Sunday, February 27, 2011
Nothing ever dies. I once heard a metaphor that explained the idea of nothing ever really dying by likening living organisms to hippy communes. All the cells, nutrients and biological building blocks that belong t a living organism are the members of that hippy community. They all share the same vision and ethos. They are dedicated to its ongoing survival. They procreate. They, the members (the cells) of the commune (the living organism) call in help when it’s needed (eating, drinking, medicine). Later, much later, when the organism dies and begins to decay, the members that it consists of shake hands and part ways. They might join another organism. Or they might fossilise.
Evolution is biological jerry rigging. Martorell uses jerry rigging as a construction technique in order to create a bright coloured, plastic arte-povera yacht titled ‘The Raelian Kraal’. Old and broken objects have become reused and replaced, in order to keep their new collective form, The Raelian Kraal, in complete working order.
Martorell’s plastic arte-povera constructions have function, unlike many other artists whom also utilise societies plastic detritus as an artistic medium. His works are different and disparate objects collaged into new functioning forms. The objects are united in their collective function, even if the new function of the unified group wasn’t necessarily the original function of the individual objects before they were assimilated.
This idea of ‘functional unity’ is not missed by Martorell who has also included a social and relational element to Agvas De Marco. Throughout the exhibition Martorell has invited different groups of people to conduct discussions, musical performances and workshops. These groups of people can be seen as ‘relational collages’ or ‘social collectives’, and are similar in their functional unity to the objects that compose The Raelian Kraal. For a complete list of events and gigs check the online schedule at http://raeliankraal.blogspot.com.
The Raelian Kraal will have its water launch in late March.
The first time I read A Clockwork Orange I found Alex’s Nadsat language annoying. Annoying enough to give up reading it, and for good reason: it’s a composite of altered Slavic and Russian words, rhyme, out-dated language (which to me was out-out-dated because it was written 22 years before I was born) as well as Burgess throwing in his own number of created words.
It wasn’t until I’d se3n Kubrick’s film adaptation that Nadsat made any s3nse: it needed to be heard, and seen in context. I hon3stly wonder3d how people had und3rstood the book at all before the film had be3n made. How could p3ople compreh3nd the d3ad symbols and signs on the pag3?
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Saturday, February 26, 2011
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Sunday, February 20, 2011
Friday, February 18, 2011
The items in ART MACHINE include an artist’s underwear, actual miniature artworks, and limited edition products from G-Shock, however, a customer of ART MACHINE wishing to make a purchase can only choose from those at the front. As purchases are made, the options cycle forward revealing a new product becoming available that was previously unknown. There is are elements of chance and risk in the buying process because what can be seen in the front display of ART MACHINE may be a one off opportunity.
Ordinarily when art vending machine projects are carried out by smaller arts groups or communities, they can be seen as political acts commenting on the commercialisation of culture but ART MACHINE cannot make this argument as it is heavily supported by a business who has a commercial interest (G-Shock) and is using ART MACHINE as a platform to disseminate its own product and increase brand awareness. The crux of ART MACHINE is a result of commercial consumption becoming a leisure activity. The machine as object, is singular, an oddity or a sideshow, a fun and novel way of experiencing the 'buy'.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
This work is a departure in terms of aesthetics and mediums compared to Grays previous work of delicately sculptured miniature craft forests of paper tendrils and fern fronds or organic colourful chaos, which was a notable presence in his 2010 solo exhibition (‘Attack Decay Sustain Release’) at Craft Victoria and which was the sole focus of his exhibition (another solo: ‘Tudo Que Acho/ Everything I Think’)the previous year (2009) at The Narrows.
The moiré effect is an illusion, a suggestion of something that doesn’t exist and Gray likens this to anthropological forecasting: seeing what is present within contemporary culture and trying to predict the as yet unrealised, undetermined and unknown future. This act of seemingly logical-soothsaying by some individuals has had devastating effects, like the Unabomber Theodore Kaczynski, although more often it has been responsible for envisioning optimistic future utopias as dreamt by writers and dreamers of science fiction, such as musicians Zager and Evans who penned the song ‘In the year 2525’ which forms the title of the exhibition.
