who expounded on the virtues of neon.

The man whose factory made all the artists neon pieces, Steven Cole, is a third generation “bender”, industry speak for manufacture of neon. He said his industries early work was in signage but laterally it has been in art installation, and he shyly showed me his piece.

Lauren’s panels were proudly on display in the third room placed strategically next to the “Ziggy Stardust” piece. I wondered if this piece had been created prior to the great man’s demise. Her work brightened the dim space, gleaming iridescently and invitingly in the small space. As a body of four panels it made a bold statement addressing her creative intentions of depicting the inner angst a  creative mind struggles with.

Lauren Kennedy
Lauren Kennedy

 

I also admired the work of Konstantin Dimopolous , Standing Man, a neon study in life drawing and Ally Pyers piece, “Selfie” epitomising the current obsession with phone self portraiture.

selfie
selfie

Dominoes

Dominoes, no not the age old game I played as a child, but a living art installation played out in Melbourne’s CBD,  on a hot, lazy summer afternoon last Saturday.

dominoes
dominoes
flinders lane dominoes site
flinders lane dominoes site

 

My niece was in from out of town for a few days and cajoled me into going. I’m glad I did. The circuitous route of the domino path embraced parts of flinders lane, the Melbourne Town Hall, St Pauls Cathedral, Degraves St and even beat a path through the Crumpler store.

 

The domino pieces, which were blocks of chalky, lightweight concrete mix had been placed in perfect symmetry  along the route, some lying, many upright but all in perfect accord of the overall plan. This plan was for each to tumble onto the other, causing all to fall in a sequential order. Volunteers were placed along the route to hand out information and guard the blocks. From my vantage point our “marshall ” complete with walkie talkie told us when they had started and how far away they were. A victory yell went up from the crowd as they tumbled toward us. Yes they fell in perfect formation, spectators stood transfixed, and it was evidence of an art installation involving all that captivated and engaged the audience.

doms1

dominoes
dominoes

New Beginnings

Exhibiting three Detroit pieces from study trip in 2015 from 3 to 28 February at MetroWest Gallery , at 138 Nicholson St, Footscray.

Abandoned Factory Detroit USA September 2015 Photographic Image
Abandoned Factory Detroit USA September 2015 Photographic Image

dhonan, and others work is on for the month of February. Go along and see some inspirational work from denise honan, and other Australian Artists.

Fisher Plant 21 photographic image september 2015 dhonan
Fisher Plant 21 photographic image september 2015 dhonan
Abandoned Attic ,Masonic Temple, Detroit 9/15 photographic image
Abandoned Attic ,Masonic Temple, Detroit 9/15 photographic image

Surrealism and DaDa at NGV Federation Square

Joined together shoes, one long fingered glove, and a hat with a zip, all are absurdly silly pieces made by Barry Humphries, in the fifties whilst a dadaist studying at Melbourne University.

 

Barry Humphries
Barry Humphries, Dada pieces 1950’s

These and other pieces by working Australian artists are featured in the “Lurid Beauty Exhibition” currently showing at the NGV’s Ian Potter Centre, Federation Square. Many of my favourite Australian artists are showing including Pat Brassington, a Tasmanian photographer and printmaker whose work features disembodied parts of the female body.

Starlight 2001 colour digital print
Pat Brassington,Starlight 2001
colour digital print

Exhibitors include Rosslynd Piggot, whose massive white bed imposes an improbable and powerful presence above the space inviting all to dream.

High Bed, 1998 construction of painted wood, metal, cotton etc
High Bed, 1998
construction of painted wood, metal, cotton etc

The gorgeous black and white photography of Max Dupain of the 1950’s models portrays images of a graceful and bygone era.

 

Shadow of Ballet Dancer 1938 silver gelatin photograph
Shadow of Ballet Dancer
1938 silver gelatin photograph

Early collage work by Sidney Nolan and David Noonan are featured. A taxidermied black cat waves goodbye to us at the end of the show. It looks like a stage prop or TV show persona and not a gallery piece. Such is the depth and wonder of this show my eyes were opened to works by artists I knew but didn’t know were part of the Dada and Surrealism movements. Being removed from Europe and the USA these artists created their own version of the movement. It is a brilliant show and many of these influential artists are currently teaching and working in Australia.

Judith Wright 2011 Mixed Media A journey
Judith Wright, A journey (detail) 2011–12 mixed media – See more at: http://artguide.com.au/articles-page/show/judith-wright-

I found particularly poignant and whimsical the installations by Judith Wright in the foyer. They are assemblages of found objects of childhood relics eg horses heads, child’s toys and a rowboat. These works depict the loss of her child, and are the artists imaginings of how her child’s life would be if she had lived and grown through childhood.

This exhibition educated and exposed me to a vast area of work by Australian artists working in a wildly inventive field of exploration.

Brilliant Dilletantes

Brilliant Dilletantes, Subculture in Germany, in the 1980’s,  is on at RMIT Storey Hall Gallery now until 27 February 2016. I liked what I saw. Tonight, 3rd December at 5.30pm a talk is being given about a new book by Australian writer and Berlin resident, Stuart Braun, discussing his new book  “City of Exiles:Berlin from the Outside In” with Dr Peter Milne.

Brilliant Dilletantes
Brilliant Dilletantes

I believe both are worth a look.

Subculture in Germany in the 1980's
Subculture in Germany in the 1980’s

MADA Graduate Show 2015

I walked to Caulfield, from my home in Elsternwick to see the MADA Graduate Fine Art and Visual Art Exhibition. I wasn’t disappointed. The work on display was extremely innovative, explorative, and visually stunning. It covered a diverse range of visual practice including installation, photography, painting, printmaking, sculpture and drawing.

Jamie O'Connell interviewed by Bess Davey & Tom Nicholson
Jamie O’Connell interviewed by Bess Davey & Tom Nicholson

Spread over the entire floors of the old, iconic, former CIT Building, in Dandenong Rd, it embraced a fine visual aesthetic and displayed a comprehensive skill base of the newly graduated practitioners.

Of particular interest was the area where the Honours Students were exhibiting. This is the proposed 2016 studio space for the first year, Bachelor of Fine Art Degree students.

Jamie O'Connell interviewed by Bess Davey & Tom Nicholson
Jamie O’Connell interviewed by Bess Davey & Tom Nicholson
Jamie O'Connell interviewed by Bess Davey & Tom Nicholson
Jamie O’Connell interviewed by Bess Davey & Tom Nicholson

The Boyd Show

This comprehensive exhibition centred on the Boyd family, and their work, is informative and diverse. Historically interesting, it chronicles the work of one of the most influential, and significant Australian Art families. Working in the fields of painting, sculpture,pottery, ceramics, literature, architecture, poetry and music, there is much to see in the exhibition. Metric Boyd, Earthernware Vase, 1931

 

 Arthur Boyd, My father, Merric Boyd’s pottery and kiln, 1934

 

polly

‘Polly’ , Arthur Boyd, oil painting, 1951

ab landscapeArthur Boyd, Landscape, oil painting, 1969

For fifty years, they resided in an area of Murrumbeena, a South Eastern suburb of Melbourne, in an idyllic bush setting which inspired much of their work.