These thoughts of the far off future was also inspiration for Grays sound work exhibited as a part of The Zero Dollar Show at West Wing gallery (a temporary space run by West Space) a month before ‘In the year 2525’. Gray recorded an audio tour of Melbourne Central as though the shopping centre were a complex projected reality used as a teaching device for students in the far future as a part of a history lecture.
Grays musings of the moiré effect are manifested as three distinctly different types of work: a large scale installation, smaller drawings, and framed moiré patterns screenprinted on mylar which have then been placed over moiré screenprints on paper, which capture the effect in action.
The installation (above) is comparable to his miniaturist jungles of vegetative paper works, except on a larger scale and utilising more industrial materials. Multiple A2 sized sheets of Perspex with parallel lines created with black electrical tape are suspended from the ceiling, which demonstrate the visual interference of the moiré pattern in the wild, a natural environment of angled planes (ply wood panels) and bold straight lines ruling their way through the chaos (long strips of electrical tape).
Grays framed works (above) act like smaller versions of the installation: live captured moiré patterns, confined to a restrictive enclosure, living examples of visual interference keep in captivity and trapped for its privileged owners wall.
The drawings are perhaps the most curious of the trio. Being works on paper, the lines share the same flatland and fixed positions, the human eye (and mind) can’t compensate for the discrepancy caused by the mismatched angle of lines.
The exhibition will also host a series of ‘acoustic tests of pre-post-human perception’, which is a pre-post human way of saying 'gig', which will include Snawklor, Mof Far Far Rah, Julian Williams, and Northlands at Utopian Slumps gallery on Sunday 20th of Feburary from 6:00 til 9:00pm.
The present is just a suggestion of a future illusion.
Sunday, February 13, 2011
REVIEW: I want to feel what you are feeling with every fibre of my being and then I want you to feel what I feel
Klara Grace Kelvy
KINGS ARI (Level 1 of 171 KING ST, MELBOURNE)
exhibition runs from: FRI 11 FEB til SAT 05 MARCH, (open WED-SAT from 12:00pm – 6:00pm)
opening night: FRI 11 FEB 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Once is an experiment, a fluke or an accident. Repetition is conscious and questioning. Kelvy’s work is interested in the Other and their actions. She is a mimic that seeks truth to know another person’s truth through imitation. Previously she has sought out strangers in public places to secretly observe people’s behaviour in order to duplicate their mannerisms in an honest bid to get inside, within, another’s existence. The simulation of behaviour could be misread as facetious criticism, but the effort of her endeavours and openness of performance suggest an earnest longing to understand why we interact and conduct ourselves in the ways that we do.
“I want to feel what you are feeling with every fibre of my being and then I want you to feel what I feel” is Kelvy’s first solo exhibition and performance in a public space since completing a Bachelor of Fine Art (Honors) at the Victoria College of the Arts in 2009. Within this work she encourages members of the public to contribute a confession anonymously, which Kelvy will then re-enact back to the audience publicly. Her subjects will still be strangers and safely hidden within a much more undefined crowd that will visit the gallery at different times and on different days. Unlike her previous projects of copying strangers unconscious superfluous, and superficial gesture, here Kelvy seeks to imitate a less tangible experience: a truth or guilt that is secret and personal, unobservable and specific to a single persons history of existence.
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Friday, February 11, 2011
“This is REAL! life / is communication still possible?” is the current exhibition at artBEAT in North Melbourne. Rex Veal curates and uses the title in two parts to effectively take a conceptual stand on the nature of the exhibited work and open a dialogue, the first part boldly states that the artworks, and by extension, the exhibition, closes the gap and multitude of differences between art and real life, which seems near impossible seeing as what defines the two are defined by opposites: art is fictional, the displayed, proposed theoretical and the viewed whilst real life is truth, experienced and consists of the implemented and the practical. To grammatically strengthen this standpoint, Veal capitalises the word ‘real’, and backs it up with its own exclamation point, regardless of its mid-sentence positioning.
The second part of the title asks ‘is communication still possible?’ and Veal is keen to open up the lines of communication and dialogue by going to extraordinary and commendable lengths to have the gallery open from 10:00am to 10:00pm everyday of the week for the duration of the exhibition with the additional opportunity for attendees to sleep over in the gallery (if they arrive before the gallery closes in the evening) every night, essentially enabling the viewer to constantly experience the gallery in ‘real-life’ time, or real time, without the closures or opening hours dictating the viewing hours that we are so used to experiencing art within.
There’s a strong allegiance in the materials used to create the work within the show, the main constructive medium leans towards a new form of art povera, a plastic povera that utilises decades of capitalist gluttony in which we over-dosed on cheap plastic manufacturing.
Dan Bell uses these cheap and discarded objects in a way not dissimilar to bushcraft, as though they are natural detritus (sticks, stones, pinecones, twine, etc) as opposed to the throwaway household tacky plastic moulded products and fare you find in discount variety stores, which they are.
One of Veals work was a boxing bag half filled with the same polystyrene beads which would usually fill bean bags, changing what would otherwise be a hard, vertical, strong object used in machismo fight training in leiu of a human body to punch and kick, and giving it a new less threatening and less abused life as a functional object that slumps flaccidly and powerlessly on the floor, giving itself up to be laid upon or sat on. All the innuendo and allusions to failure are intentional; if this is REAL! life, how can they not be?
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Reports from close friends about the opening night (which rolled into ‘nights’) made its excess and debauchery sound comparable to Rome’s golden age of opulence: hundreds of excessively expensive caviar tins stacked against walls, free flowing booze, curators from the Australia’s art scene making out drunkenly like teenagers with teenagers, rock stars inserting the phallic supports of collectible modernist design seating into their anus for a viewing public, a trio of naked writhing and trysting women prank calling a phone elsewhere in the gallery. All this tucked away several levels underground, embedded in the rock, on a peninsula of an island, in the southern-southern-southern hemisphere, the furthest point before you’re Antarctic, a million-zillion-gabillion miles from the rich and esteemed art history of Europe and the grand collections of the Americas, Germany, Britain, France and Italy.
The collection and gallery, that is the spirit and body of MONA sounds more like fiction than reality and whose existence is more akin to Charles Foster Kanes estate Xanadu from the film Citizen Kane, or the underwater sanctuary Rapture that was built to promote the unbridled development of the avant-garde and for creative individuals to flourish, or even the animated Super Jail, which is the worlds most secure prison built inside a volcano, inside another volcano, within which the laws of space and time seem to act according to the Wardens will who resembles a mad version of Willy Wonka and can change existence with mere thought like a god. I imagine Walsh, MONA’s creator, has similar superhuman powers within its walls.
clockwise from top left: Xanadu as featured in Citizen Kane, Superjail from the ultra violent manic paced animation of the same name, (the very real) MONA, and the Utopian city of Rapture from video game Bioshock.
MONA is an anomaly. From the sounds of it, MONA is an entirely new, hybrid, mutant-beast in comparison to its much older and more serious siblings: little boy Tate, Mister Guggenheim, and Miss Louvre. If their family portrait were taken, MONA’d be dressed in odd flamboyantly and possibly metallic coloured sneakers with differing and multiple fluoro laces, trashed and second hand designer jeans so that the fishnets or long johns (depending on the weather) worn underneath were visible, a checked rockabilly shirt, a prim golf knit with an antique Wedgewood brooch, listening to a mash-up of country, classical and Norweigian death metal music on its headphones.
David Walsh is just as much of an anomaly: self proclaimed dilettante and a maverick self made millionaire whose fortune was amassed by card counting and swindling casinos at their own game.
Maybe I am mythologising MONA like new lovers might do. Is there room for mythologising about a phenomena such as MONA whose existence is already somewhat fantastically unbelievable? I recommend ignoring everything I have to say about MONA for now as I’m writing about heresy and rumour. What you should do is google the facts, like the fact that Walsh sunk $75 million in renovations into MONA. To get your googling started, here’s some MONA related links:
and MONAs own site: